On average, 524 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every day and 210 Canadians die from it. More than 500 individuals each day, headed down a path they never expected to be taking. It’s a hard reality to face and there is no pause button.
For each and every survivor – you are a miracle, you give hope to so many. The scars you have are proof of a body that has survived and the pain you’ve endured. The lines around your eyes from worry during troubling days, blemishes, stretch marks, grey hair – all proof of a life lived.
For each and every person battling cancer right now, I know you have awakened to unexpected events and you are looking for a way back to your old life, before cancer. Maybe all seems lost and this hope you once had does not exist. I know there is a light within; an inner strength.
You may find it within family, friends, love, books, religion, heroes, songs. But no matter where you look, this strength will evade you. You are strong, you are brave and you are a fighter. And for those who have lost someone to cancer – the truth is I don’t think any of us ever recover fully from a loss. But I promise you, there is something stronger than fear, anger, and despair, memories. Do not lose them. Hold onto them.
The Canadian Cancer Society provides support programs and information as well. The Quesnel Community Office is run by a group of passionate and committed volunteers who are here to help you. You may also contact the Society’s free line 1-888-939-3333 for cancer information and support services.
Never forget to nourish your body, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Be kind. There is beauty in smiling to a stranger, in offering a helping hand and showing kindness towards others.
The mark we leave on the world, that is what will truly define us.
This article is dedicated to Mr. Devries and family. Rest in Peace.
Ivana Topic is a volunteer with Canadian Cancer Society, Quesnel office.