Thursday, May 7, 2009

Life is a Squeeze Box and Relay for Life

There's no doubt about it.

Cancer or any serious illness can contract your life. Heck, even a bad cold can reduce your daily existence to a box of Kleenex, a bottle of Nyquil and a remote control.

What I didn't realize is that, sometimes, cancer can also expand your life in unexpected ways. I won't even attempt to name all the people (both online and offline) who have made my life richer. Today I'm going to talk about one of those people.

I met Bill Kavanaugh through his blog, Lymph Notes, and was instantly smitten. Who wouldn't be after reading about how Bill's (or Baby Billy Bird, as he refers to himself in the blog) friends dressed in costume when escorting him to his chemo sessions. Or how they painted his bald head like an Easter egg. Or how he spent the day at the Happiest Place on Earth. Or his poignant response to the repeal on gay marriage.

We met in person a few months ago and instantly hit it off, even though we're complete opposites. He had Hodgkins Lymphoma; I had non-Hodgkins.

But we're alike in one fundamental way: We both like to do good while having fun.

That's why I immediately said "YES!" when Bill asked me to be a co-captain for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Pasadena on May 30 and 31. (Click here for the complete schedule.)

Our theme is "Mutts for Marrow," and we're going to raise awareness of the need for mutts and minorities on the National Bone Marrow Registry while we raise money for cancer research and support.

Do you like to do good and have fun too? Sign up to walk with us. You can come for an hour or the day. I'll be making sugar-bone cookies as doggie treats, we'll be taking photos by the dog house and we'll share a pot-luck dinner on Saturday evening before the Luminaria. Yes, we'll have a doggone good time.

And, if you can't make it, maybe you'll throw us a little bone. I usually like to support smaller charities (like A3M) insted of mega organizations like the American Cancer Society, but when I found out that they provide free transportation for cancer patients here in the Pasadena area, I felt like I was seeing a more direct connection between my dollars and the local benefits.

I promise: Whether you walk or give, it will be a life-expanding experience.

40 comments:

Ronni Gordon said...

Say hi to Bill for me and have a great time doing good work.

Angie Brown said...

We love Bill, don't we? And I think I'm going to like your blog.... hang in there, I'll be thinking of you. And as for your coughing thing, I'd say, just go ahead and cough on 'em.... then shrug your shoulders and say, "I've got cancer." That will stop 'em in their tracks!! GOOOOOOO Mutts!!!!

Marcy said...

The fact that you do such wonderful things for others during what has to be such trying times in your own life, speaks volumes about the person that you are Susan C! I hope you, Bill, and everyone involved have a "doggone" wonderful day, and a great turnout for the cause! Keep up the good work! xo~

Baby Bird said...

I am so humbled by your kind words Susan. You are such the master writer. I am so much looking forward to putting on our spots and ears and noses and showing all the other Relay teams how fierce we can bark! And I'm so honored to have you as a co-captain

Gidyean said...

Sounds like a good organization!
I work in cancer research in Arizona and I see both sides. Seems some trials work great for some people, cancers and there are a lot that just don't for whatever reason. Mostly it boils down to the cost, which is a sad reality we have to deal with...
Best...
http://gidsgarb.blogspot.com/

Pie said...

Wooow.
I never thought of it that way.
My step father died from Pancreatic Cancer on December 10, 2007. He was one of the strongest people I knew. And it seemed impossible that anyone who was family of mine could ever have cancer. You, however seem stronger. And, I thank you for that. It...helps me in some way. Keep doing what you're doing. =)
You're very wise. Thanks again.

Marie said...

In peronally have seen the affects of cancer thiroid which is 100% cureable but is energy draining. Anyone with cancer deserves to be recognized as remarkable. Thank you for making so many aware. Check out my site to see how I tell it like it is. Chirp your song. You are an inspiration http://outspokenmarie.blogspot.com

K. Funk Nasty said...

Hi, you don't know me--I came across your blog randomly--but I really hope you enjoy Relay! Most survivors I talk to who go to it once end up going back year after year. Best of luck to you!

filipa_oliveira said...
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Froggy said...

Keep up the good work. It is the work of god that a person like you could do such great things.

Tom Zawacki said...

Hi Susan:

I found your blog on blogger's "blogs of note".

I also have NHL. First diagnosed 2/05 - did 6 rounds of CVP/R and a few rounds of maintenance rutuxan, went into remission. Recurrence 12/08, just finished 6 additional rounds of CVP/R + nulasta. Should have a PET scan next week (awaiting pre-authorization) to see how it went.

