It's official folks, I'm old. The first year we did the Relay for Life I lasted all 12 hours. I walked the track most of those 12 hours. The same was said was for the second year.
The third year, the year of my first survivor victory lap was the year of the torrential downpour, the year our tent broke because of the wind. We stayed long enough for my victory lap in the school and one lap around the outdoor track in the driving rain.
Last year was not much better. We got rained out again and my unwillingness to listen to anyone complain we packed it in at about 11 pm and came home. Not a good year.
This year the weather gods smiled on us and we had perfect weather, not too hot, not too cold and most importantly, NO RAIN!
What we did have though was an overweight, out of shape 40 year old with no stamina.
The truth is, we made it until 3 am and we would have probably stayed longer but it was me who was ready to pack it in. I had blisters on some of my toes and walking just got to be miserable.
That said, I had a fantastic time again this year at the Relay. Papa's Pride raised almost $1100 and it was a fun and moving evening.
Something that made it special this year was that caregivers were recognized. The cancer journey may sometimes seems lonely but the truth is, it's not just affecting the person who is sick, it's affecting everyone around them. Caregivers have a terribly hard role in the cancer fight.
When I think about what my mom went through when my dad was sick (or when I was for that matter) When I remember what Sean went through when I was sick...worrying about me, taking care of me, worrying about his future (our future), essentially being a single parent...that's a heavy load for one man's shoulders to bear.
I couldn't have beat cancer without my husband, my mother and my children (not to mention my brothers, their families, my friends both in person and online....the list goes on...) And those caregivers need to be recognized.
So at this years relay caregivers walked the victory lap too with the survivors, side by side.
Next year...I'm wearing different shoes.