I participated in Relay for Life last weekend. There are parts that are already such a blur, but there is one thing that has really stuck with me…Cancer really never sleeps.
That is the whole idea of Relay. We have to have someone from our team on the track the entire night to symbolize that idea. I got it. I really did. But it wasn’t until 3:30 in the morning that I really got what that meant.
As some of you know, my goal was to do a marathon in the 24-hour period. I have done marathons before, but for some reason, doing it in stops and starts was a bit harder. At 3:30 in the morning we were about to start our next shift on the track (my friend and teammate Julie came along for my crazy ride)…I was tired, my body was beat, my feet hurt, my legs felt like lead. The last thing I wanted to do was get up and walk. Another teammate, Ceilin, said, “I will walk for you if you want to sleep.” It was a sweet offer, but it was in that moment that I really felt the symbolism of the whole event.
Chemo doesn’t stop just because you don’t want to do it. Radiation doesn’t go away because you have a lunch date with a friend that you just don’t want to miss. Cancer doesn’t care that your granddaughter is getting married soon. Cancer doesn’t care that you are five years old and want to play with your friends instead of sitting in a hospital room looking out at the world. Cancer just doesn’t quit, and neither could I.
It really didn’t matter that I had blisters on my feet, or that my heel was hurting, or that I was tired…I was out there for a reason. I was out there to honor the memories of the people I love and lost, I was out there to honor the people I love and who still battle, and I was out there to honor those who have won their battle. So, I got up, didn’t complain about my feet or my legs or whatever I could have complained about and walked.
Cancer never sleeps, and neither did I. I realize it was only a small gesture, but the experience has left a lasting impression.
Finally, I want to say thank you to everyone who donated to me. Because of your generosity, Windsor Relay for Life met and surpassed our goal of $75,000. That money will go so that one day the people we love won’t have to hear the words, “You have cancer.”
Peace and love,