As I watch the Stand Up For Cancer special, I remember when I was 27 years old and learned I had cervical cancer. The doctor called me and left a message at the house while I was on vacation. I was at Six Flags with my daughter and had called my husband from a payphone and checked in and he told me the doctor had called. I called back from the pay phone and learned the news. I was stunned. Shocked. I went home, called my husband back and told him the news, and cried.
I was lucky, my cancer was stage 1, non-invasive. I had a partial hysterectomy and was done. Though I couldn't have any more children, I was alive and I was glad.
Several years later I got skin cancer. I've had it several times more since the first time - too much sun when I was a teenager and tanning beds later. Again, I was lucky - basil cell mostly, no melanoma. All removed, though I had to have surgery on my nose and a lot removed and rebuilt.
A few years ago, my brother in law got a brain tumor. He fought the good fight, but lost. We supported him and loved him and watched as he gradually deteriorated. Brain tumors are an awful form of cancer - relentless, without pity.
Lately, I've been dealing with my daughter's friend who got breast cancer at 29. She went through it all - the chemo, radiation, breast removal, beginning the reconstruction after a lot of suffering when they found more cancer. She's now - at 31 - going through her second round of chemo. I pray for her often. I hope - no, I KNOW she will beat this. She has to. She just got engaged. Is just starting her life.
So, if you can, donate to cancer research. Too many people suffer, too many die. Help make a difference.