Relay for Life, the nationwide fundraiser of the American Cancer Society, is an awesome event. In the years past, it was out there, raising money for cancer research. I thought it was a good thing. But it became much more to me in 2006. My Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April. In May, he walked the survivor lap at Relay for Life. Less than six months later, he passed away. Pancreatic cancer is a bad old cancer. The next year's relay was pretty hard. We watched two of Dad's brother, both breast cancer survivors, walk the survivor lap.
This year, I walked the survivor's lap with my daughter in law, Mandy - she had melanoma, and Mike's niece, Michelle - a 5 year breast cancer survivor. Mike walked with us. He is now considered my caregiver. This year, I can be considered a survivor. As we walked, the people of the businesses and organizations that had raised money all year, were standing on the sidelines applauding us. I felt unworthy because my fight hasn't really begun yet. I was just diagnosed two months ago. The tumor is gone following surgery but my treatments haven't begun yet. Some of the people there have fought a long, hard, difficult, battle with various forms of cancer. Some are still fighting, waiting to be declared, "Cancer Free!" I'll be glad to hear those words, too, applied to me. Hopefully, I'll hear them for many more years.
Next week end I'll walk another survivor's lap, at another Relay for Life event. This time with my two uncles. And I'm sure it will be much more difficult. Dad has been gone for 3 1/2 years. I still miss him every day. We cancer patients/survivors, are fighters. We keep going. We keep running the race. There is a prize at the end of this race. First, hopefully, a cure. Second - "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenword in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:14. Either way, it's a win/win situation.