Cancer. This is a word that strikes fear into those who hear it, and once it is uttered, it forever changes lives. In June 2013, I heard these words, not for myself, but for my husband. When Chris
was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer, it had already spread to his liver and lymph nodes. He immediately started chemotherapy, five days a week, between five and eight hours a day. Cancer dictated how and where we spent our time, our energy and our money. I became the sole breadwinner, as well as primary caretaker. Being a caregiver is about as difficult as being a cancer patient. In addition to all the responsibilities of the household and a job, I was managing doctors’ appointments, medications, monitoring symptoms, providing comfort, and providing care. I also had to manage my own feelings of fear, helplessness, resentment (at the situation) and grief.
The American Cancer Society was a godsend. They provide so much support and information and so many resources. They put me in touch with a service that could take Chris to appointments if I couldn’t. They gave me information on support groups. They will simply listen if that is what is needed. They do so much more than fund cancer research.
Chris died in January 2016. He was able to see three of his four grandchildren born and to spend time with them. Partly because of the American Cancer Society and the work they do, he was able to have a lot of quality time with the family and friends he loved. I am forever grateful for this.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in recent years, has become a month of awareness of all cancers. Yesterday, the Mattaponi Sundowners, the cowboy action shooting club within the West Point Gun Club, in West Point, Virginia, held its annual “Shoot for the Cure” match and raised a total of $5,620 for a local Relay for Life team, for the American Cancer Society.
Sassy Shooting Sours is the cowgirl in charge of this event. Through dedication and lots of hard work, she brings together the vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and of course, shooters for this match. This is a cause near and dear to her heart, and to mine as well. This was my first “Shoot for the Cure”, and I will be back next year.