My uncle has cancer. My father passed away from cancer. A close friend of mine as well. My roommates mom. My cousin’s husband is a cancer survive. An old friend from work is a cancer survivor. Many more in my circle of family and friends that are just to vast to count or list have been affected by this disease.
2005 marks the first time in two years I’m not putting my body through the hell of a 100 mile bike ride to raise money to battle this terrible disease. Yet I feel the need to do something. Whether its donate money, send a card, an email or anything to show them that I care. My thoughts of them aren’t enough. My prayers, while may be powerful, don’t make me feel as though I’m doing anything to help.
But through all of this the people who I feel for are those of us who are the “support group.” Believe me I feel for the cancer patient, survivor and victim (for lack of a better word), but the task of the support group is extremely difficult. These people look at our loved ones on a daily basis and see how they change. They are set to the task of ensuring they do everything in their power to help their loved one but sometimes they feel as though it’s not enough. I know, because I’ve been there.
When my father was suffering from cancer and every thing else that came with it, my mom, brother, future sister-in-law, and I were tasked with doing everything that we could to help him. My brother and I often talk about how we had two different fathers in the same person. During my brother’s high school and most of college years my father was strong and healthy. During my high school and college years my father was sick, often too sick to get out of bed. He would go to my sporting events in a wheelchair because he couldn’t walk. It broke my heart. Actually it tore my heart out. But I didn’t love him any less. I love him more. He was and always will be my father and no one can replace him.
One day I’ll get married and my future father-in-law my let me call him “Dad” but I may decline out of respect for him and my father.
As I mentioned earlier, my uncle is battling cancer. The doctors told him, his treatment may take 6-8 weeks. He was hoping for 6 weeks but on Wednesday he started treatment week number 7. I can only imagine what my aunt and my cousin are going through these days. My uncle is and will always be strong but cancer and its treatment knocks the shit out of you. It makes you humble.
The last two years I’ve taken pride in putting cancer survivors and cancer victim’s names on my jersey to ride in their honor. While this year I am not doing the ride for financial, physical and personal reasons – I was hoping to get into the NYC 2005 Marathon so my training changed – I am supporting the fight against cancer in other ways. Through donations, reaching out to family and friends and by staying informed. All I ask of my family and friends who read this blog is to either make a small donation or more importantly call someone you know who is battling or battling cancer to let them know you’re thinking of them.