Take Back Your Day
On Friday, September 13, 2019, we were diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Scans would show tumors throughout Ben’s right ribs, in his jaw, and obstructing his digestive tract, or what the doctors called the “Grand Central Station” of his digestive system.
We use the language “we were diagnosed” because cancer is not a single person’s journey. Everything becomes a “we” for a cancer patient and their caregivers. A cancer diagnosis of one family member means everyone that knows you as a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson, friend, coach…all those people in your life, they too feel what it’s like to be impacted by cancer.
We hate calling September 13th (Ben’s diagnosis day) “an anniversary” but it’s the day our lives changed forever. Cancer casts a long shadow over your life and it takes away so many days – whether birthdays, kids activities, time with friends and family, vacations, or holidays.
We have to take back the days we have lost. Survivors and their caregiver team can take advantage of the days we have. Change those “anniversary” days of your diagnosis day, your first scan, your first scope, your first biopsy, your first or last treatment into something positive.
A year after our diagnosis, accompanied by a small group of family and friends, we ran 13 miles on September 13 to change how we looked at that diagnosis day. We took back September 13. We view it as the day we had the most fun we have ever had running and one of the most positive days we’ve had together! It signals joy and hope.
There are more days to take back.
Take Back Your Day!
– Ben White & Kathleen Callaghan, Wisconsin
Ways to Take Back Your Day!
- Download the #TakeBackYouDay flyer
- Participate in your Relay For Life Survivor lap with sign showing the day you are “taking back” (and maybe what happened on that day – diagnosis/treatment/surgery)
- Communicate with your team on one of your “anniversary” dates to encourage greater participation and giving.
- Share your “anniversary” dates on social media. Talk about what you may be doing on those days to “take your day back”. This might mean being with family or friends, doing something you enjoy.
- Help others in your community on those “anniversary days” and tell them why you are intentionally helping others on that day. Volunteer, make a gift, give of yourself and bring joy to others.
- Make your own donation to the American Cancer Society on your “anniversary” date. Make the gift in honor of yourself. You deserve to be celebrated.
- Communicate with your caregiving team about your interest in “Taking Back Your Day” and see how they want to “take back” their own days from standing with you during your cancer journey.
- Share how you have taken back your day with us by clicking on the “Tell us how you have “Taken Back Your Day” button below.