There are certain events in life that have a way of smacking you across the face to make you realize how fortunate you truly are. I had one of these events two Sundays ago at a friend’s wedding. My friend is fighting her own cancer battle and has an incredibly tough road ahead of her…much tougher then I was ever forced to fight.
I’m not going to go into detail about her story because 1) I don’t know all of the details of her diagnosis and don’t want to present false information and 2) it’s her story to tell…not mine. Believe it or not, not everyone is willing to share the details of the cancer journey….some people find it to be a private thing that they battle on their own…and there’s nothing wrong with that. I attribute my “open book” mentality to coming from a long line of outgoing women in my family.
I was incredibly humbled by my friend’s courage at her wedding. If the tables had been turned, I’m not so sure I could have put myself out there in front of so many people in such a vulnerable state. I was terribly self-conscience during chemo….to see her proudly get the down the aisle, pose for picture, even manage to get a dance in with her new husband made me realize that when it comes to the awful world of cancer, I’m one of the lucky ones.
Lucky because my cancer was caught early. Lucky because the treatment plan my doctors put together achieved what they set out for it to do. Lucky because just a year later, I’m in better health and shape then I was before I was ever diagnosed. Plainly said, cancer gave me an easy hand to deal with.
Seeing my friend and knowing the battle she is fighting, I couldn’t help but feel a little angry for her. Life isn’t fair and cancer certainly isn’t a fair disease. It picks and chooses its’ victims based on what seems like no real rhyme or reason. Leaving her wedding, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Lord knows I haven’t always maintained the best attitude throughout the last year and a half and have felt sorry for myself on one too many occasions. Here was a woman who’s in far worse condition then I ever was and still managed to maintain such a positive outlook on life.
All she asks of anyone is very simple….pray for her. Pray for her too continue to have the strength and courage to push through her struggles. So I ask all of you….please pray for my friend. Every little bit helps.
It’s hard to believe, but my marathon is only 4 days away! My running has been so light the last two weeks, I worry my endurance won’t be there come Saturday. I’ve been reassured that that will not be the case though. I’ve been training for 4 months now…my body should be ready. We’ll find out soon enough I guess!
Going into the race, a lot of people have asked how I’m feeling and if I think I’m ready. It’s a tough question to answer. I’ve never ran a marathon….so it’s hard to say if I think I’m ready. There’s definitely a lot going on in my mind….and I’ve been saying some selfish prayers of my own.
Praying my body doesn’t fail me. My last 20 mile run was completely miserable. My body just didn’t want to cooperate with me, and it took everything I had to finish those 20 miles. How in the world can I add another 6 miles on top of that?! Definitely wasn’t a good way to end my last long run.
Praying that the pain I’ve been having in my hips and IT bands the last few weeks doesn’t set in until I’m at least in the double digit miles.
Praying that I don’t mentally “take myself out of the race”. I’ve been told by multiple people that the last 6 – 8 miles of the race are all mental….and I don’t want my own sometimes crazy thoughts to be the reason this weekend doesn’t go well.
Praying that my one remaining chemo afflicted toe nail hanging on by a hair doesn’t fall off. I haven’t had a pedicure in months…for fear of my feet getting too soft and getting blisters…and plan to treat myself to one very shortly after the marathon. I’d really like to have all 10 toe nails still intact to get painted.
Praying that my hair doesn’t look like a hot mess when I cross the finish line. Who knows if I’ll ever run another marathon. If this ends up being the only marathon I ever do, I’d hate for all the photos to be ruined by an out-of-control-wind-blown-afro.
Praying that the playlist I put together is kick-ass enough to get me through…it may sound silly, but my music is very motivational to me when I run.
Ok, the last two things are kind of silly…but they’re still on my mind. And I like to try to through a little humor into every post!
All that stands between me and the race now is a 3 mile run tomorrow, a 4 hour car drive on Thursday, and a 2 mile run on Friday. Hopefully you’ll be hearing from me in another week
Photos from 55 weeks post chemo are below…