The journey of a cancer survivor

At various times throughout my life I have been inspired by people I find around me.

By Lori Bradish

At various times throughout my life I have been inspired by people I find around me. Challenges faced head-on with unprecedented strength and bravery. One person I admire greatly is Ev Cutts who has had a journey with breast cancer and now seems to be invigorated to seize each day and continues to go the extra mile to help others.

Last year Ev gave the following speech at the close of the Elk Valley Relay for Life event. I hope you find this as inspiring as I did and would like to invite you to join Ev and many valley residents to this year’s Elk Valley Relay for Life Saturday, June 8.

Talk to anyone who has been touched or diagnosed with cancer and I’m sure they’ll tell you it’s life changing. Some very good things have come from my breast cancer – no more mammograms, more room in my suitcase (no bras to pack), money saved on not having to buy shampoo, cream rinse or haircuts! And when else would my sister and I have been able to spend so much time one-on-one while she sat with me hour after hour at chemo. My family was truly the “wind beneath my wings” and even when I felt I was in the “shadow of death” “my cup truly runneth over”.

I also learned some very valuable life lessons over the past year. I could talk about many but I won’t – there is one I’d like to share.

How many of you have “something special” like a set of dishes that never see the light of day? A special dress that you are saving for just the right occasion? A ring that stays safely tucked away? Well let me tell you I kept some “bras for special”. Guess what? They aren’t going to do me any good now. What did I think? They wouldn’t make any more bras? Use the dishes, wear the dress, enjoy the ring – today is what counts. Let tomorrow look after itself.

For some of us the journey ends in a different way. A way that makes us sad and lonely and maybe even angry. But I ask you tonight to remember the good times, the love and the laughter that you shared with your loved one. Feel their hand in yours, feel their arm around your shoulder, feel their breath on your cheek. Remember the fun times you had, remember the funny times – I’m pretty sure that is what they’d want you to do today and always. And tonight we do remember – that is what today was all about.