"I BELIEVE IN PINK! I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."— Audrey Hepburn

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every night, friends. You have done what you could. Let it go.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why We Walk

I have been wanting to post about my incredible experience of Friday night all weekend but I am just getting to it, and now I am afraid I won't be able to do it justice. I feel I must give you a little background, but will try not to bore...As a blogger, you must figure that I do follow a few blogs...as most of you out there know, I am a tireless and very active breast cancer advocate...this story kind of touches on both and a whole lot more...

Last weekend we had our Maryland Race for the Cure. It was a very busy time around here, it was an exhilarating time around here. The survivor tent, for which I was responsible, was beautiful, and a huge success! Back at work, I spent the week recovering...towards the middle of the week I received a voice mail message asking me if I might like to speak Friday night at the Komen DC 3 Day as a representative of Komen Maryland. Of course, I said sure. I am to speak for five minutes or so on a mission/research related topic. The camp is an hour or so away...

My husband has been sent down to the college to finally take care of a dorm related problem for my daughter...we don't like to play the squeaky wheel but sometimes it has to be done and up until now, my daughter has handled it all on her own...a story for another blog post...

I also have an advocacy related conference call after work Friday and before the 3 day...sheesh...should I have passed this up?

Well, boy am I glad I didn't! I follow a blog called "My big girl Pants" the author is a young breast cancer patient that is fighting stage IV breast cancer and has been since being diagnosed at age 21. I read this week that she is doing the DC 3 day...hey, I think, perhaps I will meet her!

I am on face book this week and a friend is crewing for the 3 day. hey, I think, perhaps I will see her...

So, Friday comes and I finish up work early and do my call and then head over to Germantown, MD to the 3 day camp. The Komen 3 day is an event where the participants raise money to participate and then walk 60 miles over a 3 day period! I was one of the speakers on their first night of camp. It took me an excruciating one and a half hours to make the drive. I barely made it to the stage on time!

After a lovely introduction I did my thing, it was fun, it went well, and I enjoyed, it. Afterward, I sat down and listened. A young woman sat near me and she asked me to say hello to our executive director for her. She told me that her name was Bridget and that she was the woman's daughter's best friend and that she lived across the street. Of course, I agreed to do this...The next thing I know, the young woman is being introduced as a participant and she is there to explain why she walks.

Well, she walks because she was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 weeks after she graduated from college at the age of 21. She had found a lump in her breast 6 months earlier. The doctors assured her that it was nothing...Six months later it became clear that it was not nothing! It turned out to be stage IV breast cancer with a tumor in her liver! It was predicted that she would not live through the treatments...You have to under stand that I remember hearing about our executive director's daughter's best friend and her diagnosis...OMG! I had just met her...what a small world...Bridget continued to talk...she spoke about the fact that she met someone and that she became engaged and they are now married and that they have been changing her chemotherapy cocktails along the way because the cancer will figure out what they are doing and so they will have to change it...This all compliments what I had talked about when I spoke...Then she talked about the fact that it is 6 years later she is 26 now and she and her husband would like to talk about the future and a yard and a puppy and maybe children, but sometimes they just pray for one more day. Tears flow...

She was given 2 weeks off of chemotherapy for her wedding and for the first time she was able to feel her age...All of this was said with good humor and laughter! I was listening to an incredible young woman! Then she made the comment that the cocktail she was on now had actually, for the first time, shrunk the tumor! And the coin dropped into the slot...I had met "My Big Girl Pants" she is Bridget...all this time, and I had no idea...I waited for her to finish. We gave her a standing ovation. She went over to sit with her husband. I walked around in front of the stage and over to her chair and knelt next to her(hoping that she would not see that I had been crying) I said to her, "you're Big girl pants" she laughed and said "yes!" I said " I follow you, I was hoping to meet you!" We hugged and I told her she was right that her husband was cute and we laughed. He looked a little shell shocked...I believe that this was his first walk, and after all he had  just listened to the story also...her Mom was there and her team...they had raised over 85,000 dollars! As I stood up I felt someone tap me on my shoulder, I turned around and there was my FB friend Mollie. We hugged! Now my night was complete!

What an incredible night. What an incredible woman! It all gave me chills. I went over to the 3 day shops and bought a shocking pick travel mug...it's what I do...

Bridget, you are why we walk, I am why we walk! And nights like these are why, when the body and mind gets tired, the spirit is renewed!

Stay pink Bridget and stay well!

11 comments:

  1. What a story! Moving and at the same time very scary for me. Our daughter who is almost 25, is convinced she doesn't need a mammogram until she's 35, even though my mom had very aggressive breast cancer twice. I'm going to forward this on to her. Thanks for this Pinkim.

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  2. You write beautifully. This is refreshing to read. Glad I met you.

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  3. Hi Kim: For some unknown reason, tonight I was going back through comments on my old blog posts because I was just sure I had missed some people that I wanted to acknowledge & I was right. One of them was you!

    Through blogging, I've found the friends & the strength to do & say more than I ever thought possible. Even though we're all healthy now, our entire family suffered when our son took the dark road into the world of drugs, eventually getting hooked on heroin. Thank God he pulled himself out of the abyss (I knew I couldn't *fix* him) & has been clean for nearly 4 years now. Still, every day seems precarious to me.

    My hubby's parents were our best friends in the world until they both died from different cancers, 7 months apart (both aged 70), which is when our son began his ugly foray into drugs. We were just too consumed with grief to see what was happening until it was too late, which I suppose makes us human. Still, it was a horrible 8 years with him in & out of drug detoxes & rehabs, all over the nation. Had I been blogging back then, I might have been able to pull my head out of the darkness, but I'm at least glad I've found blogging since. I'm also glad to have found you as well.

    Blogging must be the best free therapy in the world. I've lost many friends & family members to cancer, many to drugs & alcohol as well as total accidents. It all hurts and the only relief we have is friends, whether near or far. I also have at least a dozen friends who have survived breast cancer & are still going strong, so I feel a somewhat kindred spirit in you. I hope we can be friends because I like who you are in your writing & I also admire the way you write. I'm just sorry it took me so long to find you...

    Liz (Snooty)

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  4. Thanks so much! I too am glad we found each other, and I am so glad I thought to check in tonight...I have a bad habit of not checking in if I haven't posted...I have to be sure to break myself of that because there were 2 new posts waiting for me and one of them was yours. I am glad you found me! I haven't been doing this for very long and I never know if I am doing it "well". I look around and check out other blogs and once in a while I find one that I feel the need to comment on. Yours was one such blog.
    Thanks for stopping in! I am heading over your way now...
    Kim

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  5. Thanks for guiding me to this post Kim.
    I've always said we meet people for reasons unknown. Meeting Bridget was meant to be.
    Keep pinking girl.
    I bet coffee taste much better in that spiffy mug of yours.
    xoxoxo

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  6. This is a great post, Kim! I hope that my prompts can inspire you to spread your writing far and wide because you should be writing as much as possible!

    Sincerely,
    Bryan

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  7. Thank you so much! I sure hope you stop back to see this response because you made a very difficult day so much better...Kim

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  8. Kimberly, your heart is so big! I loved reading about these courageous women. And thank you for your kind comments on my blog tonight!

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Thank you so much for visiting my Little Pink Blog:) It looks like I now have the ability to reply to your comments! YAY! So I hope you check to see if I have left you a reply, because I always read your comments. They really tickle me...Pink of course...