In this weekly homage to what Inspires me…my mind keeps coming back to the event I attended last weekend at Red Rocks Cancer Center in which they were celebrating National Cancer Survivors Day. In working with cancer patients for years now, I have seen them on their good days and their bad days. I have seen them fight, get tired, slow down, get pissed off and then get right back up to fight again. Day in and out, each person I meet leaves an impact on me and always makes it easy to put my life into perspective. Does getting stuck in traffic really matter? No, not at all. Does having to go to the dentist really need to ruin my week. Nope. Is fighting with a family member or friend really worth the energy it takes to be mad at someone you love? Never. I make sure I remind myself each time I go to the cancer center that none of that little stuff really matters in comparison to you or someone you love hearing those three little words… “YOU HAVE CANCER.”
Being that last week was Red Rock’s inaugural celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day, my understanding was the cancer center only expected to have a few hundred people come out for the festivities; which included games, food, drinks, face painting and special speakers. Well, in actuality, there was over 800 people that had registered for the event on site, but surprisingly most everyone I have spoken to since didn’t even registered! So that means approximately 1000 local cancer survivors, friends, family and care takers came out to the event to show their support of their loved ones or their pride of their own battle. They came to meet each other, congratulate each other, share stories, rub elbows with their doctors and to show their proof that they are fighting this terrible disease that takes too much from too many. Basically, give cancer THE finger. With the simple act of their attendance they are shouting to everyone, “you can’t bring me down so easily, I am here to fight.” They are making it known that they may win, they may lose, but they are survivors and they deserve to be celebrated!
What Inspired me about these people are the visible signs of what the cancer took; the women who made no attempt to hide the fact they had a mastectomy, the wigs, the bandanas, the stories and simply the human spirit. Cancer survivors… you Inspire me every day. You have taught me to live hard, love everyone close to me, learn as much as I can, laugh more than cry, pick my battles wisely and what it means to be a fighter. For that, I thank you.