Take each day one step at a time.

It’s been a while. We’ve been living our best life down at the beach. It’s been amazing. I’ve stepped away for a bit because I needed to regroup. I just wanted to forget about cancer for a bit and focus on family. So that’s what we did. We were able to unpack and set up our little condo just how we dreamed. We have bikes hanging from walls for easy access. We have a little bar set up for afternoon margaritas and my art covering the walls reminds us of all the beautiful places we have been. We spent afternoons after school learning to surf and having beachside picnics.  It’s been everything we have wanted.

Then, about a month ago, I noticed some swollen lymph nodes in my armpits. I have transferred care down to the coast so I went to see my new doctor. We moved my scheduled PET Scan up and it revealed some spots of concern. We biopsied the bone of my scapula and it revealed the cancer has returned.

While all this was going on, I was still training for my miles. My bone biopsy was on Wednesday. It was confirmed cancer on Friday and Matt and I ran our marathon Sunday. It was a wave of emotions.

Sunday morning Matt and I arrived at the starting line in Birmingham for the BHM 26.2. It was raining. As we started we both felt great. Around mile 9 I started to go downhill. I was shocked at how fast I deteriorated. I had trained and been on much longer runs and felt so much better than I was currently feeling. We walked some and continued on. I got a little bit of a second wind after some food. I had some bad moments where Matt pulled me through.

There was pain I had never felt before. Around mile 22-23 I hit my wall. Tears, pain, and exhaustion set in. I had an overwhelming feeling of “How am I going to finish this? I want to quit. I can’t quit, this may be my last chance to ever do this.” I was overcome with emotion. We walked a few miles. Matt held my hand and encouraged me on. I was able to run again around mile 24ish. Then Matt hit his wall. Through muscle cramps and pain, we pushed on. My daughter was there waiting for us. She crossed the finish line between us. We did it. Together. Just like everything we’ve been through, my people were by my side overcoming huge challenges together as a family.

Later that week I went on a cancer survivor trip surfing with Send It Foundation in Stinson Beach, CA. I knew treatment was waiting and I would be fully immersed in the cancer community again. To be honest I didn’t want to go. The past few months I had hid from cancer. Pretended it didn’t exist. Now I am forced back to reality. But I went anyways.

What an amazing time. I forget how wonderful this community is. Everyone gets it. The fears, the emotions, the pain in the butt cancer can be. And I got to surf. If you have had cancer I highly recommend going on one of these trips. They are life changing.

Now I am back at the beach. After a visit with my doctor more information about my cancer has been revealed. We are still waiting on some biopsy and blood work results. But, in the meantime, there is also a spot on my ovary they are concerned about.  I was referred to a gynecologist oncologist in Mobile. Both my oncologist and the Mobile doctor recommended a full hysterectomy. My cancer is hormone based so by removing my ovaries it would hopefully slow or eliminate any future spread. So that has been scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, October 22, 2021. I have been avoiding this surgery for the past few years. It is a major surgery and will put me into immediate menopause. The next few weeks will be rough.

So that’s where we are at. I saw a post this morning on Pinterest. “When your peace is your highest priority, your choices become a lot more clear.” I haven’t wanted to tell anyone what’s been going on. I haven’t wanted to write my blog. By having major surgery, I will have to postpone my 32-miles or even create a new goal.

I have realized by keeping this hidden, it has caused me more stress, shame, and feelings of failure. Worrying about what others think and how they will react shouldn’t affect my peace. I need to focus on myself and my family to move forward one step at a time with my main focus being recovery.

Today I will prepare for tomorrows surgery. I will not allow others reactions to affect the view of myself or my peace. Today I will lean on my loved ones for the support and take each day one step at a time.

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