screenBefore March 2014, I knew nothing about cancer – but can any of us know something before going through it? Sure we can learn about a subject, and read everything we can on it – but do we really understand the subject without living in the thick of it? I sure can’t – and didn’t.

What I knew about cancer was that it killed people. Well sometimes. But for the majority, it didn’t seem to lead to a great outcome – especially with a diagnosis of Leukemia. Most of my cancer knowledge had come from My Sister’s Keeper,  A Walk to Remember, and sad Lifetime movies. I didn’t know new treatments existed, or that cancer didn’t have to be a death sentence.

I didn’t know 25-year olds could be diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t know you could gain weight while on chemotherapy. I didn’t know that not everyone loses their hair during treatment, or that there are other options to chemotherapy.

As a whole, we have a lot to learn when it comes to cancer and how to treat people going through it. That’s why World Cancer Day is important. It’s a day to remember there are people all around you – who you may not even realize – fighting for their lives. They look healthy on the outside but their insides are crying for a break; They would give anything to have some sense of normal, even for a day. Who are we kidding? I would give anything for that. No point in speaking in prose on my blog.

I ask that today, in particular, you send positive vibes to the people who are fighting, to the people who fought, and to the people who are no longer with us. Send love to the families who have endured standing on the sidelines and watching a loved one suffer, to the caretakers who did things no one person should be responsible for doing. And today, of all days please remember to be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Cancer Camp: World Cancer Day and Other Things I Know Now

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