first of all, let me explain that the full text on this billboard is “I race for life”, but I love how all I caught of it as I drove by, was, “or life”. of course. what’s the alternative….?
yes, that is me. big, bald and badass. I was sent an email asking if I would want to participate in this photo shoot for “the race for the cure”, the susan g. komen event to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. I said that I would, and it proved to be a very interesting experience for many reasons.
I met a great woman at the shoot, who she and I have become friends. honestly, meeting mary lu now seems like the primary reason I did the shoot and just did not know it at the time.
it is an interesting phenomenon though that being involved in any sort of “cancer” awareness, survivorship, support situation, is the time I most feel like I might actually be a human land mine that could detonate at any time. the time I feel that maybe things are not quite as great as I think they are. in my day to day existence, I never think of myself as having been sick, or a survivor. I had cancer and now I do not. moving on. profoundly changed and ever vigilant, (that subtle fear always just below the surface) but moving forward. new life. new time. live now. yet in the medical world there is a sense of always needing to remind you that even though we have the highest hopes, we are sure you are just fine, but…never forget you are sick.
when I was In the hospital after my first chemo, ramped up and raging on steroids with a fever of 103, one of the myriad nurses came into my room and asked me what kind of cancer I had and then asked, “how long have you been sick?” I remember being stunned into silence for a moment (rare for me, I know) thinking, I’m not sick. I have a fever and am in the hospital because of the drugs and treatment I am on, but I am not sick, I just am dealing with cancer for the time being, thank you very much.
I have a lovely woman who is a yoga student of mine and friend who is an osteopath, and her entire focus is, where is the wellness in the body? let’s attend to the wellness and get the body in balance. this is a radical difference from “how long have you been sick?”
so because of this difference of focus, I was not entirely sure I wanted to be involved in actually doing the “race for the cure.” “racing for your life” “killing cancer” “beating the odds”. did I really want to be surrounded with thousands of people who saw themselves as sick and were afraid? I felt obligated, as I was their primary poster girl, but was having big reservations…
to be continued…