Ready, Set, WALK!

For the first time, I will be participating in the American Caner Society's Relay for Life. I have been training for the event by hitting the gym and also seeing if I can sleep during the day in order to stay up the 12 hours that night.

The event that I will take part in is in Grand Prairie, Texas. It begins at 7 pm on June 6, and it ends at 7 am, June 7.

From what I understand, I can nap during that time, but those that know me, know that a nap for me is at least 3 to 4 hours long. The only requirement is that we have a relay team member on the track for all of the 12 hours that the event is going on.

The team I'm on is in honor of a friend's grandbaby that just survived neuroblastoma. Most of us on the team are survivors, so the first lap of the event is the survivor lap. That's the one lap when the majority of "Wingman's Warriors" will be out on the track.

I'm touched by the amount of contributions I have gotten so far. I'm still a long way off from my $1,000 goal. But I figure that for my first year, $350 isn't a bad start.

I will be walking under my real name, so if you have been touched by my stories and want to contribute, shoot me an email and I'll direct you to my American Cancer Society pledge page. I've been asking everyone to donate just $10. That's two ventis of coffee at Starbucks.

As I write this, I'm in the home stretch of training. I know now that I can make a full mile, I know now that I have muscles in places I forgot about. I know now that I'm not the only one that fought cancer and beat it.

One of my inspirations for this walk is my friend David, he survived Throat Cancer. His sense of humor came through intact and he has such a faith that I admire. I still find myself questioning my higher power for the time I lost during my youngest child's babyhood due to fighting Ovarian Cancer. And yes, from time to time, I feel sorry for myself.

I know I shouldn't, I won the battle. But why did I have to go through it? Why did I have to loose hair and loose weight and loose nearly all my friends? For those friends that I lost during my battles, were not real friends at all, but "fair weather friends" and I know that I am better off without them in my life. But that doesn't make it hurt less.

But I do have a new appreciation for every flower that I see, I appreciate every drop of rain that slides down the window. But most of all, I appreciate my husband.

He could have ditched me and ran the other way when we were told that it was cancer. But he didn't, instead he stood beside me, laid beside me in the bed, held my hand at the wig shops. He made sure that I at least drank a cup of broth on chemo days. He supported me in ways that only unconditional love brings into your life if you are lucky.

And lucky I am. I battled cancer during the early years of our marriage, missed out alot on the baby being a baby, and I leaned a little too much on others to help me keep the kids together and the house as well.

As I write this, I look to my left, and there is the sleeping form of a man that without him, I would have just given in to cancer and willed myself to die. I look to my right, and there is the sleeping form of our youngest child. Swiveling my head back and forth like watching a tennis match, I realize how lucky I am to have such a family unit that stood beside me, sometimes behind me to hold me steady, and sometimes to hold my wig while I was violently ill in the porcelain goddess.

I can't wait for the event, to me, that survivor lap is more than just a turn around a track, it's a 1/4 mile of life that I wouldn't have had if I didn't have such a strong support group behind me and a wonderful guy that loved me enough to stay around and fight it with me. I take that lap for me, for Dan, for Alexis, for Mason and for Coltrane. But most of all I take that lap with great thanks to a higher power that has bigger plans for me and just tested me with the cancer to see how strong I really am.

Published on May 24, 2008 in