Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why I support Relay: By Heather Janssen

The next guest writer on the blog is super star Heather Janssen, who I blogged about a few posts ago. Here we are at race for the cure in '08. Heather was still in treatment, and it was a phenomenal experience. I would highly recommend it!

You never realize how much cancer has robbed from you until you look back at the way things were. The grief can be overwhelming when you stop the whirlwind of “normal” life and realize, not only did you lose a lot of the moments every old lady in the grocery store says to “treasure,” but that you lost the na├»ve assumption that there would be endless moments to have.
When I was first diagnosed, I began my own “relay” of trying to pack a lifetime of memories and shared experiences with my family into the few short months I thought I had. Never mind that I knew that a few months of camping trips, bike rides and story-times together would never, ever begin to make up for my four daughters losing their mom. I was determined to try anyway.
As the months have now turned to years and I’m still around (and still a slacker mom, after all, come to find out,) what remains is twofold: 1) a sense of urgency to make every moment “count.” And 2) immense guilt that I can’t live at that high-octane frenzy for very long before growing too weary and giving up. So I live in this bizarre half-world (populated by wierdos like Eliza) where I’m known to go all manic sometimes out of fear that the cancer is going to come back; where there are days when I really just don’t make the most of every moment, because I’m too tired; where, while we look normal, we who live on the planet feel like we’ve got an extra limb or two, or a third eye because we’re removed and apart due to the cancer schmancer. While it’s lonely here, please don’t visit. I don’t want to share this hazy netherworld with anyone else. It’s too dark, too scary, too tragic. Plus, you have to have a third eye or one enormous bicep, and we’d feel bad that you took it literally, the whole weirdo thing.
I support Relay because those of us pummeled by cancer need the freedom and hope to create a new normal within the confines of this universe--one that will, sadly, never be quite as carefree and naive as life before cancer, but hopefully full and vibrant once again. And hopefully full of bizarre aliens for us to laugh and point at.

Please follow the link on the side bar to donate to my relay for life efforts
give a little, to what has taken a lot

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