This morning I woke up, started loading in my pictures from yesterdays walk and debated with myself about what to say. After all the pictures from a walk like that speak for themselves. I even took a few little video clips so you would know what it looks like to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and one of how vibrant the walk along Crissy Field can be on a beautiful day like yesterday. But when I checked my email, I saw one from Kimmi.
Kimmi is the daughter of the Ohio woman (Kathi) who had made a substantial donation to Allison's 3 day walk. I had asked if it was possible for me to post a link to her blog about her Mom's progress in her fight against Stage IV cancer. Kimmi has given me permission and thanked me for a note I wrote to her Mom on the site. They printed up my comment and have it handy for when times get tough.
Once again, I was humbled by their battle. Humbled but reminded why I am writing this blog it the first place. Now it's your turn.....
Everyone has their own pace. This is true from when you are a little kid learning to read, to being an older person accepting new ideas, well to basically everything we need to move through. For me, when I heard I had been diagnosed with Cancer (stage 2 B), I really had hoped I could have at the time used this very scary experience to educate others. I had hoped that I could take a pen to paper (no blogging then, that I was aware of) and write about the process, my feelings and in the end about my survival. If you have been reading this blog from the beginning, then you know that for fourteen years I was not capable to doing this.
I tried on that first day after being told I had cancer. I bought a journal and took out my pen. I sat in the car in the parking lot of the doctor's office. When the pen hit the page, there wasn't one word that flowed out. It sat frozen over the paper waiting for inspiration. The inspiration couldn't make its way around the fear I was carrying. To write meant I would have to think and feel. I didn't want to think and feel. Both were overwhelming to me. Even the idea left me with a racing heart and struggling to breath. I threw the book into the back seat of the car. It wasn't my time.
Fourteen years later, I decided to walk in the 3-day. After a friend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I felt like for me, this was my time. It was my time to have my say. It was my time to DO something about it. It didn't matter at the time that I was overweight with absolutely no athletic ability. It didn't matter that I hadn't walked across the street if I could drive a car. It didn't matter that my stories were old and had been gathering cobwebs and dust on the shelf of my mind. I knew it was MY time. And so, I started the blog. In starting this blog it was a promise to myself and to others that I would not stop this fight.
I am hoping, with every letter I type, every sentence I construct, there is someone who will take away some courage for their own journey. If somehow this blog can give someone the power to DO something about something in their life that they feel powerless over, whether it is cancer or anything else, I will feel I have done something of real consequence.
So today, as I write the entry to this set of pictures of a sunny day in San Francisco, I am filled with revived purpose thanks to Kimmi and her Mom Kathi. Who am I writing this blog for? Who am I walking these miles for... I am walking for them, I am walking for you and finally and not to be overlooked, I walk for Cathy Youngling, who in 1995 was too afraid to do anything more than survive.
NOW on to the walk.
Leaving the office, can you tell already how beautiful the day is! I can see the anticipation on my face of a great walk ahead.
Sausalito. Too early for the majority of toursits. They come later in the day.
Somehow this gull is ALWAYS on this little seal sculpture.
Even in the rain, he will stand there.
Doesn't SF look like OZ to you?
The normal route down to Cavallo Point is being closed on weekdays for some contruction work. Bikes are not supposed to use it evenon weekends due to gravel. But trust me, bikes dont pay attention to posted signs.
More of the same
A few blooms....
These were in profusion
Up ready to go on the bridge a couple of rental bikes with their tell tale mapes.
Me on the bridge.... still smiling.
One walk across I will take nothing but pictures of people taking pictures.....
Bull dogs of all kinds were the dog I saw most on this walk...
Heading down to Crissy Field
The warming hut. Crissy Field was packed with people. Some having picnics, some letting the dogs run crazy, some running themselves and me.
I always stop at the Sports Basement. It was super loud today. They had a band playing "Billie Jean" inside. When they finished the song no one clapped...enough said.
Crossing over the protected habitate
Off they go....
A boat race... little boats off the St Francis.
Perching seems to be popular for seagulls. Alcatraz in the background
Heading down to Aquatic Park I had never noticed before these wind indicators on the pole.
A beuatiful sunny day... kids, sand... fun
This boat is from Crawley who Glenn used to work for as a young lad.
Along the Embarcadero lots of people
Love these old street cars from other cities, this one from Philadelphia
This one from Boston
This one from Boston
Peter Pan is flying in that tent...
But I did have lunch. The place was crowded and there was no solitary table for me to hide at so I sat myself down with this delightful little family. I never got their names. But we ahd a great conversation. The fellow told his daughter, who was looking a little concerned when I just sat down, to notice the pink I had one. He said "You see that pink ribbon on the ladies' hat? That is a special pink ribbon for special people." Then he let me know that his wife's mother is a Breast Cancer Survivor. I am walking for her, and her daughter and her daughter's daughter.
We also talked about our belief that mammograms are essential and that the government's promise to pay for them is very important. I mentioned I was glad to see that after the "study group" suggested that mammograms for people under 50 were not necessary and self exam education did little good. I told him, without these two things I would be there.
I asked them their permission to take their photo. THANKS and I hope the marrionette show was GREAT.
Below are some short video clips of the walk. The first are of the wlak on the bridge the last is at Crissy Field. I wanted to give you a snese of being there. Warning you may bounce when you watch...... as you walk with me.