I couldn’t help but think how running is like this cancer battle. There are hills to “crest” or conquer. I hated hills (who didn’t?) but you had to push yourself to the top and depending on the course, you often got a nice recovery on the downhill. My hills have been these chemo treatments, tough as I do them, with a gradual recovery after each one.
There are many laps to run. Running the 5k indoors or 10k outdoors meant a lot of laps around the track. Some races I felt great and clicked off the laps with comfort and confidence. Other races were not as easy, I struggled and would say omg how do I still have this many laps left. Some days I look at my cancer treatment and feel like wow this is flying by. Other days I look at the “laps” left and think man I still have a lot to go. But just like my races on the track, I will finish. At times I’ll cruise through, other times may be more difficult, but I’ll finish.
The support has been wonderful. Just as I always appreciated my teammates cheering each lap around the track and enjoyed my family or friends coming to see me run a bunch of laps around the track, I feel and love all the support from family and friends now. When you’re in a race you may not realize how much hearing the support from teammates could help push you through and it’s the same with this cancer. You don’t realize how much your comments and messages have meant and are helping push me through this difficult process.
Treatment has its ups and downs just like any race I’ve ever run. Some races were good, others sucked but I always finished and gave my best on that day. I learned to focus on the goal, whether it was to use a shorter race to improve my speed or how to pace myself for a PR. I learned to trust my coaches just as I’ve learned to trust my doctors.
I’ve learned to deal with setbacks and disappointment. I had to take a full year off from running as I recovered from a stress fracture in each leg. I did terrible my 1st trip to xc nationals but bounced back two years later and finished in the top 50. This cancer diagnosis is a big bump in the road for me but it doesn’t mean I can’t overcome it, even if it takes a lot of time and work to finally get healthy. Sports are a great metaphor for life and I see that more and more as I get older. All the hills, laps, and races have prepared me to handle ups and downs and prepared me to give it my all and finish my best no matter how good or bad I’m feeling that day. I will apply this to my latest challenge and focus on kicking this cancer’s ass, just like I focused on beating as many runners as I could on the track or xc course.