Five months ago, January 9th, 2013, I launched this blog. Yesterday I had the honor of addressing those in attendance at the Relay for Life in Towson, to benefit the American Cancer Society. There I was, sitting next to my Survivor, waiting to speak to the crowd, and I glanced down at my phone to see the blog had rolled over to 10,000 views.
Understand, and for those who follow this blog you may know the story, but the genesis of my getting back to my roots of writing is the journal I began over at Caringbridge.org, (search debbiebrodinsky), when my wife Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2012. My journal about our journey and the reaction to the story, led me to the decision to start my own blog about life… the moments, the dreams, and the much bigger journey we all take part in.
10,000 is a milestone, and I thank each and every person, who by making the choice to read my words, has put an indelible stamp on my heart. And we are just getting started. But the coincidence cannot be denied. It felt like the universe gave me a little wink last evening, as there I was, sitting next to the person who inspired this all, my survivor, Debbie. In life, you let the worst get you down, or you rise above and find a way to make the most of a bad situation.
No one could have predicted what would happen to our family. No one can predict what has happened to those in attendance at the Relay last night. No one could have predicted I would be standing there, with the opportunity to share my story as a Caregiver, and a spouse of someone who has battled breast cancer. And no one could have predicted, because the ultitmate resolution was out of our hands, to have the chance to have my wife, the mother of my children, get to stand up and be recognized as a One-Year Cancer Survivor. As I spoke, and with my history as a TV producer, I made sure not to bury the lead… and I began by asking Debbie to do just that, to stand and be recognized, because while the story has value, the very foundation of that story is her, healthy, beautiful and cancer free.
But as evidenced by those in attendance, not all stories are the same, way too many still end in death and many, many still battle every day to stay alive. Some of those there last night have recently lost loved ones to cancer and even through the sunglasses shading those eyes from the setting sun, I could see the pain, hurt and sorrow.
As I write this morning, most there spent the night, walking, talking, hugging, remembering, giving hope, guidance and in still too many circumstances counseling for the grieving process.
We learned there is always some lingering doubt. As Debbie took her walk around the track for the Survivor Lap at the start of the Relay, she struck up a conversation with a woman who had beat breast cancer 13 years ago, only to have it return recently, this time in her lungs. Sometimes life is such a bitch.
More than $40,000 was raised last night by those who took part in the Relay, and as I told the crowd when I spoke, every dollar makes a difference. It’s money, awareness and the dedication of so many who are paving the way to someday find the cure. I spoke with someone the other day who said he didn’t think we would see it in our lifetime. I couldn’t disagree more, but even if we don’t, I’ll take it when ever it happens, to save the lives of our children and grandchildren. Besides if you don’t fight, you can’t win.
So game on. One day victory will be ours.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.