I'm not sure it would be quite right to say "Happy World Cancer Day!" - it's not exactly something I want to celebrate. Nonetheless, today is World Cancer Day and you can find out more about that right here: http://www.worldcancerday.org/
I have thought about cancer every day since I was very small. My cousin lost his leg to cancer, my neighbors nearly lost their son, and I knew the C word even though I didn't fully understand it. Cancer was scary, it made people lose their hair, and sometimes people died. That was about all my 6 year old brain could understand about this terrible disease. I remember wondering what those people had done wrong. As I got older I understood a bit more, but I was still quite certainly confused. I remember saying "well, he didn't smoke, so how did he get cancer?" It was that simple in my 9 year old mind, people who smoke get cancer.
When I was 11 I received the shock of my life. My father who had never smoked a day in his life got cancer. In hindsight I know the smoking factor had nothing to do with it (especially considering he had colon cancer). I was angry and confused but I had seen friends and neighbors beat cancer. Some lost limbs, some lost their hair, but very few people in my young life had died from cancer. Unfortunately, my dad wasn't so lucky. He didn't lose a limb, and he didn't lose his hair ... he lost his life ... and I lost my childhood.
I now know a lot more about cancer. I only wish I knew the cure or a sure fail way to prevent it.
I guess I am happy about a few things today:
-I'm happy there are preventative things I can do to care for myself so hopefully I will not leave my children until they are grown and loving babies of their own
-I am happy there are people working toward a cure
-I am happy my children do not have cancer and I hope we will find a cure before they have to know a thing about it
For those of you battling cancer or dealing with it in your family, what are you thankful for this World Cancer Day? I'd love to hear how cancer has touched you and how you are moving forward.