Why I Relay–my son's life

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By Carolyn Risner

When Gail Osteen told me last week that she had no history of any kind of cancer in any of her family, I was more than surprised.

I didn't know any such person existed, because it seems for as long as I can remember cancer has been a very real, and very unwelcome, facet of my life.

My first encounter came when I was 11 years old when my mother was diagnosed with cervical/uterine cancer. I remember it all well: the fact they sent me away for the summer while she underwent tests, lest I should ask questions; how they brought me back at the end of the summer and told me the news; calling a minister who was my sixth grade reading teacher and asking him at 6:30 the morning of the surgery to pray for her; sitting with her in the hospital (and lying about my age-back then you had to be 12 to be a visitor, even if it were your mother) while daddy rested; wondering if she would die because she chose to not have chemotherapy or radiation.

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