Friday, July 2, 2010

So Mad I'm Seeing Pink, or Why I Keep Walking

Unless you haven't taken a peek at the left side of this blog, or you've somehow evaded being on my e-mail mailing list, or you aren't one of my Facebook friends or Twitter tweeps, you probably know that I'm walking in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure in August. 

This will be my second 3-Day in a row.  The training is hard, the time away from R and the girls is wrenching, but less than an hour after Closing Ceremonies ended last year I knew I'd be signing up for another 3 days and 60 miles this year.  It's hard to put into words what a truly life-changing experience it is, and I won't try to duplicate the efforts of the legion of 3-Day bloggers who've gone before me and eloquently described the sights, sounds and emotions.

But my take on it?  I'm mad.

Mad that my mom had to spend a single minute worrying about what her diagnosis of breast cancer would mean for her, for her health and for her family.

Mad that one of my dear friends (and my 3-Day captain who keeps us so motivated) had to lose her mom to breast cancer before she had her lifetime and before she got to hold her baby's babies. 

Mad that moms of young children have to face, fight and - heartbreakingly - sometimes lose their fights against breast cancer, leaving behind babies that will have fleeting, if any memories of them.  This week my heart hurt when I learned of another, a friend of a training partner, who was taken away from her 2 and 5 year old babies, at 40 years old.  She could be me, and her kids could be mine.

Mad that so-called experts want to change when and how women get their regular mammograms, to set new rules that, had ithey been in place a couple years ago, a teammate/survivor/friend of mine would have likely faced a much different future.

Mad that every year, I hold my breath for a week until I get the "all clear" on my own annual mammogram, not able to fight off fleeting glimpses of what otherwise could be.

Mad that if something doesn't change, my daughters will have to do the same one day.

I know that anger isn't productive, and I know there is hope.  I know that the research that's been done and the progress that's been made over the past few years has changed so many women's stories for the better, including my mom's.

But until there is a cure, until there is an end, I will be mad, and I will walk, and I will do whatever I can do so my daughters never have to raise money for the cure or face a diagnosis of their own.

I write this not to promote my fundraising efforts, but as a reminder to myself.  As I've heard other 3-Day veterans tell, it's a little harder that second, third, etc year to get up at the crack of dawn on weekends for training walks, to relentlessly fundraise, to do the whole experience over again. 

But as long as I'm still mad, I will walk.  For them.

No comments:

Post a Comment