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A Warrior’s Request

Tonight, Mischief the cat is sleeping on my computer bag on the table in front of me, Reggie the collie-mutt sleeps next to me on the couch. It would appear to be another night of nirvana at home, but it is not. Tomorrow, and the day after, I go to war.

I am not a warrior by any definition. I do not dwell on the defeat of my enemies, but this enemy is exceptionally public and yet intensely personal.

The enemy is cancer.

I saw my wife die slowly over the course of four years; one body part at a time succumbed to the disease. In 1,224 days, she did not have a single hour without pain.

Let’s be clear, my single enemy is cancer, cancer in any person. I will do anything to stop the suffering, but to do so reminds me of every minute of suffering my wife, and I, endured.

And all this motivates a normally peaceful man to become a warrior, a reluctant warrior, but a warrior nonetheless. I promised her I would never stop caregiving, and if I can stop even one person from the indescribable suffering known as cancer, I have lived a good life.

Tomorrow, KSEE24, a local television station is hosting an all-day telethon to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Central Valley organization. Seventy-five cents of every dollar raised stays local and pays for mammograms for women who can not afford them, or financial support to women struggling to fight breast cancer and still keep their home. In other words, Komen is doing everything I wish I could do for women I will never meet, and I am very satisfied by that.

The day after tomorrow is the annual Komen 5K to raise even more money to support those fighting for their families, friends, and lives.

Everyone dies, but if given a choice, no one would choose cancer as their way to go out, especially if they have witnessed what cancer can do to a good person. My purpose is simpler than when I was a caregiver; prevent the innocent from suffering.

And that purpose has motivated me to sharpen my emotional sword, put on the armor that protects my heart, and march directly into the path of the very enemy that killed the best part of me.

Tomorrow I become limitless energy dedicated to kill a relentless, thoughtless, cruel enemy that stole the best part of my existence.

Tomorrow, every dollar I help raise will steal another minute from cancer’s existence.

I consider myself a “good” person, but every “good” person can by pushed to the point of raising a sword against a lethal enemy. Tomorrow is that day, and cancer is that enemy.

Help me.


One Response to “A Warrior’s Request”

  1. Karen Maroot says:

    Bob – Call me Friday when the phones are quiet- I will give you my pledge! – You are one of the bravest warriors I know, the kind that I would ALWAYS want in my camp – We are all blessed to have you fighting this fight for awareness and support of those faced with cancer. I stand beside you Friday with funds and Saturday with a booth with pink ribbons and hundreds of magazines – with your and Carole’s story – I held some back for this event.. Having lost my neighbor and friend this past month to cancer – and remembering my dear grandmother who died from ovarian cancer way too soon, – I join you and thousands in showing strength in numbers and spirit. Bless you my friend, bless you! :-)

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