We’ve talked about the “survivors” and what to call them.

We’ve talked about paying it forward while your a cancer patient and after you’ve had treatment.  We all learn so much about life, about dealing with a health crisis and about picking-up the pieces and returning to the nearest thing to a normal life.

So what about those of us who have picked-up the pieces of a changed life: A life without our loved ones who are gone because the cancer couldn’t be stopped? What do we do?

We do walks and runs and hold tributes and do fund-raising in memory of those we lost.

Is it fulfilling?  Is it enough to make the ache go away?  I can only speak for myself when I say it helps.  It helps because I imagine that some how, what little I do will in some way help the unsuspecting person walking through the doors at the cancer center.  Maybe they’ll see the “Chemo School” video that introduces them to their new world of chemotherapy.  Maybe it will help them understand what’s ahead and that will take away the fear and replace it with knowledge.  You can’t know enough about your disease and the treatment that awaits you.   Maybe one of the other educational videos I’ve done for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Hopkins will help and I do them all in Leroy’s memory.

Walking or running, wearing bracelets, pink ribbons, whatever we do to pay tribute to our people, it all makes sense to me.

We can’t hug them and tell them how glad we are that they made it through the ordeal.  We don’t have that happy ending, but they still live in our hearts.  I believe each and every one of them advanced the understanding of their cancers.  Each one of them mattered.

And we have to remember that every single day.

 

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