What a Difference a Year Makes
This past weekend was the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. Once again, I was the captain of Team CEF/Defeat Goliath, and once again it was an amazing success. I am left speechless at the generosity, support and love that I have received since my brain cancer diagnosis.
I was surprised though by how different this year felt to me compared to last year. To start, last year I was in the middle of a chemo cycle, so I was basically in a fog the entire day last year, I actually went home after the walk and slept for four hours. The Friday before was by far the worst day I experienced during my 12 months of chemo cycles. Last year’s walk was much more emotional for me as well. Just grasping the fact that people are here walking with me, supporting me, however it is not just because they care about me, but its because I have brain cancer – a brain cancer that currently medicine can’t heal, can’t fix. A cancer that won’t go into remission, it will always be a part of me for the rest of my life. A cancer that if the odds are correct, will not allow me to watch both of my kids graduate from high school. That is a tough realization to wrap your head around. A mix of anger and sadness that is tough to explain. We had the largest team in 2012 – the most walkers. We raised over 12K for brain cancer research. I didn’t know what to expect, how to feel, what to do. At times I just felt like crying. It was a glorious, but difficult day for me. Happy depression is how I would sum it up.
The 2013 walk, I felt a lot more hope. I am almost to two years since my surgery, I have been through 12 months of chemo. And now, aside from my scar, I don’t think that anyone, who didn’t already know, would be able to tell that I am living with brain cancer. Hope that the tide might turn for survivors, that something big is near. I found great hope in the fact that we heard doctors from multiple institutions speak at the event. Hope that we will see the brightest and best in Seattle start to completely collaborate together and work as a unit to fight for a cure. The speakers included my doctor by the way.
I saw hope in watching Brian Nelson, his wife Lisa, who joined Team CEF/Defeat Goliath and the huge amount of supporters that came and walked with him. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in the past year. I saw hope in that the fact they were not doing this alone, but had a great amount of supporters that are surrounding them, lifting them up. I know that brain cancer is not something that you can fight by yourself, you can’t be in isolation. You need an army of people battling with you, carrying you along the way, cheering you on, giving you meals, giving you rides, giving you hugs, giving you laughs, just being with you down the journey. At the walk Brian was awarded for being one of the top individual money raisers for 2013.
I saw hope in the survivors that I have met the last few year, the fact that they are still here, still fighting, not giving up. Yes the people in light green survivor shirts give me great hope.
I saw hope in the sea of Kelly Green EndBrainCancer shirts that were everywhere on Saturday. I saw hope in people like the Bohner’s who were responsible for making the shirt a reality. Thank You! That was Awesome!!
I saw hope in all that I have learned since November of 2011, what real grace is like, what forgiveness truly means, that you should always go two miles and not just one, that there are lots of things at work that are beyond my understanding, how to receive, what humility really is, not to waste the time that we have, to have no regrets, what it means to have “moving day” friends, to cherish each and every second that I have been given, to fight but also to know when I should rest, and most of all that hope can lift anything. And for all of these lessons, I am truly thankful.
I saw hope in all of the people that have lifted me up for almost two years, keeping my head above water, keeping me grounded, for all of you, I am truly grateful. Thank you for making it a day of Hope for me.
Yes what a difference a year makes!
The results: we had the second largest team and raised over 22K this year! So thank you to all of you! Thank you for lifting me up, supporting me and making the walk an incredible day of hope!