Quote of the Day: “The life of the spirit is centrally and essentially a life of action. Spirituality is something done, not merely something believed, or known or experienced.” Mary McDermott Shideler
A year ago today I was hooked up to a port and chemo was slowly draining into my veins. I remember when the drugs first started going into my body, I had mixed feelings. I knew that my medical treatment was the way to go, I never doubted that, but I also felt such a loss for my body, that this drug would go inside my veins and start to raise havoc. I sat there across from another patient and the tears started falling. I think they were falling for all of us who have to go through cancer treatment. I have often wondered about that patient, Travis, I’m afraid to look at his website, I don’t think I’m ready to deal with the information that he might not still be living.
On that morning my chemo buddy was Sue Buehner and so it was only apropos that I started this morning with Sue too. We started running at 5:10 A.M., Sue had a flight to catch, and I wanted to put in 15 miles so starting early was a good option for both of us. We ran towards Parley’s Canyon and then circled back along Wasatch Blvd. through Churchill to my house. We had run almost 4 miles. I then got into my car and drove to Holladay where I met Sue Oldroyd and we ran another 4 miles. Now there is significance in me running with these two women who played such an amazing role in my treatment and recovery last year. They were the consummate friends, supporting in every way possible. Sue B. made sure that I was walking each day trying to accomplish my daily 5.1 mile goal and keeping me deliciously feed, organizing friends to bring in dinners, and generally making sure I was taken care of. She was my shopping buddy on days when the nausea wasn’t too rough. Sue O. made sure that I was not alone and well dressed. She brought me a sporty green shirt that I wore and wore, it was comfortable and a comfort to me. She made sure that my spirits were up bringing in delicious meals and stopping over for visits on surgery days and sometimes spending the afternoons to watch a show. And she made me laugh, saying exactly what I was feeling: “Cancer sucks!” All of these things made my life easier but really just knowing they were worried about and cared for me was a boast to my morale. I always knew I could count on them. I realized during the run, without really planning, starting the morning with them was as it should be, all was right with the world.
After I left Sue O. I ran through Holladay and towards Millcreek. Lately, I have been struggling to feel good while running, wondering if I would ever regain that carefree running feeling of the past. Well, today, after I found that lucky penny in the bathroom, I understood that God was shining on me. I felt so great I wanted to shout to people I passed that I was a year out from chemo. After I completed 8 miles, I felt like I could keep going sans walking and so I did making my way up to 2700 S. and then along that street, marking my way through the lights, until Wander Lane. Eventually, this led me past my parent’s home, it felt like I was running a victory lap, and back to my car in Holladay. I walked the last mile happily content with my running for the day.
I think it was a good thing that I had forgotten to bring my music with me this day. As I ran, I kept remembering events from my past as I followed the trail of much of my youth. I remembered a very handsome, popular boy, 2 years older than me, giving me a ride on his bike to my home, sleigh-riding in the evening with Kim Thompson in a vacant lot, pulling off our gloves for a moment to sip our hot-chocolate in thermoses, cleaning a woman’s home with my Young Women’s group because she was too old to take care of her own needs, a fun slumber party in the house with no corners, and swimming at the neighbors. And then I ran by our former house which happens to be next door to my parent’s current home and looked at the front yard, long and flat, the perfect place to practice gymnastic routines, cartwheels, round-offs and backhand springs.
And then it hit me- I have been given so much, I have had so many fun times, I have had such a full life.
Last year, I laid on the couch with chemo in my system watching the T.V. Next year, on March 22, they said, would be the opening day of the City Creek Center. I vowed right then and then that I would be there. I willed myself to see into the future, to dare to think that in a year’s time, I would be healthy and happy and here I am, content with my running self and ready to enjoy life!
Wish I had a picture of me running today with the Sues, this one is from last week in Palm Springs, sunny and warm!