Hope For Cancer Victims

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saturday morning there will be many Clay County cancer survivors wearing purple tee shirts that bear the words I AM HOPE.

They will be walking in the annual Relay for Life survivor's walk as part of the American Cancer Society's awareness campaign.

The event will take place at the Piggott Community Center beginning at 10 a.m.

Many of the walkers have participated in the annual event for many years. True, some have fallen by the wayside, but the courageous fight continues year after year.

Cancer is still an ugly word, but not as ugly as it used to be.

There are many success stories.

I am one of them. It has been 19 years since I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My younger brother survived lung cancer and my sister survived breast cancer. My father died of lung cancer in August 1977 after a three year battle. He was a heavy smoker and never conquered the habit.

Yesterday I received a letter from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The letter stated that St. Jude has helped triple the overall survival rate for childhood cancer since opening their doors in 1962,

No family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

St. Jude uses as its symbol the butterfly because "butterflies symbolize hope for a second chance at life."

Many cancer survivors are having a second chance to move forward and enjoy life.

All of us have been affected by the dreaded disease.

Those who have not been struck down by the disease, know someone who has.

I personally have friends who are survivors. There's the friend who has survived breast cancer and the neighbor who is a colon cancer survivor.

Sadly, just this year a friend was diagnosed with lung cancer. He is scheduled for radiation and chemotherapy..

Facing cancer is a frightening thing. The treatment is debilitating, leaving the patient weak and fatigued.

But there is always hope, the light at the end of the tunnel when the treatments will end and life can resume again.

What would the cancer victim have without hope?

There are many scriptures in the bible that express hope.

Romans 12:12 says "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

The bible speaks of the three greatest gifts: faith; hope and love. Yes, the greatest of these is love, but hope is a great gift, too.

We must always have hope for a better day, a better life, a future.

Without hope, we might give up before we start.

While my brother was battling cancer, there were times when he felt that life was over.

But it wasn't. It was a rough road but he made it and thrives today, enjoying those carefree days on the fishing lake

Some of us are fortunate enough to have extensions on our lives, more birthdays to celebrate.

No, not everyone defeats cancer, but the odds are getting better as research finds new answers.

We must fight, remember, celebrate and keep hoping.

Beginning May 22 the American Cancer Society will celebrate 100 years of saving lives and creating a world with more birthdays.