Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Time...

I started this blog six years ago.  I had just finished my third marathon, in Arizona, the prior January.  It was also my third time doing a marathon with Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  My beloved sister, Ann, had been diagnosed with breast cancer the year before.

My blog started out as a summary of my training and fundraising leading up to the Arizona Marathon.  I back-dated them to follow along my actual time sequence of training for and walking in the race.  That took me up to July 2008 to get them all posted (the marathon was in January 2008).  I also wrote about the 5K Race for the Cure for the Susan G. Komen for a Cure in May 2008.  And then I just kept going, writing about my experience as a cancer survivor, writing of others facing this disease, and writing about training and fundraising for additional half-marathons, 10K's, and other events for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and other cancer-fighting organizations.  Since I started, I have written nearly 800 posts about these topics.

Six years have flowed by.  In that time, I ran three half marathons (Nashville in 2009, Seattle in 2010, and Hampton, VA in 2013) for Team in Training.  I ran a fourth in Virginia Beach in 2012 to celebrate 10 years of surviving cancer.  And I have done numerous 10K's, a couple of 5K's, and a 60 mile walk for breast cancer research to memorialize my sister Ann in 2011.  Yes, I said "memorialize," as she lost her determined battle with this awful disease in May of that year.  Her star shines brightly in my memory still, and will until I draw my final breath here on God's beautiful, wondrous, blue and green earth.

Two days ago, June 18, marked the nine year anniversary of one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life - walking my very first marathon - the Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska - for Team in Training as a three year cancer survivor after raising a lot of money for LLS to participate in the race.  It made me reflect on some of my experiences over the past 12 years since my Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis.  It made me think of the people I have met along the way affected by cancers - some in full remission like me, some battling the disease every day the best that they can, and far too many losing that battle, often at a young age.  Many of their stories appear in this blog.

And I got to thinking of how seldom I keep this blog updated now.  I am not signed up for a race right now, and may even give up running permanently to save my legs for hiking and walking.  I think it is time to semi-retire my blog.  It gets very little readership, I believe, and I am not updating it often.  If and when I do another event, I will bring it out of retirement for a while.  But for now, I am giving it some rest.  I will do one more post in the near future and that will be it for a while.

I hope that anyone who has come along to my blog or who does so in the future will enjoy some of my tales and stories.  Maybe you will find some inspiration from the tales of my experiences as a cancer survivor who has tried to pay it forward and to give back, or maybe you will be inspired by the tales of others in my blog.  Maybe the things that I have written about here will inspire you to keep trying and to make your own difference in your own way.  I very much hope so.

And if you come here by chance and are battling cancer, maybe feeling so ill and scared and alone, just remember: cancer is indeed a terrible and cruel foe, but there are limits to what it can take from you.  Here is something I wrote on this topic when my sister, my friend Ed, and my friend Faith were all in the middle of their tough battles with cancer.  And here is another poem, written anonymously, about what cancer cannot do.

I hope to again be Racing for a Cure in some way in the future, and when that happens, I will reactivate my blog.