Friday, May 2, 2008

Relay for Life

This was my first real Relay. It started with a meal given for survivors and their caregivers. The meal was great and we sat with one of my students from several years ago whose grandma also had breast cancer years ago. I also got a purple Survivors shirt.

At the appointed time the survivors & their families gathered at the archway. You went through the arch I guess as a way of saying "i've been through it!" lol But first the emcee (Officer Drake) had opening comments. Unfortunately the speaker system was BAD and you couldn't hear him at all. They had given him quite a bit to say, then the anthems, then some speakers. The people around us were getting was something I haven't really seen before! "Let us walk!" "Finish!" Bless his heart, I felt really bad for him. He did let up one speaker, but when it came for the second and they caused such an outroar, that he said we'd start the walk. And so we did.

It was the most moving experience. As you went around the track, all these people were just clapping for you! And you'd see so many people you know from town from one thing or the other.. church or school, etc. They played songs like "the Rocky Theme" or "I Will Survive" or "the Chariots of Fire song". It was so cool! At one point we just threw our arms up as winners.

I did stay the whole night...till 7 the next morning. We caught Mardi Gras beads, sang with the karaoke, participated in the audience for an Ellen show. We learned to dance the Superman song and just had a really good time! Didn't win a darn thing though...and there was coolest Relay bookbag!! lol Every time they call for anyone who was walking at that time, we'd all run to the track like we were walking!

I hope to be more involved in it next year and am contemplating different Relay fund raisers like I did this year. Can't wait to be there again in 2009.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

outted myself - Kids Relay for Life

This week was Relay for Life. Our school also has a Kids Relay for Life where the kids make banners and walked down to the track, make a lap, and come back. It is a big event for us. That Monday, as we talked about what Relay was and where the money that we were raising goes, I talked about chemo, cancer, etc. One girl wanted to know how you got it, so I talked about bad cells...and that there were many kinds of cancer. They asked what do you do for cancer? I talked about chemo and what it does to the cancer and that that's why some people lose their hair. We talked about their family members who have or have had cancer. I told them You know, most people who have cancer.... (and they replied Die.) I said, No..they just don't hear about hear about they people who have died. I told them they would be surprised to know how many people actually had it and they didn't know about it. At this point one of my little girls says, "Like you!". I smile and said That's right. The group just looks at me WHAT?! I smiled and said Yeah, I had it last year. But I had the kind of cancer that you could have surgery to take it out. And after that I had chemo. Remember Meet the Teacher Night? I had on a wig! WHAT? NO WAY! yep. And when I came back with the haircut after Christmas? My hair was finally that long again and I wanted to wear it like that. WHAT?! I told them it was neat to be able to look online and find any kind of hairdo that I wanted...any color, any style, any length. I asked them to think about it: did I ever come to school moping or crying? No. Did I ever say Oh, I think I'm going to die? No. I asked several things that let them know you can have cancer and still be OK!! Functional! Play frisbee! Be Normal! They asked why I hadn't told them sooner...why did I wait until the end of school? I said...cause we just now had Relay for Life. :o) So we made our Relay banner...and put our handprints on it. Those who had family members or friends who had dies we remembered. And those who were still with us, we honored. I told them if they didn't know anyone, to put my name down. It was a great walk and I think much more meaningful to them with them knowing.