So if you’re logging onto your computer this morning, you may notice a few differences! Please know these blog changes are NOT finalized – if you think the font is too small or the colors are off – THEY ARE! I’m going through page by page to personalize my website! I was on call the other night for a few hours so I used that time to start making some changes and this is about as far as I got before I got called in.
I had the STRANGEST thing happen to me the other day. To understand that story, I need you to look back at this blog post: Shine a Light. I spoke at a Lung Cancer Awareness event back in November of 2019 – PRE COVID, months before I moved to my new job.
So I have a locker at work. The other day I got to work, went to my locker to grab my stuff and I found this in my locker:
I stared at it. I could not for the life of me figure out where it came from or how it got there. This was not like hiding in the way back, I wasn’t digging through all the contents, it was sitting right on top like it had always been there – this bracelet and this name tag.
This bracelet says “lung cancer awareness” and is white (the color of the lung cancer ribbon) and the name tag has my name, written in my handwriting.
The ONLY place this could have come from was the Shine a Light even I spoke at in November of 2019. How did this get into my locker? And why now in July of 2021? Why was it just sitting in there on top of all of my things? How did the name tag get my handwriting on it? How did I switch jobs and somehow these two items followed me? I had to look back at pictures just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and sure enough, mom is wearing the same kind of name tag.
I don’t even remember getting a white bracelet that night – I remember getting a blue bracelet from the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer but not a white one. So I’m taking it as a sign. Last November, Iowa was drowning in COVID cases and there weren’t any lung cancer awareness events but this November, I want to fill my calendar with speaking events to raise awareness about lung cancer.
My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member.
My Dad’s caner was discovered through a routine CT scan. If you are 55 years or older and currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 10 years, please ask your doctor if you qualify for an annual low dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer. The test takes less than 30 seconds and can save your life.
Lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate at only 18% compared to breast at 90%, prostate at 99%, and colorectal at 65%. The 5-year survival rate for lung cancer drops dramatically from a stage 1 diagnosis (68-92% survival) to a stage 4 diagnosis (0-10% survival).Lung Cancer Screening Facts & Figures | GO2 Foundation
I’ve also shared and created a video that is active on my Facebook page that tells the story of dad’s cancer and encourages people to get screened for lung cancer. You can find that here: https://www.facebook.com/100056807022159/videos/379278019855731
I’ve considered every possible scenario as to how these bracelets and this silly name tag ended up in my locker, but I think it is because someone needs to hear this message. I’m going to keep spreading it. I feel the need to make meaning out of Dad’s battle with lung cancer. I’ll take all the energy and love that now has no where to go and put it into this cause to Shine a Light on lung cancer. For more information on screening, GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer is an EXCELLENT and easy to read resource! https://go2foundation.org/risk-early-detection/frequently-asked-questions/