This morning, as we were getting ready for school, my eldest son, Sam asked me, “Mommy, can you outrun cancer?”
I wondered why he was asking me that question until he pointed to my shirt. It was one of my favorite shirts when going out for morning walks. Incidentally, it was the Terry Fox Run shirt I used in 2012.
We’ve been going every year since 2010 except for 2012 when I was pregnant with Rafa.
Going back to the question, can we outrun cancer? So I had to explain what the idea was all about the “run” — which caused me to explain about our family medical history. You see, my Dad had colon cancer and had to be operated on twice. He was lucky to dodge cancer but succumbed to liver cirrhosis which is a kind of cancer too. But still, he was colon cancer-free for over 15 years. So in a way, it was a win. And I was only in high school at that time.
And the other day? Our high school batch lost one of the brightest minds, Dr. Katherine Lipana. She died of lymphoma at age 38. If only you can hit cancer with a brick, I would.
KathLip, as I used to call her because we had other batchmates named Kathy, was (that hurts typing that) someone you knew would be successful in whatever she sets out to do. And she did. She graduated at the top of our high school class and went on to study in the University of the Philippines under the Intarmed program. That program allows students to graduate as doctors in 5 years time. Yes, Kathy is just brilliant! Her work as an OB-Gyne has brought and continues to bring joy to a number of families.
Although I’ve known her since I was in first grade, we didn’t keep in touch after high school and since am out of the country, I have missed lots of reunions with our class. But I remember sending her a message last June asking about a medical problem that I had. At that time, I didn’t know she was battling C. But I am grateful that despite that, she took time to answer my question.
Kathy, your light will not dim with your passing but forever shine with the families and children you helped create.
On the 29th, it will be the Terry Fox Run again. And yes, my family will join again. Maybe we will not outrun cancer yet in my lifetime, but I do hope that this way, they will be made aware of their health and that in their lifetime, we’d finally beat this suCker.