Hard to believe that this will be my sixth walk. On Sunday, September 8th, Amanda and her two sweet kiddos and I will once again, head to Barrie to participate in the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope.
Some people wonder why we still do it. Others think it would be wiser to forget all this cancer stuff and get on with life. Surely that would be the better choice.
Perhaps, for some, forgetting is the way. But participating and walking and raising awareness and making a noise...that is how I am getting on with my life.
Ovarian cancer is a wretched and horrible cancer that slowly overtakes the body often before a woman even knows there is something up. Hence the monikers - the Silent Killer or the Disease that Whispers.
Why I was granted the luck/privilege/blessing of being found in the early stages, I cannot understand. Maybe God knew that He had a loud-mouth on His hands and if he let me stick around for a few more years He knew I would tell others; write about it; blog about it; learn and speak about it. I made a promise to God that if I survived the rigours of chemotherapy, then I would make it my mission in life to help raise awareness and funds to help other women not yet diagnosed.
I rarely ask myself why I walk each year because it just seems automatic - the right thing to do. But then I think of the girls, my oc sisters, who I learned to love. Then I look at my daughter and my granddaughter. I think of my daughter in law, my sisters, my cousin, my aunts, my girlfriends here and afar. I remember the ones afflicted and weep for the ones who have lost the battle. I pray for the ones not yet diagnosed.
It cuts me like a knife when I think about the precious lives lost to ovarian cancer - Jackie, Rosie, Daria, Becky and so many more.
Jackie was the sweetest soul. I met this brave woman when I went to my first walk in Barrie. She was such an encourager. I had no hair and was a bit of a bucket of emotions. She had been dealing with ovarian cancer for five years. She had all the right words to say and she handed me flowers and a hug that would unite us always. Now Jackie is no longer here. She succumbed to the wretched disease and the world has lost a wonderful person.
|Jackie's blue eye's twinkled. I felt as if we had been BFFs|
I will walk again this year and remember my friend, Jackie. Her precious smile lifted my spirits.
I will think of Dr. Rosie. A medical doctor who lost her valiant battle last November. We had become good chums via Facebook. Oh how she loved Jesus.
And Daria was a blogger to beat the band. Her witty posts brought a smile to my face every time. One day her husband appeared on her blog - with the sad news...
I didn't know Becky but I watched her little boy, her husband, her friends and family year after year walk in Barrie to honour this young mother's courage.
Cancer claimed the life of these beautiful women but their spirits live on. I will remember each of them on September 8th. I will look at my daughter and my granddaughter before we set out on our 5 km trek around the Barrie waterfront and I will pray that they never have to come face to face with the silent killer. I will give thanks to God that I am still here and am still able to be as obnoxious as I can be about getting the word out.
How grateful I am for all the people in my life who support me in so many ways. For those wonderful souls who help out on the committee and our faithful participants, many who come out year after year to our big Zeal for Teal fundraiser just so we can participate in the annual Walk of Hope - oh how we love you. This year we raised over $4000.00! How blessed we are.
For those who step out and sponsor us year after year. You always manage to find a little left over from the pay cheque - thank you.
For those who support us in prayer and with words of encouragement. We really need that to make it through the emotional stuff.
Such a bittersweet day. I always come home and for a short while and try to deal with survivor guilt. 'They' say that's normal.
Our ultimate prayer, though, is that some really clever people will soon be able to come up with an early detection test for ovarian cancer.
It just doesn't seem right that so many beautiful women are dying from this wretched disease.
I look forward to our annual mother/daughter weekend with Amanda and my two darling grandchildren. It's a bitter-sweet time but we always greatly anticipate helping to turn up the volume by lacing up and heading out. Barrie, here we come!