I Wish She'd Had More Birthdays

Every year for the last 7 or so, I've participated in the Relay for Life.  I loved the idea of doing something to help others, enjoyed the events because it gave me a chance to pull together a team of friends, join for a common cause and generally have a great time at the overnight events.  And so, this became part of my yearly to do list which I very much looked forward to. My dad was diagnosed with stage II Laryngeal cancer in September of 2007.  And the relay had a different meaning for me. But, the odds were good and after 29 days of radiation, it was as if it'd never happened.  He's been cancer-free ever since and has had more birthdays since.

After that, I met the frog princess's dad.  He is a survivor of a pheochromocytoma. He'd been in a coma for 6 days before the doctors found out what was wrong and he remained in a coma for 6 weeks.  And the relay had a different meaning for me.  Malignant pheo's are rare and the survival rate at 5 years is 48%.  But he has been cancer-free since 2004 and has had more birthdays since.

Then, on April 6th, 2010, mami was diagnosed. I remember that the relay certainly had a different meaning for me that May.  Because it seemed that we were fighting a different animal this time.  We had a 10-month battle with cholangiocarcinoma.  We all fought.  We all prayed.  We thought we had a chance even though this type of cancer has a very low rate of survival.  In the end, Randall (it's what we called the tumor) got the best of her.  We don't say that he won because she is pain-free and in heaven now so the joke's on him!

Mami died 4 days before she turned 65.  And oh, I wish she'd had more birthdays!  I will once again sign up for our relay for life this coming spring.  Because I want to make sure that YOU and I have more birthdays. Do you participate in a local Relay?

This post is sponsored by American Cancer Society.