It was unexpectedly sprinkling Saturday – as it was May. I participated in the America Cancer Society Relay of Life held at Torrance South High School with George, and Peggy – who has been a melanoma survivor for 26 years.
This event, in which cancer survivors in purple T-shirts, their supporters, high-school cheerleader girls in different uniforms, a chorus group from an elementary school, and more gathered, has been held in different cities, and for me it was the first time to walk.
From 9 am on Saturday till 9am on Sunday, the different survivor and supporter groups came in and out to walk on the track. There were even tents to sleep over and many booths to sell food and goods creating an up-lifting atmosphere, like a fair.
After the opening ceremony, once the survivors including some on wheelchairs and with canes started walking, cheerleader girls sent yells and many young and old men and women lining the track applauded in honor of the survivors; It was moving and emotional knowing so many people have survived and so many people cheered to beat cancer.
“ Cancer changed my life: My eyes were opened and I knew what really mattered in my life. I came to appreciate the relationships with my family and friends more than ever,” said a man who was cured from prostate cancer in his opening speech, and I thought that was true even for me.
It has been a year since May 7th, 2010 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was two days before Mother’s Day. When I fell in the darkness and was dismayed, I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep. It was so important that my family and friends cared – how kind they were. Their support has never changed – as of today.
Through loving people, our heavenly Father came to raise me up, has held me tight, and protected me. I, who was complaining so much about my life, noticed how much grace I had received, and the new days with gratitude began.
“ You look much better than when you were at work, (before my diagnose with cancer)”said Susan, my good friend, which pleased me.
Regardless of what is waiting for me in my future, my life is in my Heavenly Father’s hands, and that thought keeps me in hope and fills me with courage.