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Saluting My Sister on World Cancer Day 2014

Today is World Cancer Day.

World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise your voice to improve general knowledge around cancer and to dispel common misconceptions and rumors about the disease.

World Cancer Day is a chance to "Debunk the myths" that surround cancer. Four of the most common myths are:
  • We don't need to talk about cancer
  • Cancer ... There are no signs or symptoms
  • There is nothing I can do about cancer
  • I don't have the right to cancer care

Most of us have been touched by cancer in some way or another. You may be a survivor or you may know someone who is. You may have lost a loved one to cancer.

Both my mother and my mother-in-law were breast cancer survivors. In October 2012, my sister was diagnosed with uterine cancer. My sister.

Cancer can seem so far away sometimes until it happens to you. I can still recall getting the phone call from my sister. The crackling in her voice as she struggled to tell me. The feeling of helplessness that overcame me.

My sister is one of the lucky ones. She underwent treatment and survived. She kicked cancer's butt. But it wasn't an easy battle for her. She was scared. No, she was terrified. She often felt isolated and lonely.

I know she hid a lot of those feelings from me and my other sisters.

But what I saw was bravery. From the moment she found out that she had cancer, I saw nothing but a warrior in my sister. She chose to be a fighter.

Today she is cancer free and proud to be a survivor. She knows how lucky she is and we know how lucky we are to have her. Today, I celebrate her.

My sister with my children, my nieces, and my great-nephew during our annual family vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

If you know someone battling cancer, think of them today and reach out to them in the coming days or weeks. Turn around their day by showing them how much you care. It will make all the difference for someone who often feels little hope.

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