Today I was given the news that I'm still NED (No Evidence of Disease) by my doctor at my 12-month oncology check-up. Of course, it's a sigh of relief on my part.
But don't think that means my fight is over. You never know how long that status is going to last.
I could feel an ache in my abdomen, go to my doctor, get a scan, and learn that I've developed ovarian cancer, at which I'm at high risk. I could develop a cough and learn that the breast cancer has spread to my lungs. I could be declared, officially, cancer free at 5 years, and then, the next day, learn that my breast cancer has appeared in my brain.
So far, knock on wood, spit on the ground, spin around, etc., I'm one of the lucky ones. And I know that. My fight is experiencing a cease fire - but I know it can be temporary or permanent, and the choice isn't mine. I'll always be on the defense to an extent.
So will 28 million others in the world today.
The fact is that until there is a be all/end all cure, all of us who have been touched directly by cancer are in the fight. If we're lucky, we're only called into battle once, but some of us may be sent to the front lines over and over.
As I indicated this week, cancer has no concept of what's fair or what's not, despite our desperate hopes.
In that regard, I'm reminded that a yellow ribbon represents those of us that we love that are away from home fighting. In some sense, our LIVESTRONG yellow wristbands aren't that different - only they represent that part of us that, once a diagnosis is given of cancer, that is always in the fight.
We are all veterans as well as active duty in this battle. And, just like our military heroes, a yellow wristband on your wrist lets us know that we aren't forgotten, that you respect the fight in which we are entrenched, and to celebrate our bravery.
LIVESTRONG provides fighters like her, and her family, support and empowerment.
But to keep doing that, LIVESTRONG needs our support. I will fight, even from behind the front lines, on my bike, in Challenges, running events like Sunday's ROCK the RIDGE, etc.
Please consider making a donation today. HTTP://LAF.CONVIO.NET/GOTO/RICAROCKSAUSTIN2012