Did the Relay for LIfe

fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
The company I work for was part of their city's (Benicia) 1st Relay for Life this year. Our group took breast cancer as its theme for their tent. We had another woman from my job that made the most amazing quilt to raffle. Another did a great informational board on breast cancer. And we had cupcakes, nutrition bars to sell. We also had ties that one of worker's spouse had her 3rd grade classes decorate. All the ties were donated to the class and the kids used that puffy paint and decorated them with a cure for cancer theme. These were sold for dollar each and when I left the Relay at 11, there weren't many left. VEONA (Voices of Eve and Angels) is this incredible children's chorus in Benica (one of their former singers Holly Stiel at the age of 11 sang with Boticelli and Parvarotti) sang at the opening and led the survivor lap. They range in age from 6 to 16 (I think) and they were unbelievable. This relay surpassed the average for a 1st year relay. 1st year Relay usually total about 25,000 and the relay raised over 80,000. It is the 3rd or 4th year I have gone as a survivor, but my first year on a team. It, as always, for inspirational. But what I really wanted to share was a woman (a friend of a co-worker) I met. She is this tiny little woman who is in the middle of her battle with breast cancer. She walked the survivor lap, then the care giver lap and then the team lap. She is 3 weeks from her last chemo and said that 2 weeks ago she couldn't have walked at all and she was going for all she could. She starts radiation in a couple more weeks. Her head is still bald and she was wearing a cap, but when we were taking pictures she took it off so that we could take pictures of her head. Her grandchildren had drawn a ying/yang sign on the top of her head. She said that they love to draw pictures on her head and do it all the time. She also told me that when she knew she was going to have chemo and that hair loss was a given, she had them cut her below the waist length hair. She said one of them cut her side to just above her ears so she could put it behind her ears, but one other wanted to see how short she could cut her side so it was close to the scalp. She said that she didn't change it at all until she actually shaved it all off. She said that when she went out, some people looked at her a little strangely. I think it was important to her to honor her grandchildren. I think that was the neatest story I have heard about how to cope with the loss of hair. And she must have made her grandchildren so less fearful of what was happening with her. She was really an inspiration to me and I know that if I ever have to have chemo, that is exactly what I am going to do. The drawings on the head could be another alternative to scarves, hats, etc.
I remember when I had my pelvic rads that I drew a shamrock above my radiation area on my belly for St Patrick's Day and the techs laughed themselves silly. They even had the doctors come in and take a look. So maybe head drawings would distract people from the shock of seeing a bald headed lady.
On a humorous note, because I work for a construction company, I suggested (tongue in cheek) that we take a pair of hard hats, paint them pale pink, paint darker pink nipples and use them to decorate our area. But now that I am home, I wished I had gone a step further and suggested we do this and write the stats for breast cancer and survival rates and importance of mammograms all over hard hat boobs. Let's face it, it would grab people's attention and isn't that the point to all this. That's me, a day and a dollar short. Well, next year, I am doing the pink informational hard hat breasts.


  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I think the kids drawing
    I think the kids drawing pictures on the head is a bold move. I did well enough to go to work (elementary school)with hats on without wigs or scarves. I did not have the nerve to go bareheaded. I probably would not have the gumption for the painted hard hats either...it surely would get attention.

    I am glad you got to participate in the relay. take care, seof.
  • Aortus
    Aortus Member Posts: 967
    Way to go, Stef!
    I like the boob hard hats too. It's funny how we guys can be suckered into supporting a good cause by stuff like that. This spring, all sorts of guys on campus were wearing shirts with pink lettering saying "Save The Ta-Tas". Here's wishing you and everyone else year many, many happy returns of the Relay for Life!

  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    Good for you, Stef!
    As a fellow cancer survivor - THANK you, and your teammates, for supporting the ACS and our cause via the Relay for Life event. Awesome!

    Also, thanks for sharing the very heartwarming stories about your experience. And, love the pink hard hat idea!

    Kind regards, Susan