WOW! The last two years have flown by. I remember this day like it was yesterday and when I sit down to think about it my emotions are almost as strong. The difference between then and now, I have no fear.
Today is my cancerversary. It’s not a day I celebrate but a day I recognize. It’s the day that my life changed forever. For better or worse, well I’m not quite sure but I don’t want to give cancer any credit. Cancer doesn’t deserve it. I feel like I have a better perspective on life, a bunch new friends, but my body is still recovering from the beating. I will celebrate my survivorversary in Novmeber – the day I finished treatment.
Two years ago today at 1:03 PM, I got that call. The call that I swear wasn’t going to happen. The call where they were supposed to say what everyone else was thinking. Ironically, I was on a conference call about emergency management. (I don’t typically answer my cell phone while I’m on a work call but…I was expecting this call and I expected it to be quick.) Unfortunately, I can still hear the nurse’s voice in my head. The voice that said “I’m sorry, Rebecca, but the results came back positive. The results are positive for cancer.” After that, I didn’t hear anything else she said. I went back to my conference call and said I had to drop off. I had my own emergency to deal with. I went in the bathroom and immediately felt like I looked different. I had a hard time looking at myself in the eye and saying those words…you have cancer. I was the scaredest I’ve ever been in my life.
Fast forward to today…I can look at myself proudly in the mirror and say I am a cancer survivor! Yesterday, I participated in the Puget Sound Race for the Cure. I didn’t get to run because I joined the committee in late March and I had duties. I was on the Teams committee to try to get more people signed up – especially from the Olympia area. Just a few weeks ago I got an email from the staff at Komen office looking for a new co-chair for 2013 – the 20th anniversary of the race in Seattle. I applied and met with the staff but I thought since I’m coming in late in the game, I didn’t have a chance. Guess what…I have the chance. I’ve been named along with another lovely woman the 2013 Race for the Cure Co-Chair! I’m estastic. For me it’s the ultimate project to show off my awesome project management skills. It’s a project, it’s for a good cause, and I feel like I will get to make a difference. Something I was looking for before cancer.
As a participant, I recieved a race shirt – a pink shirt to be exact. As a survivor, you get a pink shirt and as a non-survivor you get a white shirt. There are times where I’d rather have a white shirt. There are times I wish I wasn’t in this special pink shirt club.
Since I will be one of the race chairs for 2013, I was asked to lead the survivor parade today with the 2012 co-chairs and top survivor fundraisers. I was honored to wear the pink shirt. I was honored to lead the parade. There were 600 survivors! See we all can make a difference…and that’s proof!
After the race festivities ended, I met up with a new friend who is a brand new member of the pink shirt club. It breaks my heart to have to welcome new women into this club. However, I’m happy to try to ease any fears and share my experience. I’m happy to tell the women, that once in this club, you have a whole new set of friends who will be there with you along the way. We support each other and it’s a good feeling to know you can reach out to the pink shirt club.