Marching Through Life

Well March is here. I have a love-hate relationship with this month. I hate it because of the pollen, but that’s the only reason. If I wasn’t allergic I would absolutely love March.

However, I have so many reasons to love March-the start of spring which means warmer weather, halfway mark of the semester, the start of spring break, and the general happiness that everyone starts to feel with the coming of Spring.

I also have a very dear new reason to love March. Tri Delta has declared March to be St. Jude Month. We, as Tri Deltas, spend the month spreading the word about our wonderful philanthropy and all of the amazing things that St. Jude accomplishes. For example, when St. Jude opened in 1962 the survival rate for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia was 4%, it is now 94%. That is incredible! I thought of this fact the other day while sitting with the boys I babysit at guitar practice. I overheard a mother on the phone with a friend whose nephew had just died that day of ALL. I knew what the family was feeling. Cancer hits home for me, and it sucks.

I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR. 

I was a child that had to miss out on the joys of being 5 years old. I am lucky to be alive. I am blessed to have my leg. I am stronger for it.

My dad was watching me on the playground one day in kindergarten when he noticed that I was limping. He immediately set up a doctor’s appointment and after x-rays and examinations it was determined that something was wrong, but they didn’t know what. My family then proceeded to travel to just about every hospital in our region, until we ended up at Duke. There I was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in my left femur and was to undergo surgery. Through surgery they were able to remove all of the cancer from my leg by taking part of my bone out and replacing it with part of my hip bone. This was not before it had spread to my left ovary though, which also had to be removed.

This is not meant to be a sad story though. I have been cancer free for 15 years and live a wonderful life. I consider myself blessed because I am happy to share my story and want it to instill hope in others. God knew that this would bring my family closer together and would help us all to learn the value of life.

Until next time,

Cayla

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