Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eight Years in Remission

Well, here it is, the eighth anniversary of my remission from Hodgkin Lymphoma. Eight years ago, I was totally worn out, weak, and very hopeful that I was cured and done with all this chemotherapy. A CT scan confirmed that a couple of weeks later. Now, I am still on Planet Earth, surviving and living strong, a multiple marathoner and half marathoner for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

On this date, eight years in remission, I thought I would look back on 2010 and write about eight great memories I have for this year racing for a cure. These are not in any particular ranking order. If you want to read about eight great moments in the great outdoors, click here.

1. The half-marathon in Seattle. This was my fifth TNT event, my second half marathon, and my first time in Seattle, Washington. It was amazing. I hit my time goal of under two hours 30 minutes despite a continually painful left foot and two injuries in the preceding month. Every time I do a race for TNT, I am sure it will feel routine at the finish line after so many. But every time, the emotions of running as a survivor are overwhelming at the finish line. It is like no feeling on earth.

2. Fundraising $50,000 for LLS. My fundraising this year for the Seattle race crossed the $50,000 mark over my five events for Team in Training. I also surpassed my fundraising goal for the event, and ran with purple hair to celebrate. I wrote a new fundraising note every couple of weeks. I think my favorites were this one about waiting for the cavalry, and this one about how chemotherapy is tougher than a marathon.

3. Running on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. My mom’s dad was the only grandparent I ever knew. He died from cancer on June 26, 1959 – just a couple of weeks before my eighth birthday, yet in those few years he was a huge factor in my life, and wonderful memories. The Seattle race was on the anniversary of his death. I hope he would have been proud of me.

4. Writing “The Limits of Cancer.” I really like this poem. To me, it summarizes the triumph of the human spirit over the evils of cancer. I wrote it in honor of my sister and several good friends who are all going through cancer’s horrors right now.

5. Running the Livestrong 5K at the beach. This was my first 5K and my first race where I ran every single step with no walking. It was at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach, and was for the Livestrong organization, and was just a blast. I did not fundraise, but I carried the names of many people, living and dead, who faced down cancer.

6. Training with Lelia. Team in Training is always a great experience, but it is a lot more fun when you have a training buddy. We often have small teams and mix in my run – walk alternating style, and I sometimes have to train alone much of the time. Not this year – my friend Lelia was out with the team, also as a Galloway runner, and we trained together nearly every Saturday. It made the time fly by!

7. Mentoring / mentor captain. Once again, I was a mentor for the summer team, and mentor captain for the spring team. I enjoyed working with the other participants and mentors to help them reach their goals. Because participants tend to be young and female, and I tend to be old and male, I am not always sure I am communicating on the same level. But things generally tend to work out, and I hope that I can enhance the experience of others in this manner.

8. Light the Night. This is a beautiful event with all the lighted white, red, and gold balloons, and a special memory of surviving cancer eight years.

4 comments:

TNTcoach Ken said...

Happy anniversary...........

SusieQ said...

Art-

You rock.

Elayne said...

Congrats Art! I know how special this day is. So happy for you!
Your Texas friend :)

Racn4acure said...

Thanks for the nice comments every one. I appreciate them, and my blogger pals, and I appreciate still being around to read them. Art