Any of you reading this who have cancer or whose loved one has cancer know all too well the relentless march of this disease. Even when it doesn’t kill you, it carves away its pound of flesh.
From a few months after I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2012 until 2017, I was a regular participant in a support group at the Cancer Support Center in Homewood. It’s a wonderful place with kind and loving people. I recommend CSC for its resources, its people, it groups, its education, and its solace.
For me—at least for right now—it is not the place for me. From 2013 to 2014, we lost six or seven people to cancer. It took a heavy toll. People die relatively slowly, a little bit at a time, right in front of you. I became anxious every week when Tuesday rolled around. I worried when I went to my group meeting that another person would have been taken, or another person would be in decline, or another diagnosed with metastases.
When my friend Mary died last year in April, that was the end for me, at least for now. I felt broken by her death. I felt angry. I felt exhausted. I felt and feel that I have little, if any, support to give.
Still, I want to honor these good souls. I want to give something.
May is bladder cancer awareness month, and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network hosts a walk each year to raise money and awareness. In Chicago the walk will be Saturday, May 18 at Northerly Island, starting at 10 a.m.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
1300 S Lynn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
Check-In: 9:00 AM
Walk: 10:00 AM
Special Notes: Dogs are welcome (except inside the visitor’s center). Along the walking path near the 12th street beach is a taco stand
with sandwiches and beverages (Del Campo Tacos).
The walk route is 1 mile.
Parking: Parking is available on-site for $2.00 per hour.
I’m reaching out to my readers to ask you to join the walk and to donate a small amount of money to BCAN’s cancer research. Sign up includes a t-shirt. You can also donate without attending the walk.
Among our Chicago BCAN group, we lost one member late last year, and I want to especially honor Cynthia. She was such a lovely person, and I feel grateful that I got to know her.
Cancer research might make it possible for women like Cynthia to live longer with bladder cancer, or even to live with it as a chronic disease instead of a killer. When I’m in a good place I even hope we’ll find a cure.
BCAN is responsible for the fact that we’ve made any progress on treatments for bladder cancer. Up to three years ago, there hadn’t been significant treatment improvements for 30 years. But a few years ago, research sponsored by BCAN delivered immunotherapies to the market.
We need to keep up the good work. I hope you’ll give to this fine organization.
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