Disclosure: “I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
Tonight I would like to share a story with you about a personal cancer scare from years ago that changed my life forever.
About six months after my son was born, almost 8 years ago, I went to my primary care physician’s office to have him look at a mole on my leg that concerned me. It had begun to change shape and color, and I knew enough to be concerned about the change in appearance. My doctor took one look and grew concerned too. Instead of removing it in office, which he typically did for moles, he decided to send me to a surgeon to have it removed so it could be biopsied.
To say I was scared would be an understatement. I was terrified.
I’m a born worrier. It’s a part of who I am, so when my doctor showed concern about the mole on my leg, I instantly began to think the worst. And my fears only grew when I went to see the surgeon. I asked him what his professional opinion was based on the look of the mole, and he wasn’t very encouraging or optimistic. He was concerned too. That’s never a good sign.
The wait to get my biopsy results back was the longest wait of my life. It felt like an eternity.
During that time, I couldn’t look at my son without thinking I may not see him turn a year old.
I couldn’t look at my daughter without thinking I may never see her graduate.
Those kinds of thought cycled through my mind on a very regular basis to the point it affected my appetite. Food seemed unimportant.
All I wanted to do was cry because I didn’t want to leave my kids without a mother.
Thankfully my biopsy results came back negative. It was a welcome surprise. Others aren’t so lucky. And there may come a day that I’m not. There are other moles in my body that I’ve been told to keep an eye on because of the way they look. It’s a scary thought, so I try to protect my skin now by wearing sunscreen.
Ultimately, my scare led me to a story I wrote and later published.
As I wrote A Second Chance, I was able to pour all of my fears about death and cancer into it. It’s no lie when I say I cried writing it. It was incredibly difficult to relive all of those emotions…and to delve even deeper. But I wanted to try and depict the inner turmoil a parent must feel when faced with the kind of news cancer patients so often hear.
(If you try searching for the story on Amazon right now, you won’t find it since I’m in the process of updating the cover and name it’s published under.)
My grandpa was one of the ones who wasn’t so lucky. He battled cancer for years and eventually succumbed to it. His cancer started on his scalp. And by the end, he was just a shadow of the man I had always known. He was sick and in so much pain and yet he held on to give my family down south one more Christmas with him. That’s who he was…an incredibly selfless man.
I know watching him lose his battle took his toll on my grandmother, my aunt, cousins, etc. who lived down there with him.
Since my life has been touched by cancer more than once, I was honored to be chosen to participate in this campaign and to virtually walk in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, presented by Hyundai. I love that $.90 out of every dollar is donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with the goal of kicking cancer to the curb in children and adults by helping to fund cancer research, treatments, clinical trials, support survivorship programs, etc. The remainder of the money is used to for fundraising activities and events.
My personal goal for the walk is $400, but I’m hoping to raise more than that. My husband already contributed $25 with the intention of giving more in a few weeks. If you would like to donate, please do. No amount is too small and it’s very appreciated.
Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk info:
- Presented by Hyundai
- When: September 27, 2015
- Where: There are four locations from which you can start.
- Hopkinton – 26.2 miles
- Wellsley – 13.1 miles
- Boston College – 5 miles
- Dana-Farber – 3 miles
- Walk ends at Copley Square where there will be food and music
- You can also participate virtually if you are unable to attend in person.
The walk website contains a variety of tools to help you successfully raise money. Ideas include personalized letters and emails, share info on social media, including Facebook, etc.
Sign up for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Enter discount code BLOG to save $5 on your registration fees.
Connect with the Jimmy Fund