Many are familiar with October being recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We believe over time, the month has become not only a symbol for breast cancer but all forms of cancer. Decades have past when the news that a love one who has cancer was almost hand delivered a death warrant. Though, we do not at any level make light of the subject, the fact is we have come a long way to understand causes and treatments of cancer. So what is cancer?
“Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout your body.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening and cancer treatment.” *Mayo Clinic
Though we hear more about the negative results of cancer, what about those that fight it? What about those people who are our friends and love ones that in a very humble and discreet way face this disease head on? We only hear of those or should we say remember those after they have passed when we should recognize those that are fighting and fighters!
Here is a summarized story of a very special lady in our community. She is the beautiful wife for 21 years to her partner and good friend supporting a lifestyle based on attitude while providing a clear sense of support and dedication to helping others. We look from the outside in and always see what is on the surface never asking the right questions, so we did.
“On April 13 2012, my life changed forever. I went to the doctor for what I thought at the time was a routine kidney infection check up, that day I learned I had colon cancer. My initial reaction was denial. There was no way this could be happening to me, but it was. I was scared and the next few month’s would become a rocky path. Surgery was the chosen direction. After going under the knife and receiving chemo I was finally cleared. It was an ongoing fight, but I put up with the challenge and in the end, I was relieved.
Eight months later, I was at work and the unthinkable happened. I hemorrhage and nearly died. When we had tests done I was diagnosed with ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer. My family, my husband of 18 years and my coworkers all rallied around and with me. I had beat this once we could do it again! The plan? To fight and never give up! So that is what we did. More chemo, surgery and radiation plus all the treatment for 5 weeks wrapped up into just 10 days. We did it again, we beat it! Today I am in remission, and even though I suffer from the side effects such as IBS ,chrones and PTSD will never leave me I have learned just how strong I am.
This experience wasn’t all bad. I was sick, my body was broken and my emotions were all over the place, but with every step, my family and I fought. I learned a little more about myself and the people I love. I have a purpose, to serve my community, to educate other women about the dangers of cancer and how you can over come if you just fight. I am something more than before, because today I am a survivor.” Dee Davidson
We want to share this story at the right time, as we all can use a little inspiration and motivation, and that is exactly what Dee offers. After knowing this wonderful person for over a year, our families have become friends. She is part of a great group of people who have formed a group called the Bearded Sinners and the Lady Sinners. The focus is simple. Help those who can’t help themselves at the current time. They, as Dee is, are humble great people who step out of their own daily challenges to help in any way those they believe need a little bit of extra support.
This month should be more than just about awareness, it should be about celebration. Yes, education and being prepared is extremely important when in the battle of cancer, but recognize those who have won the battle or are currently fighting. Help give them the strength! Give them the love and support so they know the fight is worth it all. When they do win, celebrate! Celebrate this month those who quietly give us the inspiration to live.
This story is dedicated to a great friend Terry Cates, who has been battling a rare form of cancer for years. His determination in life to spend just one more day with his beautiful wife and son is amazing and an inspiring. May I always fight as hard as you in life. May I make an attempt to be the man you are.
Brian “Big Boy” Whitcomb