Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If You Think a Marathon is Tough Try Chemotherapy

This was my recent update and note to potential donors...

Hello from my Cancer Kickin' Campaign, "Survivor in Seattle!"

I want to thank everyone who has donated to date to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on behalf of my efforts. I am now just over 50% of my fundraising goal with a couple of months to go. If you want to donate or check progress, or see my growing list of honoree names for my race shirt on June 26, you may do so at my Team in Training web page:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/va/rnrseatl10/art_ritter

I am having a fundraiser this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Great Wraps on Lombardy just north of Broad in the VCU area. If you buy something there and tell them "Here for Art" when you pay, LLS will get 20% of your check. Please let others know about this, especially people in the Fan or the VCU area.

At the race expos where gear is sold, there is a tee shirt that says "If you think a marathon is hard, try chemotherapy." From personal experience in both areas, I can tell you that this is a true sentiment, and I thought I would do some comparitive differences.

Marathon – people prostrate themselves before you, the elite athlete that you are, in awe
Chemo – you prostrate yourself on the bathroom floor before the Porcelain God as your stomach does flops so spectacular that even Tiger Woods’ little black book pales in comparison

Marathon – You hate using the gross porta-potties that line the race course
Chemo – You would gladly use the grossest porta-potty you ever saw in return for everything working as it should once you got in there

Marathon – you drink nasty tasting sports drinks and eat nasty tasting “goos” to regain some energy
Chemo – nothing you eat or drink gives you any energy, and that luscious, ripe peach you would normally love makes you gag at the thought of it

Marathon - You are so worn out, you think you will just drop, but you keep going for 5, 6, 7 hours – whatever it takes
Chemo - You are so worn out, you think you will just drop, but you keep going for 5, 6, 7 (or 12, or 24) months – whatever it takes

Marathon – you wear a hat to protect your eyes from the sun, keep the rain out of your face, and to display your cool TNT “26.2” pins
Chemo – you wear a hat to protect your bald head from the sun, and, if you are a woman, to hide your bald head

Marathon – at about mile 19, your brain gets kind of slow. “Did I cover that last mile in 9.2 or 2.9 minutes, or was it 29.2?”
Chemo – most of the time your brain is in a fog so thick that the light from an explosion in a Chinese fireworks factory wouldn’t penetrate it. “Did it just take me 2 minutes or 2 seconds to shuffle into the kitchen, and why did I come in here? And why is there a shower stall and toilet in my kitchen? Hey, where’s the oven? Honey, someone took our oven and refrigerator! Or maybe we never had a refrigerator – I don’t know!”

Susan Butcher, the first woman to win the Iditarod, the 1,100 mile long sled dog race across Alaska’s wilderness, was no stranger to hard times and exhaustion. As she suffered through the exhaustion caused by her treatment for the leukemia that ultimately took her life in 2006, she discussed a key difference between an endurance event and blood cancers. "Running the Iditarod is a choice and something I loved doing and I never considered the things I was going through hardships. I knew they were hard and there were some really tough times. There was a lot of pain. I've broken a lot of bones out there, but it was what I loved doing. I didn't really choose to have leukemia. This is just a battle that was given me."

At one point during her leukemia treatment, this woman who could once mush a dog team more than 1,000 miles through the wilds of Alaska could only manage 97 seconds on an elliptical machine. The exhaustion caused by her disease and its treatment was that total.

In time, through lots of generous people and the research that their donations fund, I hope that someday the shirt says "If you think chemotherapy is hard, try a marathon!"

Thanks again,
Art

1 comment:

SusieQ said...

Wow - awesome fundraising!!