Have i told you about the time I was going to walk a marathon as a way to tell cancer to fuck off but then it told me to fuck off instead? And then I had surgery 2 months before marathon day so I did a 10k instead?
I think I did.
Did I also tell you I looked like hell warmed over and when a friend saw my commemorative 10k photo he said, “I love races where they hand out meth at the checkpoints”?
I may have.
Did I tell you I registered for another one this year? That I have to walk 26.2 miles in October? Because I don’t run. I never have. My boobs are too big and I don’t like it. So I walk.
Well I did.
And I’m nervous.
The first time I signed up, there were several of us doing it so it felt like a group event. I was excited and scared and happy all at once. I was going to get to spend the weekend with dear old friends AND prove myself and the world that I was healthy enough to doing something of that magnitude.
And then I had a CT and found out that my drug failed me and that I wouldn’t be proving anything to anybody.
It was a lot harder than I let anyone know. One of my friends was just getting her life coach business going so she arranged weekly group phone calls to track our progress and give each other encouragement. Except I wasn’t walking. I’d had close to a dozen tumors removed as well as a hysterectomy. All I could do was listen and try not to cry so that my friends wouldn’t know that I hated those calls.
I hated the reminder that I was so much less than. Less than I was when they knew me so well. Less than I’d hoped I could be.
These were people I loved, whom I’d known way before I was his wife or their mom. I didn’t want them to suspect that each time I looked at my watch and knew it was time for the call, I’d get sick to my stomach.
But I think they did. They kept telling me I was doing my own kind of marathon with the surgery and drug change but it wasn’t the same.
Three years later I’ve registered again, to much less fanfare.
But to me it’s still huge. And daunting.
My life saver and the highlight of the event is that D1 is going to walk it with me. It’s not something I’d have imagined her doing but in addition to the draw of Voodoo Donuts, I think she wants to see that other side of me. She says I always seem like I have so much fun there and I do. It dawned on me as she said that, that perhaps she hasn’t often seen the relaxed side of me. She sees the uptight exhausted mom. This time we’re working on borderline healthy mom.
We will get to be in a crowd of thousands who don’t know, or care, that I have cancer. We will be doing something only healthy people do. I will be one of those presumed healthy people and it feels damn good!!
This weekend we did our 15 mile training walk. Next week will be 17. We’re tired and starting to question how long 26.2 actually is and it feels unreachable but I think we’ll be ok.
For D1 it will be the draw of chocolate milk at the finish line, the Voodoo donuts and the chance to just get away from school and volleyball and marching band practice. A weekend she really needs to relax!
For me it’s a 2nd chance to prove I’m strong enough. My next scan will be 3 weeks before the marathon and no matter what it shows, I’m going! I will prove that this isn’t too much for me. I will deal with the rest, if there is anything, when we get back.
Whatever our motivation differences, I’m glad we’ll be doing it together.
And G, if you’re reading this, how about coming just to hang out? We’ll share our chocolate milk!