I decided that this 3-day, 60-mile walk next year seems like a good goal for my third year of survivorship. My type of breast cancer is the most aggressive, with a recurrence rate of 15-20%. The good news is that the recurrence is far more likely in the first 3-5 years than any time after that. My oncologist told me that once I hit the three year mark, "we start whispering the word 'cured'". So training and fundraising for this event during my third year seems like a way to keep hopeful and purposeful.
I admit I wasn't sure about doing something with Komen, due to their controversies in the past. But I've read up on it, and I think they have improved a lot, and do a lot of important work. And to be honest, participating in this event is as much or more a selfish act for me as it is a desire to fundraise more broadly. The idea of spending 3 days surrounded by and supported and supporting other survivors, and patients, and getting to set aside all other work and worry for a few days, sounds incredible.
I was diagnosed at 40, so $4000 sounded like a good number to aim for. I figure if I can get most of my friends and family to donate an average of $10, I'll be right there (and thanks so much to those who've already made very generous donations much more than that!). If you prefer not to donate to Komen, I totally understand, please consider another cancer organization in my honor, if you would.
As always, with gratitude, -t