My dad received his "don't come back again, mister" news a few weeks ago. It was his fifth year with no concern for worry. You bet we celebrated, Mamma!
On June 20th-21st. I'm staying up all night like I did last year for our local Relay for Life event. Last year we were late signing up and only had twelve participants, this year we need two tents because we have 23 members on our team and heaps of fun planned including costumes and a theme song. I'm still working on that rock 'n roll beach-type song.
Last year was amazing. I was in the caregiver walk, but in my mind I was walking for my dad as a survivor with a co-worker who still has to have tests done after seven years, but is optimistic and fun to be around. We're co-Captains for the event.
I'll tell you, there's nothing that can compare to the feeling I had when I looked back after only walking the first quarter of the track to see all the survivors walking behind us (their shirts were powder blue) and it looked like a sea of blue. On the second lap when the rest of the walkers joined us, I saw my dad's luminary that I bought for him and I got a little choked up.
My team is making a banner with footprints (we're dipping into paint - eww) around the edges and names of Survivors and In Memory Of written down so when we walk we will be thinking about different families touched by cancer on each lap. That's what got me through it last year, when my legs felt like jell-o-jigglers and I didn't think I could take another step, I pulled names out of my pocket and carried on.
If you have family members or special friends you'd like us to think about when we're walking around the track at the relay, toss me a PM and I'll add them to our list.
Mamma, when I was walking and saw all the survivors behind me and a few in front, I said to myself, "this means something. This matters, maybe the cure is around the next corner or under the next microscope" and I still believe that.
You be sure and celebrate today!