Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eliminate the "C" Word

Cancer Can Hit You Too. Jump in and DO SOMETHING!

Of all the horrible words I can think of, the "C" word is my least favorite. Cancer. Every single one of us has known people who battled a type of this disease. Some won, some lost and some continue to fight. While my family history is replete with heart problems and diabetes, my husband's family is rife with cancer victims. This means my children stand to inherit more than our life insurance money because they have the same genetics coursing through their bodies.

When my husband was diagnosed at age 46 with prostate cancer (20 years below the national average) it was frightening and consuming. We could hardly breathe in
itially and began a frantic search for best options. Fortunately, because of early detection and medical advances, he was successfully treated and had a full recovery. He didn't have to endure sickening, long rounds of chemotherapy or lose his hair to radiation but surgery required some disciplined down-time.

As he went through this experience, he was surrounded by family and friends who kept in constant touch, prayed, joked and offered every kind of help. Many people walk this dark journey alone and many suffer greatly before succumbing to the ravages of the disease. He knows how blessed he is and frequently "evangelizes" to men about the critical importance of a yearly prostate check, including PSA blood tests.

Our friend Joel received his diagnosis at a much more advanced stage than my husband and he is suffering through much more difficult treatment, with less assurance of a winning outcome. His family is fearful and travel long distances to spend time with him. Others we know only hope to see a child graduate, get married or to see the face of a new grandchild before they lose the war.

You've certainly heard all this before but please don't get de-sensitized to the message. When it happens to the one you love most, this will become very real. It's already brutally real to those facing it today. Stand by them and stand in the gap to ensure that more people survive in the future. Please consider making a donation or participating in the event below. Do it for Joel in New York. Do it for Michelle in Ohio, a young mom battling ovarian cancer. Do it for Joann in Phoenix, a mom of three nearing the end of a losing battle with brain cancer. Do it in the name of a cancer victim you have loved or an unknown loved one who could fall victim in years to come. My husband, children and parents will be walking. Let us know if you'd like to support us or join us in the cause or donate on behalf of our efforts at Joni's link at the bottom of the page.

Below is a letter from Joni Corby, my sister-in-law, chronicling our family's relationship to cancer and a bit about our choice of how to fight back.

For the third year in a row, I am participating in the American Cancer Society "Relay for Life" fundraiser on Sept 26th. Many in our family have battled cancer..........The survivors include Brad Markins (prostate cancer), Jim Markins (prostate cancer), Nancy Markins (melanoma cancer) and myself. (breast cancer). Some of us are currently fighting cancer..........Janet Markins (breast cancer) and Jerry Markins (prostate cancer). Some of us fought it in the past.......Nellie Markins (breast cancer), Joanna Romero (breast cancer) and Louise Dye.(lymphoma) Unfortunately, some in our family have lost the battle with cancer...........Danny Romero, Micki Romero, Penny Vandervier, Don Nelson and Tim Markins. You can find even more cases if you look to our extended families. (Forgive me if I am forgetting someone, but I think you can understand that cancer has certainly touched our family.)

I want to invite you to join me in the fight against cancer by making a donation in support of my efforts. Further down in this message is a link to my personal Relay For Life® web page where you can make an online contribution. Every amount, no matter how small, makes a difference and provides hope. I've made a goal of raising $1000.00.

You can make a personal donation (and I hope you will!) but I would like to challenge you to get even more involved by raising some money yourself as well toward this cause. You can forward this email (or just the link to my Relay for Life page) to your friends and other family members too. If everyone contributes something, we will make a difference.

If you're like me, you want to know how your donation is spent. Here is how a $1.00 donation is divided up:

$0.31 Research

$0.21 Detection/Treatment

$0.15 Patient services

$0.14 Prevention

$0.13 Fundraising

$0.06 Management/general

For those of you that live in the Phoenix area, I want to invite you to join me at the event itself on Sat Sept 26th at 6 pm Boulder Creek High School in Anthem. It's a very moving experience to be a part of remembering those who have battled cancer as well as providing hope for those yet to be diagnosed. You can read more about it at

Relay For Life® brings more than 3.5 million people from across the country together each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we will celebrate, remember, and fight back.

