I am so thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to tell my story as part of the American Cancer Society’s 100th Birthday Celebration. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Cancer Society.
My family spent this past Friday night at our local Relay for Life. It’s been an event that I’ve been involved in for almost 10 years now. My extended family has been affected by cancer time and time again – my aunt is a breast cancer survivor, my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather both lost the fight with cancer in the later years. For this reason and many others, the American Cancer Society has always been my family’s charity of choice. We participate in fundraisers and attend the yearly Relay Event.
A little over four years ago, the Relay for Life was being planned. My family had planned to take our antique cars to help draw spectators, and everything was normal. I got a call one afternoon that changed my experience at the Relay for Life Events from then on. I no longer walked the lap of a family member who had dealt with cancer – I walked as a Survivor.
I walked my first Survivor lap exactly one week before I had the surgery to remove my melanoma. It was such a surreal experience. I was 26, a newlywed of only 6 months, and had just been diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer. I walked that lap with my family watching – all of us so emotional at what was lying ahead for my journey.
I am so honored to say that I continue to walk as a Survivor in our local Relays. I am honored to say that I am cancer free – 4 years now! WAHOO!
I’ll admit – sometimes it’s hard to talk about the day I heard my diagnosis. I still well up with tears – I am doing so as I right – but I know it’s important. I know silence only means I lose and cancer wins. Knowledge is power.
I share with my girls everyday how important sunscreen is. I share that fact with anyone who will listen. I want anyone that sees me to see that I find so many more things important than how tan my skin is – that the years that I wasted trying to be something I wasn’t, were all in vain and could have taken my life. Not the most popular viewpoint sometimes, I know – but it’s the truth.
And I won’t be silent.
I know I'm not alone. How has cancer affected your life – your family?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Cancer Society.