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I am a Cancer Survivor and I Won’t Be Silent. American Cancer Society Sponsored Video

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.

survivor lap

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.

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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 winsKnowledge is power.

famgirls

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.

Comments

  1. Congrats on being  a survivor and cancer free for 4 years!!

    I was also diagnosed with melanoma.  It was about 3 years ago now and (thankfully!!) it was caught so early it was considered stage zero.  I had an excision to remove the area around the mole and I've been very happy to have all my screenings since then be clear.

    My grandpa died of melanoma and my aunt has dealt with thyroid cancer off and on for many years.  My mother-in-law has had recurring episodes of breast cancer and that is what ultimately took the life of her mother.  They've had some genetic testing done so it is something that we'll definitely need to be aware of for my daughters in the future.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah!  Our stories sound similar.  I simply had to have the mole and area around it taken out.  It’s a prominent place on my lower leg, which to some might be unsightly, but to me it’s a great reminder to take care of my body and life my life!

      Great news on your health and I hope we both keep getting clear reports at the derm!

      Lindsey recently posted…My Keurig is GreenMy Profile

  2. My grandmother died from cancer (lungs and in various places) about 8 years ago and it seemed like yesterday. She was told that she had 3 months to live, but she died within 1 month of finding out.

    She had smoked much of her young adult life, and my mom and aunt are concerned about all of the second hand smoke that they had inhaled…so I fear that they will have it too. I struggle everyday to feed my kids the cleanest foods, make sure they get excercise, and limit as many toxins as possible.

    • Thank you for sharing, Alanna!  I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother and the fears of your Mom and Aunt.  That’s the thing – damage is done before we realize, usually.  Same was true with me and the tanning bed and I’m afraid will be true for SO MANY young women who continue to lay in them.  :(

      Lindsey recently posted…My Keurig is GreenMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] As a Melanoma Survivor, sun exposure and sunscreen are so important to me.  It's not only important for my health, but so extremely important for my children's. […]

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