Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Run For The Cure 2009

Well we did it!!! Our family completed our 2nd annual Run for the Cure to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It was a great success! I can't even begin to describe my feelings of that day...of the love I have for my family members that were there, their getting up at 6am to get going on a day when they could have all slept in, of the love I have for my friend Leo from high school and his wife Carolyn, who took time out of their work week to run with me... of the love I have for Keith, who continues to support me day in and day out.

Last year when we did the race for the first time, I didn't know what to expect so my eyes were just bouncing everywhere just being caught up in the whole thing. This year was different for some reason. It was way more emotional for me for one thing.. it took sheer will power to be able to talk over the huge lump in my throat. Last year I ran with excitement, this year my head got involved, stats of survival rates, ratio between pink shirts and white shirts (survivors wear pink t-shirts and supporters wear white), stats of new diagnosed cases, how many "young" women were wearing pink, what my daughter was thinking about throughout the race, if she spent her days wondering and worrying about me.... head space things..

I had gone out a couple of weeks before the race trying to find something that we could wear as a family to show unity. Lareta and I came across pink cowboy hats at a store that was dispalying Hallowe'en things and there was EXACTLY the number that we wanted.. how perfect was that?? So we decided on that and pink bandanas.. it was a reminder to me of my roots. The men in the family never even argued that there was no way they were going out in public wearing pink cowboy hats they just did.

Last year I had trained to get my time in under an hour.. but ended up leaving my family "in the dust" till almost the end of the race. Here was my daughter who had just given birth 6 weeks before with a dislocated pelvic joint racing with me, a son who has a hard time walking a block racing with me, and there they were way behind me. This year, it never occurred to me to watch my time, we started as a family, we walked as a family and we ended together as a family. When we crossed my daughter was beside me and when I went to hug her thank you, my emotions just let go.

Just before the race started, our daughte rin law who is about 5 months pregnant almost collapsed. I was very worried for her and we had first aid attendants come quickly to where we were. She wasn't able to race with us obviously and our son stayed with her rather then racing with us. We kept in close contact with them with our cells and when we got to the end of the bridge and near the finish line they met us so they could go through the line together.

What possibly could I have ever done to get blessed with such an amazing family!!! At one point CTV news happen to come across our family before the race. They noticed on my race number on my back that states "Who I am running for" that it had a LOT of names and they wanted to know what was going on. I told them about the high rate of cancer in my family, of how there were 5 of us dealing with it right now and that I had an aunt that had died from hers earlier this year. I told them that I was going to be the one that broke that "tradition" that I was going to be the one that died from old age instead of cancer. Every innovation always starts with one person willing to step out from the crowd and that was going to be me.

I am going to do everything in my power to raise awareness for breast cancer this next year, I am going to do what I can to raise my voice to let others know that no matter how little one does for this cause it will count in the long run. So keep reading and listening and passing along any information that you feel might be useful for someone else you know.

I want to give a huge thank you to all of you that have posted your support on here or on Facebook, through your emails and calls. Every email, letter and card all have gone in my Sunshine Book that I take out on my dark days when I am tired of this, and it reminds me that this cancer didn't just touch me it touched everyone around me and that people love me. So thank you. You will never understand how much you mean to me. Enjoy the pictures :)

Our daughter in law Linda

What do you mean my hat is too big?? It just means I will be able to still race until it fits me :)

the poster on my front door that goes up about a week before the race. The reason I am making a "muscle" is to show cancer it will NOT get me, I am a SURVIVOR and will survive this

My favourite daughter Lareta as we wait for the train to take us home :)

My high school friend Leo and his wonderfully supportive wife Carolyn. Leo and I found each other on Facebook a year or so ago.. YEA Facebook!

Keith and I on the Burrard Street nridge.. and yes I do know I am wearing 2 hats, one for me and one for the women in my family that had lost their lives to cancer. Keith also is NOT that big lol he was wearing a down vest under his shirt as it had been very cold that morning. Most of us had worn layers and had been peeling them off during the day but Keith hadn't

Who says you are too young to do the race... I don't think so!

Angel's wings

Another set of angel wings

The start line.. it took us a good 15 minutes just to get to that point

gathering up the troops

The end of a very long day :)