Jess, Me...and the beauties we walk for!
Hello, and thank you for visiting my page.
If you look at the pictures to the right...you will see pictures of a few of my inspirations. One picture is my daughter, Jessica (with me). Of course I would love to see breast cancer eradicated in her lifetime. The other photo is my mother in law celebrating New Year's Eve with my kids. At the bottom, you will find my brother, his wife, and their children. The captions are very small, so I wanted to explain who the people are in the photos.
A few years back, as my friends and I were moving in to our 40's, I had this GREAT idea for all of us to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day. What a perfect time it could be spent bonding with each other, getting healthy, and paying tribute to two of "our" moms, Joann and Terri, who had already gone through their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. However, life gets in the way. We all had children who were either too small or kept us too busy with their own activities to even begin to think about organizing our training schedules to prepare to walk 60 miles in 3 days. Not to mention that the fundraising alone can be a daunting task. $2300? How could we do that? Still, each year as the event drew closer, I found myself wanting to be a part of it.
No time like the present.
Late in 2010, my friend Kathy, was diagnosed. She is a beautiful, single mom of two college students. Her early treatment was a lumpectomy followed up with chemotherapy and radiation. Six weeks or so after her last radiation, it was decided that she should proceed with a double mastectomy. Following along with updates on her doctor visits and course of treatment was an education for me. As of right now, she is doing very well. Feisty as ever. Love ya, Kathy.
In February of 2011, a co-worker of mine lost her daughter in law, Leanna at age 36. Leanna had been diagnosed about a year earlier and left behind 11 year old Isabella, and 2 year old Julien. 60 miles in 3 days?
About six weeks later, my brother's wife, Michelle, was diagnosed at age 39. Within a couple of weeks, she had a double mastectomy and started her chemotherapy and radiation. Because Michelle's type was diagnosed as estrogen receptive, her doctor recommended a complete hysterectomy to decrease the chances of it's recurrence in other areas. This last surgery was performed early in January. I will say, she is the picture of grace and strength. She is an amazing friend, wife, sister, daughter and also mother to Emma and Jack. 60 miles in 3 days....
As my sister in law was beginning the early stages of her treatment, we received a call that my mother in law, Marie, also had her biopsy come back malignant. Really? It was hard to believe. Here, within a span of 5 months, I had been touched in some way by 4 women and their stories. My mother in law decided, for the time being, to relocate to our home from her home in northern Michigan to have her treatment in this area. It was really something to be a part of her day to day. Making sure she ate. Hoping she was comfortable. Feeling helpless as (what we thought were) her side effects morphed into a very serious abdominal abscess. That in itself was a whole different ballgame which culminated in a serious surgery and a month spent at William Beaumont Hospital. It is quite ironic that my sister in law and mother in law would become buddies because their radiation was scheduled right around the same time frame. Most people don't make friends that way. 60 miles in 3 days...I CAN DO THIS.
Watching these women battle through physical weakness, various side effects, the loss of their hair along with some of their independence has truly been a humbling experience. One I don't recommend, but such a new perspective I have on so many things. Each of them has moved along towards regaining their sense of normalcy with a smile on their face and fight in their actions. Each of them have made those around them stronger and more appreciative of everything!
60 miles in 3 days? My daughter, Jessica, and I decided that this is the year we will do this. We can do this. However, we are depending on the support of family, friends, and maybe even people we don't even know. Our training started on March 1 and we've been been pretty good about following along with the protocol. We both reached our goal within the past couple of days and if you are visiting my page and haven't yet donated, I would ask you to check out our team page, Ta Ta Breast Cancer. There are a few people that have been fundraising like mad but need just a little more help. Maybe you'll consider donating to one of them. It all goes to the same great place.
Whenever I found the thought of fundraising and training for this event to be overwhelming...I would just think of all of the women mentioned above. My job is easy. I am inspired and awed by their ability to be simply AMAZING.
All for now...Wendy