What has been the best experience for you sharing your story of being a cancer survivor?
I was one year out from treatments and I was speaking at the local Relay for Life. I spoke at a survivor walk back at home. Leading up to it, my mom was the speaker before me. She spoke from the perspective of a caregiver. I spoke from the perspective of a survivor. I was joking with my mom that I knew she was going to cry during her speech. And the whole time, I knew I wasn’t going to cry.
It was completely the opposite. My mom did the whole speech just fine. And then I got up there and my first words were “I was 17 when I was diagnosed with cancer.” I balled for 5 minutes. That was the moment it came full circle for me. And I remember standing there and telling my mom I couldn’t finish my speech. I kept asking her to finish my speech for me. And my mom told me that I would regret not reading it. She reminded me that I could finish my speech. My mom stood up there with me. My family was out in the crowd recording it. I finished my speech. I think I cried all the way through me reading it and I’m not sure how much of it the crowd heard, but I finished it.