Yes, it has been a while since this here Marathon b4 Mastectomy writer has popped into your email boxes, Facebook statuses and forwards. Thanks for sticking with me!
In a nutshell (which, frankly, is where I would like to be with some fuzzy slippers and bottle of wine), I’ve been pulled in a lot of different directions. I’m back in my doctoral program, work is busier than ever, the kids are all in sports-related activities 6 days a week, I’m leading a Presidential Task Force, and I’m trying to still fit in some exercise.
Life has interfered.
But, interfered with what? After all, isn’t this life? Isn’t this living?
I’m embracing the privilege and blessing that goes with being busy. After all, I have the mental capacity to be challenged intellectually; the ownership of a car which allows me to drive my children to activities 6-days a week; the privilege of a job that affords me opportunity to pursue a doctorate degree; a loving husband who helps me through the process; and the good health to keep it all together (some days).
To be busy is the privilege.
But, all this stress does take a toll. I’m fortunate to be a part of the Asian Breast Cancer Project. Started by a super woman named Chien-Chi Huang who was going through her own cancer recovery and mastectomy while applying for grant funding, the Asian Breast Cancer Project provides support and resources to women of Asian heritage. Prior to working with Chien-Chi, I had no idea that Asian American women were the least likely to be properly diagnosed of all US racial groups. Even with the attention being given to women of African and Latino heritage and their own low rates of proper diagnosis, little information is available about Asian American women.
So, while I am active in the ABC project, I realize that a) I did not have breast cancer, and b) I likely will not ever have it (less than 1% chance post-mastectomy). But, women who look like me — and a number of my aunts — have lived and died with breast cancer. I am fighting for a cause that affects my community, but it no longer affects me.
That is, unless, I can get this stress under control.
One of the ways I’m keeping present in the cancer conversation is to keep running. Together with Team ABC, I’m doing the Komen race at the end of October. I’ll take a nice prayer or good thought that I don’t fall flat on my face at Mile 3. If you were moved to contribute to the Komen research on behalf of Team ABC, here is the link. HOWEVER, we have already surpassed our fundraising goal, so why don’t you RUN WITH US?
What keeps me grounded — what keeps me connected to “importance” — is the reminder that the world is bigger than I am. That family, friends, love, and peace are more important than sending one more email, reading one more chapter, and developing one more strategic goal.
Life isn’t about balance.
It’s about living.
Peace, love and getting back to it all,
PS To learn a bit more about the rising risk of Asian American women, click here.