Before my Dad was 40, he lost both his parents, his mom to Leukemia and then his Dad to ALS a few short years later.
I’m now the same age and just found out my beloved, sweet Dad has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I’m scared, so nervous for all the things that I am not brave enough to write here. The biggest fear is Dad won’t be here to be with us, that he might miss all the precious years and proud moments to come. I love my Dad and I just don’t want anything to change.
But it’s changed from the scary moment that cancer was announced.
Now, what can I do? We live 3 hours away. My Dad is in super hands with my Mom and great team of doctors. I still have my own busy regular life along with 3 germy kids who when they pick up the germ-of-the-week can’t be around a person going through chemotherapy. I feel like my options to "help" are really limited because I can't take the cancer away, I can't make this better.
So, we text a lot. We facetime lots. I think uber-positive thoughts. I recommend distracting books to read. We talk about things other than the dreaded c-word. We don’t make plans. We don’t really talk about anything other than next week because everything is so up in the air. We don't discuss the 'what-if' because what's the point of wasting time with negative energy but the elephant is in the room.
Those of you who have had an ill parent know where I’m coming from. The rest of you hope you won’t ever have to relate. We’re getting to the age, unfortunately, where it’s common for a parent to tackle a life-threatening situation. Many friends have had to say goodbye to their parents. This is simply unthinkable for me.
So I need a project. I need a way to help. If we can funnel some good karma into the universe it feels like in some way it could take care of my dad. And with a grandmother who passed away from Leukemia, 2 other direct family members from Lymphoma and now my dad, the Leukemia & Lymphomas Society means something important to me.
I was going to title this post "What to do when a parent gets cancer" but really this is not a list of how to help. I don't have those answers. All I know is I want to help fight this disease and related fundraising seems to make sense.
Ironically, momstown has been involved with the Leukemia and Lymphomas Society of Canada charity previously. Our momstown Edmonton chapter raised $33,000 this past year for the LLSC via the Society’s Team in Training Initiative. 10 momstown moms ran an inspired half marathon and our team cheered them on from afar. I loved what they were doing and how they were doing it.
I was always awed by their contribution but now I am eternally grateful for their kind spirits and generousity. And I want to help add to their amount and help make an even bigger difference to the LLSC.
Please help me raise funds for Leukemia & Lymphomas Society via our "Team in Training" DIY Fundraiser. My husband (Michael Burton) is training for the Scotiabank Marathon in Toronto on October 20th and is running in my dad's honour. Our fundraising will be a dual effort - my husband's physical strength to run and my influence to promote it. Our goal is to raise $5000 before the Octover 20th race. My dad will be about 1/3 of his way through treatments by October 20th so achieving our goal will be encouraging and supportive to his challenges ahead.
Our team is called "momstown Papa" and all donations go directly to the LLSC and are tax deductable. Many thanks in advance for your donations and positive thoughts,prayers and good karma for my wonderful, wonderful Dad.