In case you haven’t noticed, I’m shaking things up around here.
Not only have I moved my blog to these shiny, new digs (with the gracious help and complete support of the Amazing Hip) but I’ve also made a slight change to the name of my nearly six-year-old blog. I’m trading the Orange Hat for a Yellow one for at least the next 8 months. As much as I love tradition, sometimes traditions need to be updated to reflect the changing times.
Some of my long-time reader may recall that my mother has been a cancer survivor, six times over. About a month before I ran the Boston marathon in 2007, she was diagnosed with two different cancers in two different locations (throat and lung), marking her 5th and 6th diagnoses simultaneously. A few weeks after I crossed the finish line, she started chemo and radiation , and a few months later we were celebrating her survival on a cruise to Bermuda.
We managed to make it about two years before the cancer returned. This past spring, my mom was diagnosed with throat cancer again. Technically, there are two locations in her neck/throat area that have cancer, so that makes the 7th and 8th diagnoses. I’m not sure how to differentiate how many ‘times’ she has ‘had cancer’, but that’s not really the point, is it?
The point is this: I’m mad. Foot-stomping, red-faced, screaming, stinkin’ mad. I’m mad at cancer. I’m also frustrated, scared and emotionally exhausted, but this isn’t really about me. It’s about her. Every time I try to wrap my brain around it, I find it impossible to even imagine how my mom feels. She has been digging deep for strength and courage for too many years already, and yet she can still manage to find enough in her soul to keep going. It leaves me speechless, humbled and in quiet awe.
Rather than stew in my anger and exhaust myself by hiding all my other emotions, I thought I’d channel my energy somewhere positive. Inspired by the Fat Cyclist, I decided to set a Livestrong Challenge for myself. In mid-August in Philadelphia, I will run a 10K race on a Saturday and then bike 70 miles the next day. In the surface, it doesn’t seem like much of a physical challenge for me, as this is how I spend most weekends during cycling season. However, I plan to set some time-related goals that will make it a little more interesting. The real challenge for me will be reaching my fund raising goal (Donate HERE!).
More importantly, I hope to get you talking about cancer, about prevention, about support, about research and especially about your personal stories. We all know someone who is living with, battling, surviving, or has passed away from cancer. We all have a story to share, and many of us have a fight to pick with cancer. Winning one battle at a time can get us closer to winning the war. Join me in this battle, in any way you choose.
I’m doing this to honor the strongest woman I know. Who will you honor?