Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Bully

CANCER is the Bully. It has touched my life in many ways, as I am sure it has touched yours.

My first experience with Cancer occured when I was a teenager. My neighbor, and the young boy that I often babysat, was afflicted with Ewing's Sarcoma at the young age of 5. I always believed that Peter, my dear sweet neighbor, would beat this awful disease. I watched as Peter struggled and fought the cancer and all of the treatments for a couple of years. Peter's parents, family, and other loved ones looked on in horror and devestation, but never failed to provide their never-ending love and support for Peter and for each other. In the end, I was proven wrong and Peter succumbed to this evil affliction when I was 16. It was my first experience with death, and it was truly awful.

When I was in college I began to babysit another family, the B's. The B's middle child, Michael, was diagnosed with Luekemia during his pre-school years. Michael fought the good fight for several years and after his bone marrow transplant, I truly believed Michael would survive. Unfortunately he did not. Michael passed away on August 2, 1999. I was 20 years old and death was no easier to deal with the second time around.

You can imagine that I became quite cynical towards cancer. The Bully had taken two of the most precious lives I had encountered. I became to feel as if God was preparing me for something larger in life. I still do not know what He is preparing me for.

When I was pregnant with Devin my maternal grandfather passed away on February 14, 2006. He had suffered for a couple of years: penile cancer followed by cancer spreading into his lymphnodes until he was to sick to function or continue with life. My Peppere had tried to beat the cancer too, but this bully was too tough for him.

Last year, a coworker of mine passed away after a terribly long and torturous battle against breast caner that eventually spread into many other areas of her body. She was brought to Heaven on December 24, 2007. While many families were celebrating the Goodness and Graciousness of God during the Christmas holiday, Penny's family and friends were mourning their loss.

Along the way, I have known some survivors of cancer; some people who were stronger than the Bully. There is my Aunt Nancy who survived cancer many years ago, my mother's friend Marcia's granddaughter Steph who fought for a long, hard year at the age of 17, before being told she was in remission, the Art Teacher at work who battled breast cancer the year before I met her. There is also my Mother-In-Law, Maggie, who battled breast cancer and survived. Maggie is a healthy energetic woman who has shown the Bully that he will not take everyone, especially her, down.

It is for these reasons and many more that I am choosing to walk in the Care for Cancer Walk on September 28, 2008. I will join my mother in law, father in law, husband, son, and other family and friends in raising money and walking in the face of the Bully.

I will do this because cancer has touched my life in so many ways.
I will do this because patients with cancer deserve the best care.
I will do this because the world needs to find a cure for cancer.

If you care to make a donation and help me in fighting the Bully, please go here.

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