It's been awhile since I've written, I know. I've been focusing on teaching and painting, mostly, but I've also been processing some painful news. Saturday, I lost another loved one to cancer, my cousin Patty. The list keeps on growing, and so does my hatred of cancer and carcinogens (cigarettes, etc.).
So, this June, I'm going to stop saying, "I'm gonna do that one of these years," and I'm joining Relay for Life. It feels a little feeble on my end, but I'm no scientist, so I can't find the cures myself. I can't do much right now to make preventative screenings and treatment available to everyone, regardless of life circumstance, when I can't even afford screenings myself (though if my application for the federal pre-existing condition insurance option goes through, which it should, I'll finally have coverage again and be able to get the screenings for which I'm years overdue). But I can help raise awareness, and I can help raise support. Every little bit may make a difference.
This is for the survivors (you know who you are!) and for the ones whose battle is over, whether it was the cancer itself or the effects the cancer left that finally had the upper hand:
My mom, Michelle Cox Miniea (spinal cord cancer), age 26
My cousin, Patty Jacobs Frazer (lung cancer)
My aunt and Patty's mother, Carolyn Cox Jacobs (lung cancer)
My cousin, Stephanie Miller (brain tumor) age 10
My aunt, Ann Miller Allen
My grandmother, Octavo Whitley Miller (colon cancer)
Our good friend Dave Davis
Our good friend Bob Waggoner
The list in reality is much longer than this, and would be exponentially larger still were I to include those currently battling cancer and those who've beaten it, but one can only deal with so many memories in one day.
Will you help me kick cancer's flea-bitten, murderous ass?