I’m doing this post a little different. There are no sponsors in this post. There is only me, my thoughts and an image that I took at Relay that touched my heart and helped spur on my yearly reflection. Usually I do this in private but since I decided as one of my New Year resolutions to be more open on my blog, I thought I would share what I am thinking, how I am feeling and what touched me the most.
Through the years, I’ve relayed in Second Life to fundraise for cancer research through the ACS. Not only to fundraise though but to remember, honor and support. Remember because I had cancer in 2007 and I know what it feels like to hear those words, “You have cancer” feeling that overwhelming fear that I will die from this great monster. Honor in memory of my friends and other loved ones who have passed from cancer. They are not here, while I am here. In support of my friends and family who have cancer, are caring for someone with cancer or who are struggling with the aftermath of cancer.
Several weeks ago, I answered the call to share my story. It was one of the hardest things that I have had to do. I live every day with survivors guilt. I live with knowing that I am here and many of my friends and some family are not. It is hard to come to terms with how I survived my cancer and the struggles I have every day with the overwhelming grief that one feels at the loss of a loved one to cancer. Losing someone is hard, but losing someone to cancer can sometimes be harder because it takes longer to lose them. Cancer isn’t sudden most of the time. Cancer doesn’t just take you. It is a slow, consuming monster that eats away at your body and the treatments make you feel like you are dying even while it should be healing.
I’m not going to post what I said in my interview here. I’m going to link to it on the website instead. Read my story, Kermie’s is there too and so many others. There is only 9 stories for now, but this is a living, breathing document so talk to Andyrook inworld for how you can add your story to the website.
This year’s relay was so special. The team walked with me and Kermie during the honor lap. We then walked the team lap…then later, while the Luminaria dedication ceremony was going on, they stood at the campsite and I streamed the ceremony to Discord for the team members who were unable to make it. They really pulled through at the last and some stayed up the whole night to walk or stand by the track to cheer on relayers. I saw many old friends, made some new friends, and now I’m ready to tackle the new year with Kermie. We’re ready to continue to bring the “game” to cancer and fight for a time when we don’t have cancer. I am proud of my team and I am so happy to be part of the relay community. People like Kermie, Sandie, Sting, Gem…. I could go on all day but then this post would become a laundry list of names. Check out our stories on the Second Life Cancer Stories website and decide how you want to help make a difference. GAME ON, CANCER! The Cure (definitely) starts here! GO RELAY! ~LA