Komen Race for the Cure 2014 – A Different Experience

It’s been one week since the Komen race, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve talked about my cancer. I think about it pretty much every day, but I typically don’t discuss it unless someone asks. I’m not averse to the topic but don’t bring it up, and I have a few ideas about why, but that’s for another post.

What brings up the word at least annually is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. This organization has done so much to fund research, education, and screening; and it has raised awareness of breast cancer to the level of being an everyday topic of conversation. That, my friends, is awesome.

I’ve done the walk in years past, before I was touched by breast cancer. It was another walk to do, an event. Then, as you know, at last year’s race I was a three-month survivor. I think I performed well and held it together as graciously as anyone would have at that point, but looking back, I now realize I was an emotional mess. I knew factually what my situation was – survival rate, etc., but I hadn’t had time yet to fully process how I felt about it. What it really meant to me personally and not simply statistically.

Add to that some deeply personal issues I was dealing with (the heartache and turmoil of a marriage that was over before it began), the fact that I was running late that morning and was near tears over possibly missing the survivor photo, a sprinkle of chaos finding my team members, and voila! you have a girl walking who is cheery and smiling one moment, contemplative the next, and lip quivering during the survivor parade. The. Entire. Parade. (and cried during the ceremony that followed).

Let me tell you how this year looked. Arrived with time to spare. Simply stood in one spot while every one of my team members appeared over a period of maybe five minutes. Walked, talked and laughed for 3.1 miles, was ravenously hungry by 9:30 a.m., and unabashedly danced and sang throughout the survivor parade. Wow, what a difference a year makes!

I graduated from the under 1 year group to the 1 to 4 year survivor group. I got to enjoy the food truck rodeo this year, and I indulged in a bottle of Coke. You are gasping in disbelief because of the sugar thing, but let me explain…I let myself splurge on the big day, AND, I drank maybe 1/3 of it before it went in the trash. It tasted weird. I was craving a Coke, but when I took a nice big, cold drink of it, I thought why am I drinking thick brown manufactured syrup? It made me more thirsty. Water please!

Team Live. Run. Cure! was ready to walk!
(one team member actually ran the race and another ran to the event, so the team name wasn’t a total bust)
The parade felt a little different for me this year 🙂

I know in previous posts I talked about perspective and how being diagnosed with cancer completely changed mine. Well, it continues to change, and that’s a good thing because as well as I thought I was a year ago, I’m even better now. I am not perfect and there are no guarantees, but I am happy and I am well. I am very well. For 15 months I have not forgotten to be thankful for that.

I hope I continue to celebrate every day like it’s a parade, and I hope I am always thankful.