I love being an Advocate with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network! I’m blessed to be a survivor of Colon and Breast Cancer and honored to be a voice for the voiceless.
On September 25, 2018, more than 25,000 Lights of Hope – each decorated with the name of a friend or loved one impacted by cancer will circle the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Please join me and be part of this special event.
You can help support cancer research and funding by purchasing a $10 Luminary Bag on my Lights of Hope personal page:
The day is fast approaching and I am super excited about my upcoming Birthday and Chemo Over Party next Saturday! Gathering with family and friends is such a tremendous blessing.
This past year has truly been a world wind. Last May at this time I was preparing to celebrate my birthday with my buddies, the Minions and my very favorite wizard, Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida. It was the perfect way to enjoy and commemorate my 60th birthday. After all, I’m just a big kid at heart.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Happy Birthday to Me!
Then, only 2 months later, wham! A diagnosis of not one but two unrelated cancers – Colon and Breast. Was not expecting that, but my philosophy was to not assume what would happen throughout the process but trust in God, do my medical research and engage in the fight to survive.
With the support of friends, family, and the medical community, I was able to not only survive but thrive in what I call my “second chance” at life. Facing this challenge helped me realize the importance of living in the moment and loving out loud. So, I want to tell everyone how much I love them and appreciate the uplifting support I’ve been given. Thank you so very much!
As Dinah Washington once sang, “What a Difference a Day Makes…” I see this celebration as an accomplish not only for myself but for cancer survivors everywhere. So let’s celebrate good times!
Here we are, sharing the walk for those of us who’ve survived and those in remembrance.
I continue to testify that my cancer journey has been simply amazing! Meeting the bravest and most determined people in spite of and because of our quest for hope and a second chance at life. The Cancer Survivor Dinner and the Relay For Life fundraiser have been a heartwarming introduction to the cancer community.
I was a newbie at Relay For Life but met and celebrated with survivors with varying years of being cancer free. I’ve written about the sense of kinship throughout my journey with doctors, nurses, and technicians and now I can add more fellow cancer patients, volunteers, and caregivers to my inner circle.
The Relay For Life is all about celebrating our lives and successes while also honoring those who’ve lost the fight. We walked, talked, played games and some even broke out with the Whip and the Nae Nae! 😄
Whip and Nae Nae!
The conclusion of the night featured a sunset lighting of the Luminaries Ceremony. We decorated and left messages of love on each, a beautiful tribute to survivors and lost loved ones. Afterwards, attendees were invited to speak on why they Relay For Life. The words were moving and emotional. I was feeling too much and didn’t testify, but my husband spoke eloquently and even attributed the quote “never give up, never surrender” from the film Galaxy Quest to me.
A wonderful friend recently dedicated “Rise” by Andra Day to me and this empowering message sums up exactly my sentiments and the determination of cancer survivors everywhere.
Last night I attended my first Cancer Survivor Dinner. I wasn’t sure what to expect but felt thrilled about connecting with others who’ve been affected by cancer as either a patient or a caregiver.
When my husband and I arrived, we were greeted by smiling and welcoming faces. I was given a “goodie bag” (which I always love!) filled with my survivor tee-shirt for the Relay for Life Event happening on Friday, May 6th an assortment of other purple colored items like an umbrella, a survivor pin, water bottle and other treasures.🎁 The American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network signature color is purple. (which felt like providence – Prince)
There was a very positive vibe in the room as others arrived and filled in the decorated tables. I snagged a seat at a table that was right up front. (just like back in school:) I didn’t want to miss a thing. My tablemates all introduced themselves and it felt warm sharing this moment with those who’ve gone through their own cancer journey and could understand the significance of the fight, the hope, and the survival. Like in the Infusion (chemotherapy) Suite, there was an instant bond.
The theme of the dinner and mission of CAN – Cancer Action Network is Hope. Never give up. We can do this! I’m all about hope and determination, which I write about. My nature tends to be outgoing so I loved all the other positive and upbeat personalities. As we broke bread we talked about if this was our first time at this event and how it’s grown over the past 3 years.
I also found out that the Cancer Center that took care of me didn’t exist 8 years ago. Listening to the guest speaker, who’s an oncologist with Novant Health (the medical group that organized the Cancer Center), I counted my blessings realizing I was able to take advantage of the union of various doctors – oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, etc, and the nurse navigator, Pat! My nurse navigator “angel”. This consolidation of medical professionals proves that when we work together as a team we can accomplish so much more!
My Nurse Navigator “Angel” Pat and me!
I’m so grateful for the Huntersville community, my Nurse Navigator – Pat, Novant Health, and the American Cancer Society for enriching my cancer experience with their tremendous support and encouragement!