Not a Survivor, Just a Supporter
July 25, 2018
I’m not a cancer survivor. I’m also not a primary caregiver for anyone in my family who has had cancer. I’m from a large family and have found out that the longer I live, the more cancer is becoming part of my family, friends and acquaintances.
When my mom was diagnosed with bone cancer a few years ago, it rocked my family. We had not experienced cancer so close and really didn’t know what to do. They live on the other end of the state, so I was not there for the day-to-day. That was my first experience of Relay For Life. I bought a luminary for my mom and for my two best friends, who hadn’t survived. My mom recovered from that bout of cancer and a few years later, another bout – and is cancer free today. My dad is also cancer free!
Relay For Life became an annual event for me. I was purchasing more and more luminaria as cancer seemed to spread to the people I love. I walked through the luminaria and saw so many names of people I knew and a lot of them surprised me. My favorite part of the Relay was to stroll through the luminaria and think how much each of my friends mean to me. Sitting through the ceremony, I listened to the names over the loudspeaker, and for that hour or so, I forgot about me and my little problems, and thought about cancer, friendship and what I could do.
A few years back, The Glasgow Courier had a Relay Team along with Expressions. It was a lot of fun. We danced, sang, visited and some of our team members spent the night on the Relay track. This year, The Glasgow Courier has a Relay Team – The Glasgow Courier News Team. We are small but mighty!
This 2018 Relay For Life event started last week for me, when in the space of two days, cancer struck two people very dear to me. They both will start the cancer survival part of their lives. As many of you know, that will CHANGE everything. So what can I do? Well, I can participate. On the luminaria bags are these three words and they sum it up for me: Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back.
I will celebrate my life and my loved ones.
I will remember the people no longer in my life, mostly because of cancer.
I will fight back. I’m not fighting cancer in my body. I’m fighting what it does to people, how it changes everything. It takes a toll – emotionally, spiritually, financially.
Every single luminaria I purchase helps someone. Every volunteer at Relay For Life is helping someone. Everything donated by this so very generous community helps someone. I want to be part of this – I will participate.
If you are interested in dedicating a luminaria or supporting a team you can do so at The Glasgow Courier, by contacting [email protected] or by calling 228-9301. You can also call Rod Karst at 406-263-8757.