Well at least I am on my way to becoming one. This weekend I was able to participate in the the Relais pour la Vie (or Relay for Life in English), which has been an incredible, emotional and uplifting experience. Over 300 teams took part in this event to show solidarity towards cancer patients and raise money for cancer research. I had signed up with a local cancer charity and walked for an hour early Sunday morning dressed in a pink tutu and a pink running shirt. I can tell you I looked hot (and I still not understand my all the athletic men in the sports hall did not drop dead when seeing how gorgeous I was). I was joined by family and friends on my walk – and I am incredibly grateful to all of them for supporting me through this stage of my journey as well!!! I am a bit speechless to be honest and it is hard for me to find the right words to express myself right now, so just know that I really felt the love!
A key moment for me though was the Survivor Tour, which is dedicated to current and ex cancer patients. During the opening ceremony the survivors were seated in the middle of the arena just behind the VIPs. As soon as the official speeches were over, which included the testimonies of 4 cancer survivors, the survivor group got up from their seats to walk the first lap of the Relais pour la Vie. The VIPs presented each cancer survivor with a beautiful orange rose and then we walked, in unity, while all the spectators applauded us.
It was wonderful – originally I thought I was going to cry, but I didn’t. Walking that first lap, under the applause of the participating teams, made me realise how far I have come, how much strength I have shown over the past 5 months, how I have grown beyond limits which I would have thought unimaginable a year ago. I felt so proud of myself – and the best thing was that I left the running track thinking, no not thinking, knowing that I was not alone in this journey, I had tons and tons of supporters with me, a whole army of them. During the Survivor Tour I was honoured to be able to walk arm in arm with a fellow young adult breast cancer patient – both of us giving each other moral support. I don’t think I have ever felt so good in my life, so balanced, happy and serene. I am so ready for the next step in my treatment, bring on Round 3!
Saturday night was also the night where I came “out” – I properly “outed” myself as a cancer patient – showing the world, or Luxembourg for that matter, my bald skull covered in lovely soft baby hair. Up until that point only about 5 people had seen me without my wig or my headscarf, so this was a big thing to do for me. Just before the event I started doubting this move– but my warrior inside me urged me to do it. So I took all my courage and took off my headscarf. I hope I will always remember myself like this – proudly wearing the survivor t-shirt, delicately holding a rose, looking confidently into my friend’s camera and smiling my biggest smile – like a true warrior of the pen.