Sunday, September 20, 2015

Relay Time

Last weekend we joined our friends at the Relay for Life.  This is the third time we've participated in this event and each time it has a different feel.  It's all very emotional and it means something different to everyone depending on where they are at in their Cancer journey.

They begin the Relay by having all the yellow-shirted survivors enter the walking area.  They invite the newly diagnosed to go to the front of the pack and before they begin walking, the newly diagnosed are invited to turn around and look at all the yellow shirted survivors behind them sending a wave of encouragement that this disease can be beat.  

A few years ago, my special friend led the pack during the survivor walk and this year she was mixed up in the middle.  With four years of being Cancer-free, Erin's Little Troopers were able to celebrate life and the kids got to have some fun.  

There are always so many questions from my girls when we walk around the track looking at all the luminaries that are set up in honor of and in memory of so many people.  Callie's first question was, "why do the teams walk all night?"  Hmm, I thought.  I know this one.  They told us at the beginning..."We walk all night because Cancer never sleeps." 

Next question, "What does that mean, Cancer never sleeps?"  Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what the MC meant when she said Cancer never sleeps but I just started talking about how even when someone has fought off the Cancer bug they are always worried it will come back.  

Her next question was more of a clarification.  "So even if you have fought the Cancer bug, it can come back?"

To this I replied, "yes, people who have fought the bug go back to the doctor every year to get checked to see if the Cancer came back.  Our friend Erin goes every year to get checked, Nana and Papa go every year to get checked. I guess that's why they say it never sleeps, because even though the Cancer bug is gone, it's never really gone."

Callie thought about this for a minute.  
Then she said, " I would be really scared and nervous on the drive to the doctor's appointment every year wondering if it came back."

I think she's probably right.

We lit some candles in honor of our Nana and Papa who have fought bug and attend their yearly check-ups.  We talked about our other Papa's brothers and sisters, the five who lost the fight and the two who are survivors.  And we lit a candle for our good friends. Because they lost their Papa not that long ago and we can imagine how sad it would be to loose a Papa to the Cancer bug.  
Celebrate - Remember - Fight Back

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