Every year for the last 7 or so, I've participated in the Relay for Life. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â He's been cancer-free ever since and has had more birthdays since.
After that, I met the frog princess's dad. Â 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. Â And the relay had a different meaning for me. Â Malignant pheo's are rare and the survival rate at 5 years is 48%. Â 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. Â Because it seemed that we were fighting a different animal this time. Â We had aÂ 10-month battle with cholangiocarcinoma. Â We all fought. Â We all prayed. Â We thought we had a chance even though this type of cancer has a very low rate of survival. Â In the end, Randall (it's what we called the tumor) got the best of her. Â 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. Â And oh,Â I wish she'd had more birthdays! Â I will once again sign up for our relay for life this coming spring. Â Because I want to make sure that YOU and I have more birthdays. Do you participate in a local Relay?