So this past week has been a busy one. I was on-call for work, not to bad considering how many students we have on campus now. I started Physical Therapy & had 3 visits… Wednesday for some reason seemed killer. I got some pool running in & that wasn’t so bad. The highlight though was on Wednesday, my parents rolled into town & I hadn’t seen them since Mardi Gras.
It’s been a crazy summer… to say the least. But at the beginning of summer, I was job interviewing. I found out the week before that when my Mom went for her annual breast check up that they (The Cleveland Clinic) found something suspicious & wanted to look at it closer.
Of course, as I was driving up to Mississippi State for my on-campus interview, I was talking to my Mom on the phone and asked if she’d heard anything yet. She told me they hadn’t called & if she didn’t hear anything, she was planning on calling them back that Friday (which coincidently would be when I would be driving back to New Orleans). At the time I didn’t think much of it until I realized later on what I already knew but was re-affirmed. She was being strong for me as she was worried I’d be thinking more about her than my job interview. I found out shortly after my interview that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated – she continued to be strong for her family reminding us how early they caught it. She was lucky… mostly because she went for her annual exam on-time.
Shortly after I began at MS State, she was going to have a mastectomy – she didn’t want to take any chances. My grandmother is also a breast cancer survivor (and now has a form of leukemia that can be controlled by medication). My mom was lucky because of early detection, a great medical team, support system within our family & her strength, courage, & desire to move on with her life. Having a mastectomy became an option that has led to no chemo or radiation treatments. Starting a new position & not making it up north for her procedure was hard for me. I wanted to be there but as she always does, she understood & put her daughters in a place of ease and reminded us Dad would be there and our Grandmother and Aunt Mary Jean would be taking care of our family corgi, Bud while they were in Cleveland. My mom and grandmother both are phenomenal women who are strong & determined – I am lucky to have them as role models. I really believe they inspire me to be a better person & a person who doesn’t give up (even when things seem tough – like triathlon and/or marathon training).
You know, I began checking myself at age 21 when my Grandma had her mastectomy & at 22 I took part in a clinical trial with the Cleveland Clinic for the mammatome – a non-evasive procedure to biopsy lumps/masses. I was asked to do some public service announcements & a couple other media related activities because I was so young, I obliged. I was honored that the Cleveland Clinic wanted me to help get the word out on the importance of self-examinations.
This endeavor has continued as I assisted with the creation of Jayhawks for a Cure where as the Graduate Intern for the Student Involvement & Leadership Center’s Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center at the University of Kansas, I planned a 5k, organized events with Athletics, & got a years worth of breast cancer awareness out to college aged students. We raised over $5,000 that year and it directly benefitted the KU Cancer Center (for research) & Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s Breast Center (for patient care & assistance). I have always been honored to support cancer awareness & help others out the best way I can.
This year, I am asking folks to donate
to Team In Training… This is an organization that works together in training for a major race while helping out patients – it’s a true team effort. Heather from Run Faster Mommy
is raising money for TNT (funds raised are to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.)
& because of my mother’s fight with breast cancer this summer and my grandmother’s continued fight with leukemia, I believe it is fitting to donate to a mother who will be racing the TinkerBell 1/2 Marathon in a few short months! (trust me, my Mom is getting a little impatient & wants to get back to the gym – that’s another blog post though). Please check it out. She’s doing amazing giveaways – everything fairy-like related but most importantly, her team is honoring a young girl with cancer and I can’t imagine what her parents are going through. I do know parents have unconditional love for their children and will go above the call of duty to do what is in the best interest of their child – as my Mom has done my entire life and especially reminded me this summer. If you are unable to donate, at the very least, please pass on the word. 🙂
I’m thinking in 2013, I’m going to do the 26.2 with Donna. Everything goes to breast cancer research & care. And when I run it & am in complete & utter pain, I’m going to think of what my mother & grandmother has gone through & finish the only way they’d expect me to, STRONG… Like them.