This Is Why - Kevin McCoy
Cancer is defined as a disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. It doesn’t care who it attacks, infant, child, teen, or adult. There are survivors who never see it come back, there are those that battle more than once, taking its toll and there are those that it takes away too early in life, never giving them a chance to live a full life. I HATE CANCER, though it has not affected me personally at all, but it has affected those around me, most importantly my mom. She was diagnosed after she had seen blood in her urine. After seeing the doctor, it was diagnosed as an infection for which they administered an antibiotic, which did not clear previous symptoms. Next she saw a urologist, who did a cystoscopy and discovered a tumor on her bladder and it was tested. It was found to be cancerous. They removed the tumor and then proceeded with monitoring every three months for 18 months. At the 18-month exam they found another tumor had formed. Infusion chemotherapy was done for the next six weeks, one of the easier chemo regimens with fewer side effects than the normal chemo regimen. Following the regimen of chemo, she then went back every three months for a year and a half and then moved to yearly exams, resulting in being a cancer survivor for 9 years. Each year though, she still dreads the exam and keeps her fingers crossed.
It also affected another person I know, ending the life of a devoted woman, wife and mother of two great children. She had battled breast cancer three different times, surviving the first two battles with the support of family and friends, she survived only to find out that it came back one more time. The third time had taken its toll on her. Cancer had spread throughout her body, and then took her beautiful life, ending it way too soon, where she was not able to see one of her children graduate high school and earn a football scholarship with the other child thriving in school and soon to graduate as well. Her family still struggles, but they make the best of each day remembering her each and every day.
Though cancer has been around my whole life, there was one defining moment that still resonates with me today and will always been ingrained. I am a long time Maryland Terp’s fan and followed ACC Basketball and learned about a head coach named Jimmy Valvano. Jimmy Valvano wass the head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who was battling metastatic adenocarcinoma, a type of glandular cancer that spreads through the bone. He was going to be awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe and Humanitarian Award during the ESPN ESPY awards. As I watched the speech he gave, I cried and cried, learning what he had been through and what others go through battling cancer, the disease that doesn’t care. The following excerpt from his speech still carries with me today, as I help efforts like Team I Hate Cancer. I am raising the funds needed to help find a cure to this terrible disease:
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.”
Eleven days after this speech he passed away, but his legacy still lives today.
Yes, I HATE CANCER and will continue my efforts to support Team I Hate Cancer in their efforts to raise funds to help find a cure and hopefully one day be able to treat all forms of it and eradicate it completely.