Last night I participated in my first ever Relay for Life, and I had a quite enjoyable time. I was there for about two and a half hours and I, admittedly, spent most of that time standing by my team's (my campus's radio station, since I'm a DJ there) tent, attempting to help sell CD's for a dollar a piece (5 of which I bought; I mean, 5 CD's for $5? Yes, please!). I walked a few laps and danced a bit to the music playing while I stood by the tent. So, I didn't do much, but I don't believe the evening to be a waste. On the contrary! I met a couple other DJ's, the station manager's sister and the station's adviser, who were all pretty cool people. I enviously watched people get balloon animals (the station was right across from us!), particularly when they got octopus hats.
Most of all, though, I reflected. I was lucky to be there when they had the Luminaria service, listen to our college's women's choir, hear a few people tell their stories of how cancer had touched their lives, and walk a couple laps with everyone with the lights down low and the bags all aglow. It was at this time that I really recalled how cancer had affected my life.
My aunt (actually, my mom's cousin, but whatever) is a survivor of breast cancer, if I recall correctly. I say that because, at the time she was going through this, nobody really told me. I remember when she didn't have any hair for a bit and it was then that I realized she also looked much skinnier than usual, and I realized she might have cancer. Now a days, I've seen her wearing breast cancer awareness shirts, which leads me to believe that is what she went through (though I am definitely going to have to ask my mom for a confirmation).
More saddingly, my former high school English teacher somewhat recently passed away from breast cancer. She was diagnosed back when I was still in high school and seemed to be doing well. Then, suddenly, April 3rd I got a call from my boyfriend (who went to the same high school) to inform me that the night before she had passed away. It was so sudden and surprising that I could not believe it at first. It was one of the saddest events in my life. She was a wonderful, amazing person. Everyone who had a class with her knew that she was a wonderfully, hilarious person who genuinely cared about her students. I'm glad that I was able to have a class with her and get to know her as well as I did.
Last night was a pretty great night (and not just because I saw Iron Man 3 after Relay) in which I reflected on the thankfully few times cancer has affected my life and I am extremely glad I went. I went into it expecting it to be a fun time, which it was, and a possiblity for me to try doing something good, but I did not expect to at one point feel tears pricking my eyes as I walked around a gym in the middle of a crowd of strangers. It was a good night.
PS-I've decided to make this blog a general blog instead of just the whole picture idea I previously had. I changed the title to something more fitting and I'm excited to go into this new era of blogging! Do you guys have any suggestions of things you want to see me talk about on here, or possibly a movie request for Midday Movie Mondays?