“And oh yeah I might be crazy –
But that’s not the same as insane
And I’m scared –
But that’s not the same as being afraid”
— “Swan Dive” by Sister Hazel
(Back in 2008, as part of a fundraiser, Joli and I got to speak at an event that headlined Sister Hazel. Here are my hubby and Joli just before we got on stage to share our cancer journey.)
It’s exactly 10 weeks until the next 1/2 marathon which will take place on 10/10/10 at 10am.
I have no idea why I’m doing this.
Okay, that’s not entirely true, for sure. There are lots of reasons why I’m doing another 1/2 marathon:
- because I know that if I don’t keep running, I’ll likely slip back into the same couch potato, irritated, always-put-myself-last spot again
- because the whole reason I ran the first 1/2 marathon was to get in the best shape possible for surgery
- because back then, “surgery” was supposed to be in July – just weeks after the June 1/2 marathon; but, life interfered and the date was pushed back until November
- because I realized that I wanted to actually run the racing mileage of a marathon (aka 2 half marathons)
- because I am starting to, truly, enjoy running
So, those are all good reasons, right? But, in true all-cards-on-the-table fashion, I have to be honest with you. I’m scared out of my mind. Seriously. I am. I’m scared of a lot of things:
- what happens when I have the surgery
- what happens if I don’t have this surgery
- what recovery will feel like
- what new boobs will look like
- how nervous I’ll feel the night before surgery, checking into the hospital, signing all the waivers and consent forms
- what I’ll think when I first look in the mirror
- what I’ll think when I look at my body, in it’s original form, for the last time
… honestly, there just isn’t enough server space on this blog for me to list everything….
I am scared.
But, I’m not afraid.
If you know me personally, professionally, or heck, just from my writing, you know that I’m not shy about things (duh). I’m pretty forward; I tend to thoughtfully say what’s on my mind. I’m rarely afraid of a new challenge. Scared, yes. Afraid, no.
Yet, “afraid”, to me, implies that there is some sort of choice, some sort of better option than the ones I’ve got. And, because my options (having a bilateral mastectomy, not going through surgery, increasing the chances of getting cancer) aren’t all that awesome to begin with, I figure I have to give myself something good to choose. So, yes, I’ve chosen to run another 1/2 marathon.
In addition to providing me with a psychological choice, it seemed fitting that I’d keep challenging my body, my mind, my spirit, and my sanity by training for another 1/2 marathon. For me, the first 1/2 represented the surgery — preparing for it, meeting it head on, and painfully, yet gleefully, finishing it. This second 1/2 marathon, in my opinion, is preparing me for what comes afterward. What kind of strength will I need to face the challenges post-mastectomy? What kind of patience, courage, and wisdom will I need to accept my path? And, what can I do to best prepare that path — not only so the road is easier for me, but also so the road is well mapped for my two daughters and my son? What can I do to make their lives easier?
For, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Peace, love, and swan diving gracefully into these next 10 weeks,