Monday, October 24, 2011

It makes me complete

"Though the pain is miles and miles behind her, and the fear is just a docile beast, when you ask her why she is still running, she'll tell you it makes her complete."

This line comes from Melissa Etheridge's song "I Run for Life." It is one of the best explanations for doing the walk that I could imagine. And as I begin the fourth year of training for my fourth walk, on what will be my seventeenth year of survival, I thought I would start off by telling you what I get out of the walk.

Back when I received my diagnosis, the universe was put on it's end. It was as if someone altered who I was in one moment, ultimately leaving me feeling less of a woman, less attractive, weaker, mutated irreparable. I quietly walked through life in a semi unconscious manner, blocking out the memory that had cause so much uneasiness.

When I chose to walk in the Breast Cancer 3 day, my words were "It gave me my power back." But Etheridge says the same thing in a different way... "It makes her complete."

It is as if someone rebuilt you into a stronger person than you were before. The walk allows your soul to fill the void that Cancer left, with something that is powerful and meaningful. You realize as you walk that not only can you change your own life, you can change others. You can change the world. The wonderful thing is you may never have felt this way before Cancer. You never knew you were THAT person.

In these past 4 weeks that I have been laying low, and not walking, I feel a void in my life. I feel older, I feel weaker. I know what happens next, I start to feel less optimistic about lots of things and that is exactly the opposite to what I want to feel. I do not feel whole. I do not feel complete.

This week I have business to take care of and then on Thursday I will be leaving for Washington DC. I was honored to be invited to attend "Honor the Promise" at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This black tie event will celebrate 30 years of Susan G Komen with music and entertainment, and present awards to some real life heroes who have had an impact on Breast Cancer. During this week I have agonized over what to wear, how to wear it, bought 4 dresses and returned 3. Its a role I am not used to, this black tie affair. But next week, my daughter Allison and I will be wearing our finest and walking down a red carpet. I hope I am able to connect with people who have learned how to make a difference and maybe in the course of that learn how to do even more to end Breast Cancer.

So look for more it the week to come about the event, people I will meet and perhaps even the dress. Then after that, it will be back to work and if I have anything to say about it, back to walking. Because after all, I do like to be all that I can be... (sounds like an ad doesn't it...)

P.S. secret personal goals for the 2012 walk season...

1. Earn $17,000 ($1,000 for each year of survival)
2. Perhaps walk in 2 walks
3. Walk with Patti, Patty, Katie, Allison, Leslie, Judi, Claire and ???

DONATE to a complete Cathy
and and end to Cancer!