Nearly 6 years after being diagnosed with cancer, I continue to be blessed with remission and good health. But I never forget the days where it was tough to see this as a possibility--the days when my treatments were not working, and I was out of conventional options. I remember how it feels to be brought back to life with a breakthrough immunotherapy treatment that worked incredibly well for me. This life-saving treatment would have not been available if not for the amazing researchers who dedicate their life to finding new treatments. Anyone who has experienced cancer personally or with loved ones knows that new treatments are desperately needed.
Facing cancer in a Covid-19 environment is a whole new challenge. My mother casually mentioned it was time for her annual mammogram last month and she was planning to stay on schedule. When she shared this, I recall feeling some concern around going forward with a routine screening given she was in a high risk group for Covid-19. I am so grateful she got that mammogram. That mammogram led to additional testing, a biopsy and an early-stage breast cancer diagnosis. She had surgery earlier this week and will be starting radiation soon. Her prognosis is good given the cancer was caught early. When I asked her if she was open to me sharing her recent diagnosis, she said yes! She wanted to remind and inspire everyone to keep up with their cancer screenings, even during a pandemic.
I am looking forward to walking for 6 hours a during the virtual Relay for Life event on July 11th. My goal is to walk 20 miles. The first hour will be dedicated to a full and sustained recovery for my mom. The second hour will be dedicated to caregivers and health care providers. The third hour is to thank cancer researchers for their passion and dedication. The fourth hour is to honor cancer survivors. The fifth hour is to honor and remember those that have not survived cancer. And the sixth hour is for hope and more birthdays!
I hope you will consider making a donation in support of ACS. In this environment, support is needed more than ever to find cancer researchers and provide services to cancer patients as they navigate this new world. I am endlessly grateful for the support you continue to provide to me and others impacted by cancer, and am humbled by your generosity.