Barbara's Reflections: Not A Victim, Not A Survivor, A Conqueror!

August 3, 2011

Today I stood on the steps of the State House in Austin, Texas along with a thousand or so other good people who were trying to send a message to Congress to spend more money on Cancer research. We were there to support the March for Cancer taking place in our country's Capital, Washington, DC.

Dear OBGYN.netters,

Today I stood on the steps of the State House in Austin, Texas along with a thousand or so other good people who were trying to send a message to Congress to spend more money on Cancer research. We were there to support the March for Cancer taking place in our country's Capital, Washington, DC. We didn't have Sam Donaldson or anyone that you folks would recognize but we did have a group of plain everyday people like you and me, speaking about cancer and what it has meant to them and their families.

Our Mayor was there with his three-year-old son in his arms. He spoke about his journey with cancer and about the loss of his Grandparents, Mother-in-law and Father from cancer. His mother had a bout with Breast Cancer a few years ago and is doing very good now. He is a man in his forties and he has traveled this difficult road many times, both for himself and for his loved ones. He has a great sense of humor and brought a laugh to the crowd when he shared the story of how last year, when his Dad was still living and they sat around the table for Thanksgiving Dinner they all gave thanks, "because everyone had their hair"!

Several other adults spoke about the loss of loved ones or about past treatments that they had gone through….. But the ones that touched my heart the deepest were the children who spoke. I was unprepared for seeing them. I guess I forgot that they get it too and this in not just a grownups disease, it's an everyone's disease. An eleven year old boy spoke about his journey with cancer and the treatments he undergoes once a month after fighting for two years to stop the growth of his cancer. He looked like my grandson's friend and I cannot tell you how deeply he touched me as he spoke. Such courage and from such a young child.

I think the one that left me with the most to think about was the teenage girl with leukemia, two years out. A beautiful girl with long hair and a big smile standing on the steps of the Capital telling us Why we need to spend more money on Cancer Research.. She talked about the fact that just ten years ago her chances of being alive were only ten to twenty percent; but with new research and new treatment protocols now her chances of living are ninety percent!

She said she is not a Victim or a Survivor, she is a CONQUEROR! Marlisa gave us this to remember.

C: Courage

O: One day at a time

N: Never give up

Q: Quit? Not me

U: Must Never give up

E: Everyone is touched by it

R: Research, our only hope

O: One person Can make a difference

R: Remember You CAN Beat It

I loved this girl. She's my kind of gal. Courageous, hopeful, intelligent, a fighter. She has to be a fighter because she needs that to be a Conqueror. A lot of the people that live are those that face this damn thing square in the face and give it the fight of their life and do everything there is to be done and then go on everyday knowing they gave it their best shot. They find a way to put it in its place and go on with life. Marlisa has done this. No, I'm sure she Never forgets it, "The Big C"….

Sure; it's always lurking in our mind somewhere, we always remember; but it doesn't have to take over our life. Marlisa has found peace in her life; she has come face to face with death and found a way to go beyond it. She is an inspiration to anyone fortunate enough to be around her.

My oldest son Kevin went with me today. He wore ribbons for his Dad that died of Colon Cancer ten years ago, one for me, two and a half years out with Breast Cancer and one for his friends Mom that has had three rounds of Breast Cancer and is now loosing her final battle.

I didn't wear one for everyone I know that has had cancer. People like you who have written to me at OBGYN.net; because they know I will understand their fear of Breast Cancer surgery because I am their Sister….. But I did think of you during the moment of silence and during the minutes when all the church bells in Austin rang at the same time for the hope that our Government will release additional funds for Cancer Research. I thought of you and hoped that you were well.

It was a moving and wonderful experience and I was proud of all of us who were there. Proud of my son, proud of him standing there with me, proud of being a part of something worthwhile, necessary, and at the same time beautiful. I will remember today and the people that were there….. Forever.

Why not take a moment and write your Congressperson and tell them to vote "Yes", for Additional Cancer Research Funding. It may save a loved ones life one day. It may even save your life.

Remember everyone get that Mammogram! It could be a giant step towards good health…

Fondly,
Barbara