Trigger warning: I discuss cancer fairly bluntly in this post, and I just wanted to provide a sort of proceed with caution for anyone that may find this a difficult or painful topic. ~L.
I walked around the blogger preview for Fantasy Faire waiting for a phone call. I’d had a suspicious mole biopsied ten days earlier. That morning, around 10 am, I finally heard the words, “the biopsy was negative. It’s not cancer.” I heard those words as I was browsing Fantasy Faire, and it just struck me how it could’ve gone the other way.
Cancer runs rampant in my family. I know the odds are it will be me someday. I am vigilant and watchful, but I refuse to let it take over my life. There’s too much joy, beauty and love to be found, to be experienced. But I’m one of the lucky ones. Right now I just have to watch.
I know so many amazing, strong, smart, fiery people who have been down this road. I relay for them. The following is just the short list, but there are so many others, both SL and RL for whom I relay.
My great-grandfather died from leukemia, without even knowing he was sick until he developed pneumonia. He was diagnosed while in the hospital. He never returned home. I relay for him.
My (paternal) grandmother fought a seemingly endless battle against bladder cancer. She went in and out of remission about 10 times over a period of 15 years. She finally beat it, only to have had her kidneys utterly destroyed by the radiation treatments, and to have permanent nerve damage that made it difficult for her to walk. I relay for her.
My (maternal) grandmother has fought not one, not two, but three distinct types of cancer in just the past few years alone. Two different breast cancers and a rare form of lung cancer. She had part of her lung removed. She’s had two rounds of chemo. Years ago, she had pre-cancerous growths in her colon, and had to have over 3 feet of it removed. She’s also had pre-cancerous skin growths. I relay for her.
My grandmother’s sister, my great-aunt, had breast cancer in the 1980s. She felt the lump, but was terrified and paralyzed by fear. She waited too long to seek treatment, and the breast cancer spread to her bones. She saw doctor after doctor and was used as a guinea pig in various “studies” by less-than-honest “physicians.” It ultimately cost her her life, and a very painful death. I relay for her.
My great-grandmother lived to be 88. One weekend in late September 2000, she was gently scolded by my grandmother (her daughter-in-law and next door neighbor) for hanging her laundry out on the clothesline (instead of using the dryer). “Oh, but it’s such a lovely autumn day and it won’t stay this warm much longer,” she argued. Less than a week later we found out she had pancreatic cancer. She died the day before Halloween, but she was actually oddly fortunate. Pancreatic cancer is known to be rapidly progressive, but also often horribly painful, and she had very little pain. She felt she’d had a good life. She was happy, and able to die at home, as she wanted. I relay for her.
My grandfather had bladder cancer. They caught it early, and he had six weeks of chemo. It went into full remission. I relay for him.
My childhood friend, at the age of 36, found out he had leukemia. He’d felt rundown for a few weeks, and thought he had the flu. It was quite a surprise to find himself rush admitted to the hospital for blood transfusions and chemo. He has two young children. He’s now in remission. I relay for him.
My mother had pre-cancerous cells in her cervix. They probably would’ve remained undiscovered until it had turned into cancer, if not for the fact she’d gotten pregnant with my sister. Nearly 23 years later, thanks to the laser surgery to remove the cells, she’s still cancer free. However, with both her aunt and mother developing breast cancer, she is awaiting her own genetic test to find out if she’s a carrier. She’s already been a warrior for my grandmother, taking her to all of her many doctors’ appointments and chemo treatments, and always helping to get the answers needed when perhaps my grandmother wouldn’t have otherwise pushed (and without she might not today be in remission from three different cancers). I relay for her.
My father-in-law died from complications caused by chemo treatments he was undergoing for a very rare form of leukemia. I relay for him.
I’ve had to get lab work done once every three to four months for the past two years due to chronic, idiopathic leukocytosis (unexplained, long-term, high white blood cell count). I’ve had genetic testing done to see if I am a carrier for the genetic marker for leukemia (I am thankfully not). I know, though, that if any of these results come back over a certain mark, I will be going back to the oncologist to be evaluated for treatment. I know that every four months or so, I will wait, anxiously, for results that will probably be okay. But maybe not. I try to not dwell on it, but I’d be lying to not admit this… I also relay for myself.
I relay for every person who didn’t get to hear the words “you don’t have cancer.” I relay knowing someday it could very well be me, or my husband, or my mom… or my sister or any one of my friends of family members.
I relay for the hope that someday no one will have to even wonder or worry about whether or not they have cancer.
I relay because I care. Because it’s personal. Because it’s one, simple, tiny thing I can do to potentially help millions.
If you want to relay, too… stop by Fantasy Faire 2014 and check out the magic. With eleven sims in this event, there’s truly something for everyone. And even if you find absolutely nothing you want to buy, you will see donation kiosks all over the sims. Just drop some Lindens in one. Any amount adds to the donation total. Even if it’s just one single L. You can even purchase a RL Fantasy Faire pendant, in a wide variety of colors and materials, here. How cool is that?!? You can also donate online!
Cancer touches so many of our lives. I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who hasn’t been affected, either directly, or indirectly, by cancer. To me, that makes the RFL events personal for all of us. So my question now is… will you relay, too? To learn about why some other bloggers relay, visit the Why I Relay challenge page and check out the comments.
The Skinnery: Ming skin – honey w/lip gloss, blush and matte lips 3 layers
Truth: Lagertha hair – reds
IKON: Promise eyes – Passion
Mon Cheri: Falsies lashes
Sax Shepherd Designs: Devi Jewels – Durga – Bright Pearls – Bindi Fantasy Faire Hopes Horizon Sim
22769 Casual Couture: Elven wood gear – purple Fantasy Faire Hopes Horizon Sim
SLink: Mesh hands – fist & relaxed, Mesh feet – natural
SLink: Ilena sandals (for SLink feet) – brown
Noodles: Anyaiel Staff Lantern Silver Ultra Rare Fantasy Gacha Carnival
Ploom: Regal 3 pose – curvy (left arm position modified by holding the staff, which has a hold anim built in)
Shot on location at the Fairelands Junction.