The Gift

22 May

Last weekend I walked in the local Relay For Life for the 4th year in a row. The first year I walked was the same year I fought cancer for the third time. It was a special time for me because I had just finished my treatment a few months before and I was asked to share my story and sing as the walk started. Every year has been special and emotional. Since I’ve been cancer free for some time now I felt pretty strong and confident starting the survivor lap. I was caught off guard at first by the change in t-shirt design. This year, each shirt listed ‘survivor’ or ‘in the survivorbackfight’ on the back. Looking around and seeing people of all ages (including kids) whose shirts said ‘in the fight’ really overwhelmed me, then hearing the applause from the people in various booths really threw me over the edge and I could no longer hold the emotion, I started to cry. During the survivor lap we are allowed to have a caregiver walk with us, this year, like the other years, my mom walked with me and it happened to also be her 70th birthday. I can’t imagine how she was feeling while her child was sick, I don’t know if I could be as strong as her. She was the primary caregiver for both me and my kids throughout my journey and I am so grateful.

It’s really strange, but for as much joy I was feeling about being there for another Relay event, I felt a little sadness. I was sad a little about how much my life has changed, and sad about some of the things cancer took away from me; no longer confident about my body, the difficulty breathing, the fear that cancer may come back, etc. I was also sad looking around at all the families affected by cancer, young and old; seeing the kids, then seeing the elderly woman who had ‘in the fight’ on the back of her shirt walking the slowest, being held up by her husband walking with her. I am incredibly thankful for my friends and family members that were always around to help; taking me to appointments, praying with me, the meals, the laughs, the care packages, even the lipstick…truly incredible people. Although cancer will always be part of my story, the Relay For Life is always a time I remember and reflect on all the events that continue to shape me today. Cancer seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. It brought back friends from the past plus even more friends, more opportunities, it brought the best out in most people. I saw kindness, generosity, hope. It gave me the gift of opening my eyes to a fragile life, the beauty of people and moments and stories; more passion for life and compassion for people. It made me more aware of my body and the various shifts and changes. It helped me focus on the positive things in my life as well as the things that needed to change. Cancer gave me the push to move forward with dreams and goals; less fear and less stress about the things that that truly don’t matter. Yes, cancer is that gift that keeps on giving. I would’ve chosen not to have cancer for sure, but we all deal with different things in life. ‘For a lot of people, Superman is and has always been America’s hero. He stands for what we believe is the best within us: limitless strength tempered by compassion, that can bear adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. He stands for what we all feel we would like to be able to stand for, when standing is hardest.’~J. Michael Straczynski Standing was hard but I’ve always wanted to be Wonderwoman!wonderwoman
Today it’s Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Surrender Dorothy. These lipsticks are creamy and moisturizing despite being labeled long lasting. I do prefer the Marc Jacobs glosses a little better but these are great too. This color red (more orange red than blue red). Life is crazy and can throw some curveballs…surrender. Cheers!


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