Mother's Day

I love Mother’s Day.  It’s right after my birthday so basically the first half of May belongs to ME, bwahahaha!  I get to sleep in, I get a special breakfast, I get to plant my garden in peace and then!  We go to Kennywood!  I know that’s not every mom’s idea of fun.  But I’m not very mom, am I?  And even better…MY mom likes it, too!  Fun rides, yummy junk food, walking around all day making my daily pedometer goal an easy accomplishment.  Plus my kiddo is happy as a clam.  Everyone wins!  

So, I love this day.  
Bu I deliberately spend part of it in prayer for those who have a rough time on Mother’s Day.  If you’ve lost your mom or a child, or you can’t get pregnant, or you’re estranged from someone that makes this a tough day for you…I’m so sorry.  I’m sorry that Facebook is one giant faceSLAP to you, what with all of the photos and sentiments.  Especially from some people who maybe don’t seem all that grateful to have a mom, or that almighty mom-status.  I can’t imagine.  
Well, maybe I can a tiny bit.  I’ve spent a lt of time contemplating the distinct possibility that cancer would kill me.  I’ve kicked it’s ass but it might come back.  And one of the things I’ve thought about is, if cancer won, what would these days be like for my kid?  And my husband.  And my parents.  Oof.  
Would people be sensitive toward them? Would they hate this day forever?  Would someone have the good sense to remind people that not everyone is having brunch with their mom today?!  
So, the toughness of this day does not escape me.  For now and hopefully for the foreseeable future, my family has the privilege of enjoying a joyous Mother’s Day.  I don’t forget those of you who can’t get out from under the sadness of it.  I’m praying for you.  May people be kind to you, today.  And may you be aware of God’s astounding love for you.

Moving on…a little

Today we head to the school where Cass will begin Kindergarden in a few short months.  Apparently it’s Kindergarden Bingo night.  Should be interesting.  

It’s nice to be thinking ahead.  There have been a few chunks of time recently where I have actually forgotten I had cancer.  When I was standing along the marathon route craning my neck to spot my husband chugging along, cheering with friends, that whole time, I totally forgot about cancer.  I was in a meeting that got heated recently.  No cancer on the brain for a while.  Someone said something that irritated me recently and I found myself mulling it over.  (For the past 6 months that stuff didn’t even hit my radar – I just dismissed it as totally unimportant.)  I woke up the other day and it was a solid 20 minutes before my mind went there / to Cancer Town.
It’s almost like grief – nothing seems to alleviate it for the longest time.  But then one day, you cautiously realize the pain is a tiny bit smaller.   
Not long ago I really wondered if it would ever not be on my mind.  And yet, here I am, with my mind just relaxed enough to worry about some other crap for a while.  It’s nice.
One moment recently that definitely had me thinking about cancer was when I crossed the finish line for the 5K I ran this past weekend.  A race I trained for while undergoing chemo.  But the way I was thinking about cancer was good.  Triumphant.  Fearless.  Defiant.  Those feelings won’t be how I feel forever.  But they ruled the day.  And they were awesome.  

Today, I ran

Today I ran a 5k.  That isn’t all that impressive in and of itself considering the number of people I know who regularly run full and half marathons.  And I’ve run in 5 races prior, so it’s not my first time.  But for me it’s a huge deal.

For one, I’m not great at running.  At my physical peak, I’m built like a mediocre swimmer, not a runner.  And I’m not at my physical peak.  Because I’m 36, I like pizza and I’ve had poison in my body for the past 6 months.  
But I decided to run.  Because I wanted to show cancer and whoever is paying attention that I could do anyhing I decided to do.  So I trained.  And I trudged.  And I did it even though it hurt and once actually made me barf. That might have been the chemo.  But, I puked and got back on the treadmill.  My feet go numb unless I’m barefoot and they hurt when I walk a lot.  And running is worse.  But I don’t care.  
I ran today.  And it rocked.  I mean, the hills sucked and I wanted to die a couple times.  And I was slow.  Only a few hundred people out of the 1600 timed runners finished after us – hey, I’ll take it – if the lions were chasing us, they would have had to eat like 350 people before they got to me.  (You don’t have to be the fastest – just don’t be the slowest, I always say.)
I ran today and I was inspired.  You see, at the back of the pack is where the inspiration is.  People are slow and jiggly and sweaty and red faced and it freaking rocks!  Those gazelle like creatures at the front, they are awesome too but it comes naturally.  Look at us back here!  I’m not the most compassionate or sensitive person, but damn, I love the under dog in a 5k race.  I love the older ladies scurrying along, the huge person moving forward by sheer will.  The 9 year old in their first race.  The guy with the knee brace.  The girl with big boobs who just finished chemo.  🙂  We are fantastic.  
The whole time, I want to shout “look at us!  We’re doing it!  We rock!” 
And the supporters.  OMG.  You people and your handwritten signs and high fives and cow bells and “the finish line is right around the corner!” shouts!  I love you. I tear up when I see a kid on Daddy’s shoulders with a sign that says “Go Mommy!”  Damned right.  Go, Mommy.
My own kid stood on the corner, waiting, cheering for me.  That’s an amazing feeling – your child seeing you achieve something important.  
I ran today and I wanted to kiss Pittsburgh on the mouth.  The city is beautiful during a race.  The rivers shimmer a little more and the buildings sparkle.  Such a show off, Pittsburgh.  Such a flirt.  
In a race, it’s like we’re all in this together.  We all want each other to do well.  The whole city wants us to do well.  Maybe the whole world.  It feels like it, anyway.
Today was a challenge.  I loved it.  When’s our next race, friends?

Tomorrow is race day

Back in October, when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I needed something to look ahead to. A goal to reach for. I chose the 5K of the Pittsburgh Marathon. Now, read that again – the 5K. Not the whole marathon. Or even half of it. No matter how much I’ve tried to be clear about that, some people seem to have the impression I’m running the actual marathon. Ha. Hahahahahahahaha. Haha. Have you met me?! Have you seen me run? If the answer is no, well, that’s because I’m not exactly an avid runner, and usually do so in secluded areas where I risk being murdered and never seen again because I don’t want anyone to see me – it ain’t pretty. Which brings me to…if you HAVE seen me running. Well, you know.

I mean…


So, no marathon for me, folks. Pittsburgh and all of the cheering crowds just could not handle it. Just the 5K. And that will be a stretch. Running is hard for me. I will probably have to walk up the bridge. Oh, you didn’t know the bridge was a hill, did you? Yeah, it’s the worst. You can’t tell it’s a hill when you’re driving across it. Then you try running across it, and you realize you have to run UP it. Sigh. Thanks, jerks who designed the course. 5K people are afraid of hills! They make us cry. So, we hate you.

So, here we are. I’m as ready as I can be. I promise to do my very best. If you still haven’t donated…clicky-clicky HERE.