Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tell Cancer to Take a Hike

I'm sick of losing people to cancer. This past year, cancer has been a particularly giant asshole. Three friends lost significant women in their lives to cancer. They were moms, grandmas, good people.

We lost a dear family friend, Joyce Schwartz, to breast cancer which had metastasized to her brain. The sad irony is she was a pillar of strength when my mother-in-law, Sue Smeltzer, died after a brief but brutal battle with lung cancer. At the time, she lived next door to my father-in-law and checked in on him often to make sure he was doing okay.

A couple years after Sue died, my husband and I moved to the West Coast. We kept in touch, sent Christmas cards along with photos my husband had taken, usually a scenic shot of Vancouver. Joyce had once lived out here and was happy that we had decided to try our hand at life out here.

As it often goes when you move far away from friends, we didn't talk to her nearly enough. Last summer I went home for a visit with our son. My father-in-law picked up his grandson and took his home in the Ottawa Valley for the day. He told me he'd taken him to see Joyce as he thought it would cheer her up. It was only then that I learned that her cancer had come back. She died last winter.

So in August, I'll be taking part in the 60 km, two-day Weekend to End Women's Cancers walk with my friend Chrissy as part of her team, The Juggernauts, to do our part to give cancer the old heave ho. Join us and tell cancer to take a hike. Make a donation, join us for a walk ('cause yeah, I really have to start training) or come and cheer us on. Any support you can give us is greatly appreciated.


  1. Nicely done. Our support is unflinching.

  2. Thanks, guys! Now for the training...