I was asked why I relay and it was an easy answer, I am a survivor. But that isn't all that answer entails, I am a survivor of cancer. My own, family members I have loved and lost, some that are still fighting the fight. Friends of my own and my childrens'. even dear friends here in Second Life. Three that come immediately to mind are Gem, Laurel and Gerardus. Nobody truly can understand how this disease affects the victim and those around them in such a devastating manner. My first bout with cancer came when I was 5 months pregnant with what would be my youngest child. At first, they pleaded with me to end the pregnancy, so that I could be treated. But I truly put it in the hands of the higher powers that be and told them I would not take my child's life for my own. I had previously lost her sister to stillbirth and before her a miscarriage. This was to be my final child and I would do all I could to assure she would be born. Months later, I gave birth to a full term, beautiful and healthy baby girl who has been such a beautiful light in my life. C-section birth and a month later the surgery to extract the cancer. Over and done with? No, not quite. Cancer would pay another visit to me and this time it was here to stay, as 10 years later I was again diagnosed with the disease, though a different rare form, and subjected to yet another surgery. This time the cancer remains in remission and has done so for nearly 10 years now. Parents, grandparents, and nearly a child have all suffered from this disease. A young man with six young children who was the best friend of my son, very recently passed away from brain cancer and has devastated many of us. My father in law, with lung cancer, and mother with stage 4 cancer as well.
As Shari put so eloquently, cancer rips us apart, personally, relationships, lives, all torn apart by the disease that affects all those around us. And that's why I relay, so that someday we may find a cure and to remember those who have passed through the veil already.
|With Shari Aerlinniel and Radon.|
Pictures by Catalina Staheli