Every Day is a gift

By Christy Breedlove

Local cancer survivor urges the community to attend the Walton County Relay for Life next month

File photo from a previous Walton County Relay for Life Event

It has been over 23 years since my diagnosis of early-stage ovarian cancer. My son, John Wesley, refused to cooperate during labor so I had an emergency Cesarean section. We didn’t know it at the time, but that surgery saved my life when my doctor found a tumor on my right ovary. Following procedure, a sample of the tumor was sent to a lab.

A mere few days later on my birthday, the doctor called to inform me that I had very early-stage ovarian cancer. In short, it was a birthday I’ll never forget but have tried to for 23 years. Treatment followed. There was another shock–two years later tumors appeared on my left ovary when I delivered my daughter, Regan. A few operations later and I was cancer free. I was lucky–ovarian cancer is usually not discovered until it is late stage and advances quickly. One study stated that 35% of women will survive their cancer for ten years or more.

This story is not easy for me to tell. I never wanted to be considered “a cancer survivor”. I didn’t want cancer to be a part of my life or define any part of who I am now. I thought I had succeeded. That is until a few days ago, I didn’t realize why I didn’t celebrate my birthday. My husband, Dave, pointed that tidbit out and said that I need to look forward to my birthday since God has gifted me more years to enjoy my family. He also said part of giving back is giving back a part of yourself even if that part doesn’t want people to know.

So here I am writing this. I don’t want to elicit sympathy, but I do want everyone to be grateful to the American Cancer Society. They need your gratitude and funding. They help to finance cancer research, education, and support. Walton County Relay for Life needs your gratitude and funding to aid the next generation of Walton County cancer survivors.

Please attend the 4/26 Relay at Felker Park. Attendance has not risen to pre-Covid levels so it’s vitally important for Walton County to take a stand against cancer. Choose hope today instead of apathy.

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