Revelstoke Relay for Life took place on Sunday, July 8, with a steady stream of people coming out during the day to support the fight against cancer. Nine teams took part and there were activities going on all day at Mountain View Elementary.
Arlene Murray-Tompkins delivered the survivor’s address late in the evening, after the teams had been relaying for 10 hours. A nurse at the Mount Cartier Court, she called her talk, “No, no. Not me,” a refrain she repeated as she recounted her experience with cancer.
It began in the winter of 2008 with a car crash that ruptured a cyst in her chest. From there, cancer started to spread. An oncologist said it was “aggressive inflammatory” cancer.
She underwent months of chemotherapy, had a mastectomy and by the end of the year was recovering.
“All my trust was with others to take care of me,” she said. “What a switch from being a nurse and caring for others, and now the shoe was on the other foot.”
She gave thanks to her friends and family for caring for her and said her hope is that one day people speak of cancer like they polio or small pox — diseases that have been eradicated in many countries.
“If you ask the children standing beside you, ‘Do you know what TB is, or polio, or small pox?’ They will look at you puzzled — they don’t have a clue,” she said. “I hope someday in the very near future you and your family and friends won’t know what cancer was either.”