Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World Cancer Day

I recently came to learn that February 4th is World Cancer Day, a time to celebrate and encourage those fighting cancer and those that have survived, and also a day to reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer.  For me, it is also a day to remember friends and family members who lost their fight against cancer and while they are no longer here with us in flesh, they remain in my heart in spirit.

This past Christmas my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and so far we have spent the first months of 2014 figuring out where to go from here.  After numerous doctor appointments and a lot of good literature, I think my mom has become one of the strongest contenders to fight this disease; on top of exercising more than anyone I know, she's even traded in her meats and cheese for a vegan diet.  As a child, we grow up thinking our parents are invincible and will be with us forever.  Then something like this happens and it sends shockwaves through your system.  I have many friends who have lost a parent or two at a young age and I can't say I know what they felt like, but I know what it feels like now to lose that false sense of invincibility.  I'm scared but I know my family and I are trusting in the Lord to bring her through this.

In 2013 my brother in law, Shayne, was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had surgery which successfully removed all of the cancer.  In October my sister, Kayla, had skin cancer removed as did my mom earlier in August of the previous year.  In 2012 we lost James' grandfather to cancer, and my mom's best friend was battling colon cancer (she is now cured).

At times I just want to throw my hands in the air and ask, "who's next?!" because it just seems inevitable.  After finding out that my mom is the 3rd generation of women on her side of the family to be diagnosed with breast cancer, I start worrying and wondering if I will be diagnosed, and at what age.  All of my friends and doctors are recommending that I get checked for the genes now, but what if I test positive?  Do I just live my life in fear waiting for that shoe to drop?

Cancer is a nasty, cruel, unfair disease, and it has taken too many people whom I love.  As much as I hate foul language, the "F*** Cancer" hashtag is growing on me day by day.  Haha.

In memory and respect for all my loved ones touched by this disease, I'm praying for and thinking of you all on this day.

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