People Impacted by Cancer Day
supporting the Lymphoma Research Foundation
Today is Cancer Survivors day, and although I reject the title for many reasons, I endorse the organizations that this day tries to lift up.
I’ve been a member of the Lymphoma Research Advisory Council for almost two years. I joined when the organization reached out to me after this essay was published in New York Magazine, and I realized that it was a place that not only helped fund the development of treatments that had extended the life of a beloved chosen sister, Ellie Conant, who left our family too soon due to a rare lymphoma, and that I had benefited from the same treatment for a unique one.
Let me tell you something:
My primary survival goal, the only really optimistic and statistically reasonable trajectory I had when I was diagnosed in 2016 was to live long enough to see my both my children graduate.
Somehow, miraculously and as a beneficiary of cutting edge research, I reached a statistically unlikely remission for a while, and watched as my youngest tossed her cap in the air earlier this week.
We spent the day surrounded by other people’s families with grandparents and aunts and godparents, when so many of ours had left us due to cancer. We talked about Ellie, and my mother who had died a few months before Ellie, eighteen months before my own diagnosis, which I was always grateful she didn’t live to see. My daughter wore a necklace from her paternal grandmother and a bracelet from her great grandmother. They were all there with us. Celebrating those of us who have hung on to life. Supporting us. Lifting us up. Maybe even protecting us.
I think of all the people my children have buried, how much they have faced, how hard the pandemic has been on all of us, how precious our time together has been, and how unfathomably grateful I am to have seen this day, to be healthy enough in this moment. And to watch my children prepare to leave me, when I spent so many years wondering if I would have to leave them first.
The Lymphoma Research Foundation focuses not only on research, patient support, awareness and advocacy, one of their most important initiatives is focused on health equity, working so that all who need access can procure life-extending and life-saving treatments
If you have anything spare to donate, today is an amazing day to celebrate ALL the people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Not just those who lived. Caretakers and family members, the bereaved, those in active treatment facing uncertainty, those with chronic and incurable cancers, those who are looking at cancer in their review mirrors - “which may be closer than it appears.”
We all live with cancer, and today I am raising awareness and funds. It would be an amazing day, if you can, to donate and support all those impacted.