Nearly every extended family in America has been touched by cancer. While much progress is being made to detect and treat this deadly dreaded disease, a cure has yet to be developed or discovered. One organization dedicated to that goal is the American Cancer Society. They will sponsor a five-mile walk at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, October 13. Called “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” the event will celebrate survivors and honor victims as it raises money to help fight for effective breast cancer treatments and eventual eradication. Participants can register and visit booths beginning at 8:00; the walk starts at 9:00. Various teams have raised money ahead of time, and people can donate online. This author has a team consisting of breast cancer survivors from two Salt Lake City Bible churches, Midvalley Bible in Bluffdale and Grace Community Bible in Sandy. You may visit www.makingstridesinutah.org. Click on “donate” and then on “Search for a Team.” Key in “Bible Church Team,” and click on “Donate to this team.” All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, both men and women are encouraged to do a breast self-exam every month, have regular tactile exams by their doctor, and women over 40 should schedule a mammogram every 1-2 years, more often if a family history includes breast cancer.
My extended family had no breast cancer victims until I found a lump in my right breast one November day in 2007. Surely it wasn’t malignant. I exercise three times a week, consume very little beef, and have eaten organic, home-grown fruit and vegetables all my life. I have never smoked or used or imbibed, and furthermore, I nursed all six of my babies for one-two years each. (Women who lactate for that many years have a history of very little breast cancer.) Nevertheless, I joined the ranks of breast cancer victims. Thankfully I was fortunate to have caught my tumor in Stage 1. I had lumpectomies not a mastectomy, and my sentinel lymph nodes were clear, meaning no chemo was necessary. I finished Radiation Therapy in April, 2008, and consider myself one of the lucky ones.
Rita Radner, who died of breast cancer, said: “Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside.” That is what having any kind of cancer feels like. But facing your mortality also has an advantage, as Jerry Holm noted when he spoke at Midvalley Bible Church on September 30. Jerry is a prostate cancer survivor, and his wife is a colon cancer survivor. Jerry said, “Cancer focuses you on the future. It helps you invest in relationships.” For me, my future is not on achieving the so-called American Dream. My future is to live eternally with my Lord Jesus Christ because I have put my faith in Him. That focus also means I enjoy His presence in my life as I talk with Him in prayer during my daily activities, and He speaks comfort, instruction, correction, encouragement, and assurance to me through His Word, the Bible.
Investing in relationships also means making opportunities to connect with my loved ones and friends, some of whom will join me in the walk on Saturday. To those who donate to the Bible Church Team, I extend my heart-felt appreciation. Let’s all help to whip this terrible disease.
 CRYPTOQUOTE, The Salt Lake Tribune, October 6, 2012.