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.