Race for the Cure 2013...then and now
I am SO disappointed that I will miss race for the cure this weekend. I ran in it a few weeks before my diagnosis in 2011, and then ran in it last year, so to miss it is a HUGE bummer for me. But I have something WAY more important this weekend: my amazing friend, Kelly's baby shower. I am a hostess and will be in Baton Rouge celebrating her and her upcoming arrival. I can't wait to have my 4 best friends (Kelly, Katie, Ainsley, and Margot) all together. The truest of true friends!!!
Kelly, Katie, Ains, and Me
This was at Kel's bachelorette trip to the beach...and now she's about to be a mommy!!!:)
Ains, Marg, and I at Kel's wedding (July before my diagnosis)...yes, the heels were out of the question at this point
My sweet Kel and I in Houston after one of my chemo treatments
Thinking about the race and missing the race has made me think about where I was mentally this time last year. I still had drains after my left lat-flap surgery procedure and walked/ran the race, drains and all, with several of my sweet family members. I remember not wanting to get up that morning. I was having horrendous back pain and I was getting so fearful of what was causing my back pain. It was the week after race for the cure last year that I called my nurse at MD Anderson and my bone scan was scheduled. That had to be one of THE WORST weeks of my life. I cried all day. Literally all day. I remember running in to people at the grocery store, at church, or around town. All it took was someone to ask me how I was doing (which I greatly appreciated), and then the tears flowed as I began to tell them I wasn't doing very well and I needed prayer. I remember so many faces that looked dumbfounded as to what to say and do. I followed Josh around like a little puppy and I was overcome by fear. I cannot remember a time before this ever feeling unstable. It is one thing to go through cancer not knowing what it is like. It is an entirely different thing to ponder facing it again- knowing what it is like. And knowing that if it were back that my life would be in the balance...way more than before. I was paralyzed. Truly paralyzed.
A picture of my sweet family that came to the race last year
I remember after race for the cure last year lying in bed and crying. Josh was massaging my back and I was trying not to complain. I remember my mom calling me and asking if I wanted to eat lunch with her and my sister at Longhorn. Everything in me wanted to stay at home and cry all day, but I forced myself out of bed because I knew it would get my mind off of things for a while. I remember feeling like a zombie... In conversations, but not really there. Just numb to the world. Completely numb. Then when I finally talk to MDA and they suggest a bone scan, I go into another panic. Outside of the week waiting for my first MDA appointment, that could have been the longest week of my life. Then when I get the good results, I immediately feel guilty for ever doubting God and having fear control me. This pattern has continued. Even to this day. I am still trying to not let myself go down the panic route. How can I so easily keep my eyes off of the prize?!?
As I read this post from last year at this time, http://www.alysfight.blogspot.com/2012/10/bone-scan-scheduled-for-thursday.html, I can sense the fear even in my written words. I was striving to be so positive and believing God, but I am human and was very scared:
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3: 12-14
Running in circles...NO!
I love to exercise. I love to run. Especially since my diagnosis. I am not simply running to lose weight or be "in shape", but it is about my health now, which makes everything more worth it and rewarding. I am finally getting back into running some and am so overjoyed to be able to, I can't even explain. There were times I could barely walk and I questioned running ever again, so I can get overwhelmed thinking about how far I've come. I actually ran my first half-marathon after my 2nd round of chemo in November of 2011. Crazy, huh?! I can't believe I did that. When I say God gave me supernatural strength, I meant it!
Running the half-marathon with my father in law after my 2nd chemo
Getting my medal...so exhausted!
But I'm learning even now, as I am getting back in running how easy it is to not want to. I heard this quote last week and it is one I've heard before. "The farthest and hardest distance of a run is the distance from the bed to the door." That is sooo true if you are a runner, but it applies to everything. The hardest part of anything typically is starting. And then once you start, keeping your eyes on the prize to finish. As I've said before, I will read books on cancer and it will talk about survival rates of 5 to 10 years and that is not my prize. I am not ok with that. I want to be old.. I want to enjoy my great-grandchildren. By my rough calculations, that is 60+ more years of life. So, no thank you, 5 to 10 years is not my goal. Not my prize.
I must keep my eye on the prize. My goals. In my relationship with God. In my marriage. With my family. With my friends. I am a list maker and a goal maker. If I lose sight of my list or my goals, I can feel like I am running in a circle, not getting anything done. I'm committed to fixing my eyes on these goals.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." 1 Corin. 9:24-27
Last 3 months of 2013
Keeping my eyes fixed,