Sunday, May 24, 2009

The End of Treatment and Race Day

It is hard to believe that it has been two weeks since the end of my last radiation treatment. My skin is healing and I am gaining more energy everyday. My dear co-workers threw me a little celbration party which included a DELICIOUS cake made by Janet Howard.

The Race for the Cure was a wonderful experience with dear friends and family. I rollercoasted between laughing out loud at the hilarious sayings on tee shirts to getting teary-eyed at the "in memory of" signs on people's backs. Wearing a pink tee shirt myself this year was also a different experience; it made me part of the club, with feelings positive and negative. I heard a number of "congratulations", "good luck", "way to go" comments. It was also clear that I have now survived the number one killer of women, and that this will be a life-long fight...very sobering. It was so heartening though to see the amazing network of support which is available for every woman and every friend or family member of those who have been touched by breast cancer. It was a lovely day all the way around and the weather was perfect. My sweet doctor, Dr. Buys ran into me...literally, she was running the 5K as we walked the mile. My sweet mother made the mile (and all the extra walking to and from) with her very sore hip. It was a victory day indeed.


Alicia said...

I love the pictures!

LuvMnky said...

There's only one thing to say: Congratulations! It seems such a little word for such a huge accomplishment, but as I've gotten older I've found that seldom do we have the words to fully express what we feel. They just don't exist. But I think there's a reason for that... It leaves the door open for deeper communication. A "congratulations" from one survivor to another has a different--and deeper--meaning that can only be felt and understood by the survivors themselves. People who have shared the same fight don't need words to say "I understand" or "Congratulations" or "I love you." All they have to do is look at each other and smile. Words are not needed, and in a case such as that just described, they would only take away from the experience.

Thankfully there are words for those of us who have not fought your fight, so we can express to you our support, sympathy, and love. Inadequate as they might be, at least it is something. :)

On a personal note, thank you for sharing your journey so publicly. One more than one occassion you have given me hope and the encouragement to keep holding on when I've had nothing left. I have relied on your courage and openness more than you will ever know, and in your weakest moments I have found strength.

So here's to you! "Congratulations! Good Luck! Way to go! Good for you!" Not enough, but it'll have to do.

Love ya'!

Miriam Latour said...

I feel bad I didn't arrange to meet you at the race, but it was a great experience for me too! I thought about you the whole 3.1 miles, Gretch. Thanks for inviting me to run. :)