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Apr
30
2015

#RelayForLife

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I don’t usually post about personal things going on in my life, but today, I am.

Back in October of 2014 my aunt Judy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung and Brain cancer. I wrote a post about it back then, but could never bring myself to post it. It was just too…real. But here’s what I wrote, which has been sitting in my drafts since then:

Most of the time life goes by on a fairly normal path. Day-to-day is basically the same with a few variables thrown in for good measure. You get comfortable and  forget that life isn’t so easy for others. And then sometimes life decides to really mix things up.

Last week, our lives got all mixed up and we had no warning.

On the Sunday of Canadian Thanksgiving, my aunt Judy was taken to the ER because she’d been sick for so long with a chest cold and vomiting that it was to the point that she just couldn’t manage anymore. When her kids put her in the car to take her, she couldn’t even fasten her own seatbelt. There was just too much confusion and weakness. It was as if she’d forgotten how to do it.

Approximately 10 hours later, the diagnosis was clear. And devastating. And unexpected.

Lung cancer.

I wish I could say that was our low point of the week. I really do. But the time since those first two words were said has been a constant roller coaster of stomach churning drops.

Mid-week—Brain cancer.

Friday—we waited to hear if her emergency brain surgery had been successful. It was.

But her cancer is stage 4. Terminal. Such a cold, cruel, gut-wrenching word.

In one short week, we went from being our normal family, each doing their own thing to rallying around my aunt, facing our fears of mortality, hoping against hope, and trying to stay above water long enough to find out what came next.

Next became a series of tests and doctors visits. Whole head radiation, medication schedules, chemotherapy. And through it all, my aunt has stayed tough. Her road hasn’t been easy to travel, but she’s still taking it one step at a time.

Aunt Judy and me during our trip back home to visit her over Easter break.

Aunt Judy and me during our trip back home to visit her over Easter break.

So why am I talking about it now? Because I’m tired of feeling like my hands are tied by being so far away from my family. Everyone else cares for my aunt Judy in some way, taking her to doctor’s appointments, hanging out with her during her chemo appointments, watching food shows on TV and eating copious amounts of chocolate. I mean really, I could do that! I love chocolate!!

Well, I can’t be around on a daily basis to lend support, but I can help out right from here. So I signed up for my local Relay for Life event, joined a team, and started fundraising!!! And I would love it if you could help me reach my goal. Any little bit will help!

Please click on the link below to donate, find an event near you, or even start your own fundraising campaign.

http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=67469&pg=personal&px=13026603

Cancer sees no color, gender, or economic status. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It’s time to stand up and fight back. If we work together, we all benefit because at some point cancer will touch your life or the life of your friend or family member. When it does, wouldn’t it be nice to have a cure?

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Heather

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