The scary statistic: 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with Cancer. 60% of them will survive. You have been affected. I have been affected. The truth is I am filled with fear when my doctor tells me for the 3rd time in 2 years years, we need more tests on that breast. Let’s have another mammogram. We are going to pull some tissue samples and do an ultra sound just to be sure but don’t worry, this is just a precaution. This time it was. I am grateful. I don’t have cancer today, but I have been affected. The fear. The places my mind goes…what about my children, do I have the strength. If this time it’s not just precautionary, will my life be an episode of “StepMom” where some version of Julia Roberts takes over my Susan Sarandon….if you haven’t seen the movie watch it.
What about the imagery of my friends with the lines in their veins? “Bone Juice” my one friend calls it, as she courageously battles the cancer that is ravaging her body. I watch as they boldly adjust their head wear, bandanas, or we go wig shopping for a boost. We are all affected by cancer. I watch as a friend buries his wife, the mother of his 4 children after she loses her battle with pancreatic cancer and the devastation her death caused all of them as they piece their lives back together and attempt to move on without her in it.
I meet people, whose lives have been forever altered, like Nicholas Miasowski, who battled life threatening brain tumours when he was 10 years old, and is now in his 20’s and has been cancer free. He is one of my heroes. My other friends who have fought and battled cancer and who can sit and have coffee with me today because they are cancer free. They are all heroes. You know who you are. You also have a new way of looking at life. Cancer survivors teach us how damn precious our lives are. They went through some of the worst fears, anguish and terror, and many have a new view. Life is precious. After surviving cancer, many of my friends are more anxious, they sleep less and live in fear, others live every moment like it’s their last. There is no right way to beat cancer, the only thing they have is a perspective that life is precious. We could all take a moment to really hold onto the gift that is life. The truth is, either you have been diagnosed and fought it, are fighting it now, or someone you love has fought it, is fighting it or has lost.
Cancer leaves us with such a wide variety of emotions. Thankfully there are amazing places where we can go to talk about them. I use my coach when I am filled with fear or anger for the things that cancer has cost in my life. So I am taking action. I am exposing my fear. I am exposing myself. I want to stand together and continue to increase the survival rates from 60% to one day wiping out cancer and it’s ability to steal our lives, and the lives we cherish.
This week a Canadian legend was taken from his family, his music will live on forever, but his children will grow up without a father. We are all affected. Our friends, our neighbours, our families. On October 27th, 2011 cancer took my father way too soon, he was 61 years old. He had a lifetime yet to life. Cancer decided otherwise.
I am grateful for all of the people in my life who have also beaten cancer, both of my stepdads, my father in law, my best friend. They have survived. Many other friends have also survived.
Nothing moves forward without action. So I acted. I bought this blazer and I stepped up outside of my comfort zone. My coach tells me to jump out of the plane. I jumped. I don’t normally talk about my fears. I don’t tell you how sad I am when I lose loved ones and friends to a disease that terrifies me. I want you to think I am strong and I can handle anything. The truth is, I’m filled with fear and I f’ing hate Cancer. I hate how it’s affected my life and I hate how it affects yours. 1 in 2. It’s a shitty statistic. Together, we can make a difference. This month over $17Million was raised by the Canadian Cancer Society in an effort to Cure Cancer. I didn’t run. My part in this is to raise awareness and money for the Cure. I urge you to go to http://www.canadiancancersociety.com and donate.