“Relay for Life” – what’s that? Isn’t that some sort of 10K race for charity? Oh, it’s for cancer victims? Well, I suppose that’s a good cause, though I don’t personally care all that much since I’m in perfect health and my family has no history of cancer. I don’t even know of anybody who’s fighting cancer. So, if you don’t mind, I’ve got lots of other things to take care of . . . .Yeah, I’d say that would have pretty much summed up my attitude about cancer 2 years ago. To me, cancer was something that other people got, mostly due to family history of cancer, poor diet, a stressful job, or living too close to power lines. Given that I was clean on all of these counts, I figured “no way” was that in my future. Quite honestly, I had never even heard of Relay for Life back then.
Looking back, it was likely that same arrogance that led me to believe for almost a year that the bulge on my outer left thigh was simply a “big muscle”. Then came the shocking diagnosis: Myxoid Liposarcoma. A further review of my biopsy slides indicated the presence of the Round Cell component, which made my case “high-grade”. Because of the size of my tumor and the “high-grade” characteristic of the cells, my cancer was classified as Stage III. According to some sources, only about 1 in 400,000 people annually are diagnosed with my condition, yet somehow I drew the unlucky short straw here. It just goes to show that anyone (regardless of living conditions or pedigree) can become a cancer patient.
So, why do I Relay? Here are my main reasons: