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[Note from me: I am not interested in debating the best way to raise awareness to breast cancer. I am not interested in negative opinions on how to check yourself, who should be checked, which age group is unfairly targeted, what other diseases don't get enough of a spot light on them. I am interested, however, in helping people, and right now, I'm focused on a specific cancer. See, I put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. All I care about is that more people stay healthy, get healthy, or have the chance to live another day to get healthy. If you have differing opinions or just feel a knee-jerk reaction to wanting to nit-pick or say something on your own, take it to your own place. This is my personal journal, not a community. And I thank you! *G*]

October 31rst! Last day of the Pink Ribbon month, and less than one week before the 3-Day here in my city! (If you'd live near Tampa Bay, FL and would like to know how to help cheer their walkers on this weekend, please go to crevette's LJ and read about cheering station locations here.)

Guys, I am only $450 off my goal, I've reached my goal, in great part to your support!!! My walking partner, Chrissy, is still $300 shy! Some of you have been so generous (and one of you has absolutely brought me to tears with the overwhelming donation made.) I can't thank you enough. I know that there have been a few that needed to put off making a donation until the end of the month, and maybe some of you have been on the fence about donating.

Remember: every single penny given will go directly to the fight! Nothing goes to pay for an administrator. Nothing goes to pay for stickers or pamphlets or corporate lunches, every single penny goes to the fight. 85% to individual treatment costs and 15% to fund research. I'm paying my own way: food, tents, beverages, band aids, motrin... Every walker and volunteer pays for the privilege to be involved. I'm paying in sore hips and shin splints, too, oy. It's worth it, though!

Let me put these links out here: My donation page, my walking partner's donation page. It doesn't matter who you donate to, it's the donation that counts!

Time is running out: I have less than one week to get us both up to our goals of $2200, or I'm footing the bill for the difference. Mind, I will gladly do it, but don't you want to be a part of this amazing event? *G*



Now, regardless of how schmaltzy I sound with all of this 3-Day talk, I'm not a sappy person. I'm not a pink wearer, I'm not a glitter pen/ladies night/scented candles while we all hold hands and share our feelings kind of gal. Not that there's anything wrong with it, I'm just not that girl.

I'm a complete and utter boob (har) when it comes to women finding their own inner strength, though. This was one that had me happily crying and cheering on the last day, though, and I'm not ashamed to say I was bawling. :)

It's Day Three, I'd partially torn my Achilles the day before at mile 32 (of 60), and had my whole foot wrapped up to my shin. I'm still trying to keep my 10 minute mile pace, but recognizing that I probably won't be able to keep that up. I'm feeling down, because I had made a personal fitness goal, aside from the fund raising goal. We're about half-way through the final 20 miles, and I'm on a trail through a wooded part of the Trinity Forest with a group way out in front, and a single woman way behind me. After twenty minutes or so, I look back and the single walker is significantly closer. I speed up because - I'll admit - I'm competitive. I wanted to sail through, injuries and all!

Another twenty minutes or so go by, I'm keeping my pace, and I feel a tug on my elbow. It's the single walker. She's completely red in the face, but she's also smiling fit to beat the band. We start talking, and she tells me that she'd been trying to "catch me" since yesterday. She had just turned 45, she had NEVER EXERCISED BEFORE, and decided that the 3-Day would be a great way to kick start a physical fitness regime.

After I picked my jaw off the floor, she kept going. Her doctor had told her that she was severely out of shape, had too much body fat, yadda yadda. Something in her woke up and she was determined to change things. I kept asking her over and over, "You've never exercised before? Walking? Nothing?? Didn't you train for the 3-Day at least??"

"Nope, I never did."

She kept up with my pace for a good half hour, telling me about her sisters, all overweight and diabetic, her worries for the example she'd set for her daughter, and how THIS was going to change things. She would show her sisters and her daughter that it's never too late to care about yourself.

I'm not trying to brag on myself with this, but just stating a fact: out of 2600+ walkers, I never fell back further than the top 45 walkers. And this woman who had been in poor health, who had never owned a pair of exercise shoes before (!!!) laced up the Friday before and told herself to not quit. And my god, she didn't. We lost each other at a rest stop (I got my foot re-wrapped and filled my Gatorade) and I didn't see her again until the finish line.

I crossed over, elated, and immediately sat down. Then I saw more people crossing the line, so I jumped back up and cheered for them, as I had been cheered. About an hour later, guess who I saw beaming from ear to ear? My friend from earlier, in the top 100 finishers. And guess who was waiting for her? Her sisters and her daughter, jumping up and down, screaming encouragement in Spanish, wanting to rush past the barricade to grab her up in a bone-crunching squeeze.

I got to her, first. :) We both cried, and I told her how much of an inspiration she was to me. She showed me (and anyone else) that it is never too late to care! It's never too late to try and make a difference! If you are determined to do something, then by god, you can do it! I believe that with every fiber of my being.

No complaining, no whining, no buts! If a woman who never walked further than the sofa to the fridge, or from her car to her desk for 45 years can walk 60 miles in a weekend, and do it with panache, then there's nothing that can't be done. I KNOW that a cure will be found. (We're close!) I know that we, as a community of women (and some very loving men that read this journal) can lift each other help, support each other, build up each other's confidence to know that we CAN change things! I think this current political environment is testament to that. If enough people try, it will happen!

Now, I know that finances are tight (beyond tight for some of us.) Even if you can't give any money (and I'll take a dollar, I'm not proud!) please consider being a part of a 3-Day near you. Be a person that gives POSITIVE energy to the world around you. Be a person that LIFTS OTHERS UP, not finds excuses or arguments. Find a way to carry someone when they can't keep going, find a way to bring joy or happiness to someone. I think about Lois (my 45 year old first time walker friend) and realize that any complaint I may want to make... Lois didn't complain once, and you have to know how much pain she was in. But her sense of accomplishment washed all that away.

YOU CAN DO IT! More importantly WE CAN DO THINGS TOGETHER!

I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message. Hahaha.

Don't forget to go to this post to give me names of loved ones you'd like for me to carry to the end of this journey!

And finally, in the words of Rod and Tod Flanders, "I've got the Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart! [Where?] Down in my heart! [Where?] Down in my heart!" Have a fabulous and safe Halloween, for those celebrating, and I'll have loads of picspam for you next week. DIG DEEP AND GIVE!!! <3 <3 <3

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
drusplace
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
My StepAunt and another family member are both Breast Cancer survivors and my Mom is a survivor for another type of cancer. So while my donation money goes elsewhere, I would still like to say a big thank you to you, your walking partner and your flist for their donations. If I won the lottery you would be getting a big donation from me. As it is, I will be cheering you on from my home.
stoney321
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Your donations are helping someone somewhere, so it's a wonderful thing!

and I will TAKE that cheering on, thank you!
drusplace
Oct. 31st, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. And that story was inspirational. I have a semi-related story. A good friened of my Boss had Parkinson's Disease so for YEARS our company's Christmas/Holiday donation was in his name to Parkinson's research. Tragically, a few years ago, my Boss' Father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's so that year our donation went there. My Boss was terrified to phone her friend and tell him that she was changing the donation. He, of course, told her to relax. That Parkinson's and Alzheimer's research are done together (brain research I suppose) and that he was glad that she was supporting ANYTHING! Sadly both men have since passed on. What I'm getting at I guess, is that THIS cause obviously means a great deal to you and ANY cancer donation, be it breast cancer or something else is a GOOD donation because really, it is possible for ANY of us to get cancer and through research of one, they may (WILL) make a breakthrough in many more types. KEEP fighting for everyone and HAVE FUN Stoney!
enigmaticblues
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm sitting at work, trying not to cry, because the story of that woman... What grit! It's inspirational.

Good luck with your walk. Finish strong!
stoney321
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
*hugs you* Go ahead and cry, I choked up remembering it while typing! And hey, if someone at work asks you why you're crying, send them a link. We all need some inspiration, you know? And who knows, they may have someone fighting BC or are a survivor and perhaps they've never heard of the 3-Day?

Thank you for your encouragement, and I plan on it! <3
turnonmyheels
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
That story made me tear up.

I keep starting to donate and get to the end and can't because the damn thing won't take paypal and I'm not carrying plastic anymore. Can I paypal you $25?

Also, I love your note.
stoney321
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
B, it made me so happy (and humbled!) to type it out and remember it all over again. Since then, I have NEVER complained about any physical whatever keeping me from doing something. There's no excuse! (I mean, there were women getting CHEMO at the rest stops participating. If they can do it, why can't I? <3)

I'll email you, and THANK YOU. *smooch*
inlovewithnight
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
I stop by and check in from time to time to see how you're doing, and today you made me cry. One of my best friend's mothers was just diagnosed with breast cancer; they caught it early and the prognosis is good, but it's been rough and scary for the family (and, selfishly and obviously on a much lower level, for me, trying to be supportive from too far away to hug).

I'm rambling, I'm sorry. I've completely blown my donation budget and then some on political campaigns this year, but I just wanted to thank you for what you're doing, and for your heart.
stoney321
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
HI SAM!!! *hugs you* You ramble all you want, sugar!

And really, the cheering means every bit as much to me as the donations, so THANK YOU! (And I'll keep your friend's mom in my heart and bring her to the Winner's Circle in spirit. SHE'LL BEAT IT!)
cityphonelines
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've said it enough, (though Sue and I keep saying it behind your back) but I'm so proud of you for doing this. So. Damn. Proud.

I love your heart. I love your brain. I love your dedication. I love your insides, the parts I can't see.
stoney321
Oct. 31st, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Aww, I like hearing what's being said behind my back! Hahahahaha, but only if it's good. :D

I love your outsides and insides and all the stuff that comes out of your brain. The wavy creation stuff, not the actual guts and gore. THANK YOU VINNIE! I hug you nine times! *SQUIIIIIIIISH*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Isn't that great? And her sisters at the finish line, overwhelmed, proud, and inspired by their sister? You just know that they were encouraged to finally start themselves, all because she just said "I can."

I love it. I'm starting to get really excited - I can't wait for it to get started!! <3
kseenaa
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
I dug and I gave. The Swede strikes again. Good luck and all that!
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you!! I appreciate that so much! <3
kseenaa
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Silliness... When I did give you, my bank (where I have my creditcard) didn't know where I gave things, so they got a bit suspicious... and blocked my entire bank-account! o.O I called them and explained the whole thing... Still. Gave me a slight heart-attack! :-D I hope the walk went well.
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
ACK!! That would have scared me, too. (Oh, the walk isn't until this coming weekend, in 6 days! I'll be gone for four days, and there will be a massive post with picspam of tired feet, har.)
kseenaa
Nov. 1st, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah. :-P Some phone-calls and it was all solved. :-) Oh, and I do hope for a good report. :-)
ponders_life
Nov. 1st, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Fabulous story! I started exercising regularly a month ago, and I'll keep your friend's example of determination in mind when I want to quit.

I just donated (listed as "PL" on the scrolling list) -- sorry it couldn't be more, but I also donated to my co-worker, who did the 3-Day in Massachusetts.

Go you!
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
Good for YOU!!! Please, never complain about the size of a gift with me! Shoot, I'm happy to get it, and I thought it was very generous of you. And that's so cool that you have a friend involved in the Mass. 3-Day!

I think the coolest thing about my friend on that day was the look on her sisters' faces, seeing her so strong and accomplished. You just know that she inspired them to finally get into a health program. <3

Go YOU!
bienegold
Nov. 1st, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
We actually just found out that my mom has breast cancer.
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Oh dear!! I can imagine how scared you both must feel. Earlky detection = beating it, really! I know a lot of breast cancer survivors and I'll keep your mom in my thoughts. She CAN beat it!

*massive hugs*
lynnenne
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. I love you too much for words. <3 <3 <3
stoney321
Nov. 1st, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
HEEEEE. You know I put that right there for you, yeah? Simpsons = Lynne. :D

I LOVE YOU LYNNE!
zyrya
Nov. 2nd, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
I'm so proud of you, lovebug, you're an inspiration and a blessing.
stoney321
Nov. 2nd, 2008 01:03 pm (UTC)
*kisses you all over your face and neck*

I gotta tell ya: you remind me of the goodness that is naturally in people, no lie. I'll do you proud!!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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