You story gives me hope, thank you.

Cancer has become a part of my life but I refuse to allow it to be my entire life.

Thanks for running!
Tom

薛二木 said...

知道了

BaldyLocks said...

The walk sounds like fun. I really hope I can start doing some things like that soon. It would feel great to give back.

Good luck with it all!

Aditi said...

congratulation! You are a blog of note!

Margie, The Fit Reality Chick said...

Susan, Thank you so much for this blog. It's so personal and powerful. It's truly touched my heart. I just lost my sister to cancer 2 months ago, and I've been sharing my experience through my personal blog http://mpowernow.wordpress.com Somehow writing helped me to figure things out and make more sense of my feelings.
It's important for people to know what people go through. I wish I knew more of what my sister was experiencing. Thank you so much for sharing this - you're helping me heal my heart.

xo
Margie

Lovely Jack said...

great!

Lovely Jack said...

I realy want to join you, but I am In China, far away from you!!!

CL said...

i no how it is like to have cancer i am crying as am writing this i lost one of my important member in my family i didn't even get a chance to see him all i knew was that he died of cancer... i'm really sad. My friends comfort me and say you have to keep smiling and be happy

Ali McGillicutty said...

My eight year old took all her buddies to our local Relay for Life event this year and had a ball, she has a personal interest in that she experienced first hand the loss of her grandpa to cancer last year!! Good luck and YOU GO GIRL!!!!!

southindiantelevision said...

As a cancer survivor, I agree with you and more!

I am lucky - six and a half years since Whipple's Procedure to remove a part of my pancreas, common bile duct, part of my stomach, omentum, etc., I am clear. Tests overdue actually, but busy schedule prevents me from getting them done.

And yes, post cure, my life is even busier than even before.

Keep up the good work!

southindiantelevision said...
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Lost and Learning said...

It is very intersting the different perspectives people have on cancer. I lost my dad to cancer almost a year ago and write about my life now on my blog: http://lostlearning.blogspot.com/
and how it has affected me. I read many of your posts only to find that your perspective seems to be much different than mine towards cancer and life with it; thank you for "broadening my horizons"

glorv1 said...

I visit a blog where my friend Renee has stage 4 cancer and she is truly a beautiful person as you seem. I wish you the best in all you do. Take care. My friends blog is at:
circlingmyhead.blogspot.com
Sometimes it helps to have more blogger friends and she has a lot of friends. Take care. Congratulations on blogs of note.

ness said...

You are a big inspiration to us all. Thank you so much for sharing.

You write so well. And live even better.

Susan C said...

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has left comments and shared their stories. Later this weekend, I hope to take time to visit your blogs too.

And thanks for cheering me on!

Cheeky Lil Devil said...

I did something similar in the UK a few years ago, when I was able after my Dad died of cancer. Best thing I ever did, and i've never felt so proud than on that day when I saw all those people working towards the same thing.

Best wishes.

Montag said...

I had to stop and think: all of us, small as we are, are capable of great things, just as I am reading about in this blog.

Wonderful

one planet said...

i just arrived her by sauturday blogging my husband looks boxen i dislike.. nice to be here
love andrea

CL said...

i hope i can hear more about you

best wishes.x

Concord Carpenter said...

Great job, Great blog - you roch!

God Bless You! - concord carpenter

WareHouse said...

I lost my mother to cancer 3 years ago. I have a lot of words to reveal but I don`t know how revealing, just can say you're very wise, keep up the good work!

Angels March said...

You have created a beautiful and inspirational piece of work with this blog. I'll be praying for both of you and reading your posts faithfully. God bless you!

Janica Te said...

i love your blog !
thanks for your posts I learned a lot !
Good luck!
:)

captain caleb said...

i love me some cancer xD

Anonymous said...

Very informative. I forwarded this to my friends.

Joe
Visit me at registry cleaners

Gabriel Popa said...
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Ashley:) said...

My sister was diagnosed with cancer and the Big C sucks! But our relay for life is this Friday and can't wait so much money is raised for a great cause

GiZmo said...

hello, great blogg!

i was wondering if you maby would take a look at my blog? i have already showed your to some friends of mine, would you do the same for me? My blogg is http://gizmo-my1blog.blogspot.com

geminirorie said...

your right cancer is a big diease me being only a 8th grader i relize it is bad. but it is tuff to see one of your close peoploe have it just like my grand mother

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