Tonight I am going to Space Coast Cancer Foundation’s Daffodil gala, this is the organization that I have been doing volunteer work for just over a year, The Foundation helps cancer patients with transportation to treatment, underwriting treatment itself, funds the various support groups etc. It is REAL help to local cancer patients.
At tonight’s Gala, I am receiving the honor of “Survivor of the Year”. I am finding this to be a very humbling thing for me. I have so much respect and admiration for this group of people, that to somehow be singled out……..well, let’s just say, it overwhelms me. There are so many that have survived sooooooo much longer and put up such a brave fight for much longer than I have.
I just lost a very dear friend to Multiple Myeloma. Bob, battled everyday for the last 5 years of his life with this insidious disease. His last 9 mos, he was in the hospital almost continually. Yet, every time I went to see him in the hospital, he blessed me. He reminded me once again how precious and fragile life is. He built my faith in God and he still managed to make me Laugh. Yes, we laughed and prayed and just loved one another. I always left his bedside thanking God for Bob and my life and health. I took my children to see him to remind them and give them a better perspective. He was a gem and I miss him dearly!
Then I think of my dear friend Tony Brocato, who lost his battle with colon cancer earlier this year. His passing took me by surprise and taught me a very valuable lesson about not taking for granted that there will be a “next time or visit”. I never got that opportunity to visit with Tony again, there was no “next time”. It was that lesson that made me a faithful visitor to my friend Bob. Tony was such a blessing to me while I was going through my treatment. He also would send me emails, phone calls etc and made me laugh. He is another friend that I still miss so much.
There is only one draw back to working with and hanging out with fellow cancer patients…..you lose some really good friends. I have counted 5 friends lost this year to cancer. These folks were awesome……..they had finally figured this thing we call life out! They knew what mattered and what did not! They had great hearts and were so very incredibly brave! They were my teachers.
So, I have come to the conclusion that there is but one thing to do. Accept this honor in memory of these wonderful people: Pat Courtney, Wanda Gathercole, Debbie Strode, Tony Brocato and Robert Drummond. All of them were my teachers!!