Click HERE to access my personal page to donate.
Love, Joni

Share your personal journey with cancer. We all need motivation and inspiration to take action!
Diane Markins
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Blasé said...

You never know what a Day holds. Live is alway changing, it never stays the same.

Best wishes in your endeavors and goals!

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for sending this to me!!! I lost a dear friend this summer to cancer. Plus my husband John also had prostate cancer at a young age!!! I HATE the "C" word too!!!
I am going to forward to this to many others!! Thanks again!!
Robin B

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog today. When my daughter Annie was a sophomore, one of her teachers got breast cancer. The woman was only 33, newly married, and found out when she was trying to get pregnant. Annie was moved by what happened and set up a Relay for Life event at Arcadia. By her senior year it got big enough they hooked it into a bigger event at Scottsdale Community College. She’s now doing one with her college which is coming up soon. Unfortunately, her teacher died just last week. I hate that damned disease.
Frank V.

Anonymous said...

Diane. . .my husband lost his battle with one of the most rare of cancers - soon to be 33 years ago. No one really knew how to treat it although Mayo's did a yeoman job of trying (and were absolutely wonderful in the process). Even though it has been a long time ago, it's still not something I find easy to share without small pockets of grief welling up inside & spilling over in the form of tears.

He saw one of 3 beautiful daughter's graduate high school. He didn't see any of his beloved 'girls' marry or any of the awesome six (6) grandchildren. He never played baseball again or won a city tennis championship again. All life's milestones of great importance eluded him in life.

But somehow I think we saw from a different angle.

Since his form of CA is so very rare (a 'pseudo cancer'), there's not much research into it even now. But great strides have been made in diagnosing it and treating it from the inside-out - literally.

Thank you for sharing this very poignant piece with us!
Linda F.,

Anonymous said...

By the Grace of God, there are survivors and hopefully they will not be a minority for long.
I do notice that people say that cancer is caused by this or by that and it seems as though this is causing us to be desensitized by the word. I hope as well as you that this does not happen. We must still fight the fight and know that this is an epidemic that should be treated as such. Peoples lives are lost if not at least changed forever from these different forms of the disease.
I personally am one of the lucky ones. Mine was caught early and after a hysterectomy, I have never felt better. I only wish that I was not the minority.
I pray for you and your family for what you must be going through. There is still that chance that the cure will be found. I pray that it is sooner rather than later.
Vanessa, OH

Anonymous said...

Hearing the word "Cancer" is one of the most gripping words one can hear. We can only imagine what it's like until it strikes us personally. I have heard it directed towards myself, both of my parents in recent years, and now my sister. It paralyzes for a time...and then we throw ourselves into the consuming waves of discovery.

In the past 2 years I have had the blessing of traveling a road of hopeful recovery with an elderly man, alone, and riddled with shingles; another who had both legs amputated within the same year at 93 years of age; A dear friend and business associate who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's; and another friend who (at 72) had a hip replacement (not an unusual surgery), but again, she was alone.

I believe I have been given the blessing of close relationships with these people so that I could share in their burden in a very intimate way. And what I have learned is this:

They need a phone call every day from someone to break the monotony of their lonely days and to lift their fears. They need someone to get them the chicken from KFC's that they are craving. They need someone to do their laundry and clean their house. They need someone to bring in the groceries, drive them to the doctors, wash their hair and help them bathe, get dog food for their dogs, change the overhead light bulb they can't reach, get them out of the house if only for a 1/2 hour drive. They need an advocate in the hospitals and rehabs centers,,,and then someone to help them re-learn to live in their homes again. They need money when they can no longer work.

The list goes on. I have done the 60 mile walk and 5 others. Have raised thousands of needed dollars for research and I DO NOT dismiss that need. But for those that choose to serve on a different level I would so challenge you to just pick up the phone and call just one that you know who is suffering in some way. They need you NOW and TODAY.

Pat in Phoenix