One day, I was talking with a friend and she asked if she could give my number to her friend Pat. Apparently, Pat was looking a speaker for the Relay for Life and my friend thought she should nominate me. Ha, I am not a speaker. I reluctantly agreed as I didn’t even feel qualified to speak on the subject of cancer.
Later that day, I received a call from Pat and we spoke about my story. I enjoyed our conversation, but there I was now having to come up with something to say. She told me to just tell my story. I spent the next few weeks writing down my story in case I went blank on stage and was I glad to have it written because I think I read straight from the pages.
Relay for Life: Sharing My Story
Before Relay for Life and my speech, they invited me to the survivor/caregiver luncheon on April 6, 2019. It was a nice to meet survivors and hear their stories. I bet you can’t guess who I took as my caregiver. MOM, of course! We sat with my friends Bonnie and Dawn and had a wonderful time.
Then April 12, 2019 came and Relay for Life was on. It was speech day and I was so nervous. I had friends and family that came out to support me, which made me more emotional. I remember Pat calling me to the stage and announcing me as the guest speaker. My heart just fluttered, but I took the microphone and told my story.
There was one part of my story that really tore at my heart and made me start crying. It was the story of my son Nolan laying in bed with me asleep. He was tossing and turning and moaning. I left him alone until I saw he was in a fetal position and crying. Putting my hand on his shoulder, I gently shook him awake. He turned to me and said, “mom, you died.” My heart sank immediately. As I was telling this part of my story, I looked down and saw my oldest foster daughter hugging Nolan and they were both crying. That did it, I was done…let the waterworks flow! I did manage to get through my speech and I felt better for doing it.
A Fun Filled Evening
The rest of the evening I hung out with my friends and family, spoke to the local journalists, snacked on food and walked the track. Later that evening we sat down to watch the slide show of people fighting cancer, surviving cancer and memorials of those that passed from cancer. The saddest thing was seeing all the people we knew that had passed on: my Aunt Viv, my Uncle Marvin, Santos’ mom, Santos’ Uncle Roy, our friend Janie. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
Cancer is a beast and you really never know what it is going to do. The best thing you can do if you are in the midst of it is to share your story for others that may be feeling the same things.
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