Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nobody plans for this...

NO ONE looks forward to the day they get to join the ladies in pink. We're a reluctant group, if ever there was one. But here we are. The women who are being celebrated at the Susan B. Komen Race for a Cure. Alive, and happy for it.

I have to say it was...what? Awe-inspiring? Amazing? Heart-breaking? A combination of many emotions I guess, to stand amidst this many women knowing that at some point in their lives they've all had the same kind of cruddy year I've had. They're all intimately familiar with terms like Diep-flaps, node counts, aromatase inihibitors, and tamoxifen.

Some had hair dos or shiny scalps to prove they were still in the midst of it (like me), though most sported sassy short styles of varying lengths. One women was clearly embarrassed by her beautiful locks that went to her waist. She had a unique type of chemo that doesn't cause hair to fall out. I'm thinking I better find out that particular treatment wouldn't have worked on me, or my doc is gonna be hearing about it. But she said NOT losing her hair was the hardest part for her. It made her feel like she wasn't legit or something. I guess I get that, and I certainly don't want to discount anyone's feelings, but I think I could live with it.

Then there were the women with tiny kids. Those made me cry. And also the ones in white shirts with papers on their backs listing aunts and sisters and mothers who had been victims. I couldn't help but cry for those girls who live waiting for the time bomb in their own chests to go off.

And that, I guess, is why we race.

This is the actual race, with me and my girls. Jen (right) actually ran the whole 5K. Woo-hoo you buff thing! (Little Ethan watched with his dad). Whit (bottom right, in the middle) was game for the run, but we couldn't find Jen in the crowds, so she walked the sissy version with me and Nat. And that top left running. Well, okay, sort of running. And, yes, it was a re-enactment. But only cause my awesome and supportive son-in-law didn't have the camera ready the first time. Of course even if he had, he wouldn't have expected to see us running (which we did for TWO WHOLE BLOCKS. If you ask Whit is was like two seconds. But what evs...I was sweating.)

Here we have the Pink Parade. After the run they sent us to the "pink cafe" to find our group of survivors (1 to 5 years, 6 to 10, etc.) We chatted tentatively as we waited at the end of the line - us newbies - finding out all our differences and similarities in this game we've been thrown into. And then they marched us past our families--all the beautiful people who don't want to be playing the game any more than we do...whose lives have been put into turmoil just as much as ours, but who have much less control. All they can do is cheer from the sidelines and pray. Not just on this day but every day. And mine do a great job of it.

And finally, all the Pink Faces. They played music that made us cry. Sent up a flock of doves that made us ooh and awe (yeah, I know, white homing pigeons, but it was way cool). And then called us all kinds of nice things that made us cry some more. We're a beautiful group, aren't we?


Mike and Jen said...

All I have to say is... Yea Mom!

Kimi said...

Yeah, you're a beautiful group.

YOU are brave, adventurous, and inspiring. You are my hero.

I love you.

Suzanne Reese said...

You girls are so sweet - two of the most amazing ladies I know. Love you both!