I've had several reminders this weekend that it's time to post my own reminder to all of you - yes, it's that time of year.
The first person I ever knew who was diagnosed with cancer was my father. I was in 9th grade.
The first person I watched slowly die from it was my uncle, five years ago.
The first time I sat through a chemo treatment was with my mom, just a few month after my wedding.
I could tell a dozen stories of cancer, just in my family. You all have stories too. Many of you have very recent ones. Several of you are living those stories now.
My heart hurts for those who are still writing their stories, because I know how hard it is to wait. Wait for the test, then wait for the diagnosis. If it's not good, wait for more tests, wait for a treatment plan, wait for the treatment to start, then wait to see if it worked... Waiting sucks. Even now, with my mom as healthy as she's ever been, we are always waiting on that next PET scan just to be sure.
So what am I talking about? It's that time of year when you start seeing fundraisers for Relay for Life pop up all over the country. I don't care if you don't have money to give, you can still support them. Don't know of any Relay teams near you? Let me know, I know of several. My mom's team is having a silent auction. My cousin is captain of her team in her father's memory and they raised $1,000 last weekend with a garage sale in Arkansas. If you can't give money, give time, give stuff, give something. Cancer isn't something that goes away on it's own, but because of continued research and support it does see more survivors than ever. Help make more survivors.
If ACS isn't your favorite cancer charity, pick another one. Lukemia and Lymphoma Sociey. Participate in the Run from the Sun to fight melanoma or the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I know my family has been effected by them all, and that list is the tip of the iceberg.