Thursday, July 23, 2009

Race for the Cure - A Survivor's Experience

I remember my first year ('07) walking in Susan G Komen Milwaukee Race for this cure. I had walked in several Susan G Komen Races in my hometown area of Washington, DC ....but this year was different.

How so? New city, new husband, new baby....and this year I was wearing a pink shirt, not white. In prepping for the race my hubby and I did all the things lots of other families were doing that day. Packed lunches, a diaper bag, loaded up our vehicle with the stroller and baby.

But a few things in our situation were different...For one, there was the pink shirt for SURVIVORs. I looked at it repeatedly, pondering should I wear it? Yes? Or No? Was I really a survivor yet??? A dear friend convinced me, stating that "of course I should wear it". Then there was the bald head...I slid my pink baseball cap on ..that takes care of that. And most significantly ...the fact that three weeks prior I had undergone major life changing surgery and was still in the delicate process of healing. An astounding and mind boggling situation for a 29 year old, otherwise healthy woman who had recently birthed her first child.

All of these changes combined to create a level of anxiety on race day as I made my big public debut as a survivor. Upon arriving at the race I was met by my race team. 29 supportive faces filled with love, hope and inspiration. Yes! I should be there wearing that pink shirt and I could make it the entire race track. Many more bright and shining faces of strangers cheered me on as I walked - filling me with energy and hope!

So this year as race day nears ... I no longer feel anxious, but proud and full of hope; glad to be here and celebrate one more year.

Cheers to survivorship!


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