I attended a “Get Started” meeting tonight for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. My sister-in-law, Nanci, joined me for support. While I have already been “getting started” on my fundraising for the 2011 3-Day and am already approaching the half-way mark to the $2300 requirement to walk (thanks to some generous donations as well as three highly successful eBay auctions!), I must say that this meeting was more enlightening than I had anticipated and it is still affecting me as I type.
A number of cancer survivors were in attendance at the meeting, and at times their stories nearly drove me to tears, or at the very least got me thinking. Maybe it was their own passion mixed with my own fidgety tendacies, but I frequently found myself wanting to shout out and join them in their passion for the cause. My story may not be as strong or heartwrenching as theirs, but (as you already know) I, too, have lost a loved one to breast cancer, and I, too, know the fear of the unknown and the possibility of disease permanently affecting my life… Let me share:
Not everyone I know may be aware of this, but I also have had a “brush” with a form of cancer. In early 2003, I had a precancerous mole removed from my chest. I was just barely 20 years old. It was a dysplastic nevi; a precancerous mole caught and removed at the earliest possible stage, before becoming a melanoma. I have many atypical moles on my body, which puts me at higher risk for developing melanoma. It may not be breast cancer, but it is just as scary and just as deadly. So I know the fear that people go through; the fear that maybe (just maybe) the next time you go it for an exam, that might just be the day you get the news… Because of this, I know all about the desperate hope and need for a cure.
This meeting gave me a mix of emotions in the span of a mere 90 minutes. The high of Pride; realizing that what I am doing will make a difference and will be recognized by thousands. The low of Truth; remembering that every day people are losing their lives toto this disease and that any day it could hit closer to home. The high of Excitement; knowing that I’m taking part in something so awesome and realizing the affect that it has in developing me as a person. And the low of Raw Emotional Power; hearing the cancer survivor’s personal (and often tragic) stories, then going home, looking at my young and innocent daughter and hoping that she will never have the need for what this cause is providing.
I’m still reflecting on everything that I have brought home with me from this meeting. I’m going to hold these emotions close to me as I continue to raise money… What a way to “Get Started”!
For more reading on dysplastic nevi visit: http://www.skincancer.org/dysplastic-nevi-atypical-moles.html
Current Status: My hooters are healthy. My heart is heavy.
Do it for someone you know whose hooters might not be healthy.
Do it for their skin, their lungs, their heart, their ovaries, their colon…
Make a donation today.