About Me

My photo

2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cocoon Layers

In 2 days I will be running/walking a 5K, Teal for a Cure at the beautiful Shelby Farms. It's the first 5K that I'm running, though I've walked a 5K in the past. In my  'far away and with much heavier body before cancer' past.

It's astoundingly wonderful to me that my body as it is now is able to run. I'm in love with the notion that I can define running however I want and no 'running definition' policemen will hunt me down. I run slow, but both of my feet leave the ground at the same time and that- to me- is running. And I love the support and camaraderie of runners. It's great to have people encouraging me, the good for the soul kind of great.

However, I'm not new to working out, in fact I've been a proud Cathlete (avid fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts) for over 12 years now. Though I share strong bond with my fellow Cathletes, the relationships- sadly- are mostly trapped in the Web. Oh how I wish it were different, though!! My workouts- as awesome and challenging as they truly are- are done in the privacy of my home. I'm generally not comfortable working out in front of people... But this running thing has changed me.

Or rather, this surviving cancer thing has changed me. Now I run in a public park in workout clothes instead of baggy cottons. Now I go to running shoe stores and run in front of strangers to find the great fitting shoes without anxiety. And I'm making running friends. Which feels strange but also very comfortable all at once. I've run with my youngest sister, Sally. And a new friend, who I met online and is a fellow blogger at I Run For My Life, Susan has graciously agreed to run Teal for a Cure with me. She's a seasoned marathon runner and a very sweet, fun and easy to talk to lady. I know she'll help me through the tough spots and keep me focused on the positives. You have my sincere gratitude, Susan.

I'm emerging from my cancer cocoon and realizing that the cocoon is made up of many layers. The latest layer has uncovered these gems of wisdom and change~

I'm not comparing my running to anyone else's, I'm enjoying that I CAN run while challenging myself with each run. I'm amazingly grateful.

The real me knows that it doesn't matter how much time it takes me to complete this 5K on Saturday morning. Sure, I'd like to finish in 55 minutes or less. Yet, I know the true joy and miracle is that I can run/walk 3.1 miles.

Although I wish I had the physique of a runner right now, but I won't let my frivolous ego hold me back. My body is changing... becoming leaner, stronger, faster, more flexible and healthier every week. How my body looks is such a tiny part of who I really am. It's reflecting in my self talk, which is a miracle in a true sense (not a sarcastic one).

Being a runner is in my soul, not my skin. Just like being a Cathlete. I just didn't realize it until I started running. My workouts and runs will show up on up outside soon enough, it was more important for the love of working out- and love of myself- get embedded in my soul.

Tomorrow I'm going to be interviewed on TV. I knew about the possibility a few days ago, but didn't really think it would happen. It's really happening now! Gulp. Wow!! Whoa. I'm honored to represent ovarian cancer Survivors,  the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation, and the opportunity to use my Voice and story to raise awareness of this disease that's avoidable and treatable if caught early. Knowledge is TEAL power.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Awkward Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 2 year anniversary of my final chemo treatment. Which is wonderful. And kind of awkward. Yes, I had cancer twice. Yes, I consider myself a Survivor. I was a whole person with dreams, problems and a life before I had either cancers. Then for about 3 years I was a cancer patient. And now I'm an upgraded model of myself post cancer. Different dreams, different problems and a whole different beautiful life.

Cancer doesn't define me. It's a chapter in my life's story that has led me to now. Now is very good and I'm quite grateful for all the people, experiences and places that envelope my life.

I'm emerging from the cocoon of individual Survivor into a butterfly of advocacy for ovarian cancer awareness and research. Yes, I'm still a Survivor and always will be. Yet I want to let go of my ultra-personal relationship to cancer. Let go of daily thoughts and memories of it. Release the addiction I sometimes feel to my cancer story. I want to let go the story of who I was and what happened to me so I can open myself to the possibilities in the NOW.  It happened therefore I'm a Survivor and now I'm also an advocate...

I'm also a sister, a daughter, an Aunt, a friend, an educator, a car dancer, a runner, a Course in Miracles student, a blogger, an essential oils lover, a scrapbooker, a dreamer, and a believer in Love and God. Cancer does not define me. Cancer isn't what makes me interesting or special. It happened to me, I got treatment, I'm better now. I'm deeply grateful for the experience of cancer, and will apply what I learned from those experiences with me as I move forward with my life.

All of that is true, but then how shall I deal with these cancer anniversaries that tick in my head? This day I chose to celebrate by going to a Couch 2 5K graduation for my Teal Sister Deb and advocating to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and the upcoming Teal for a Cure 5K to the hundreds of women at the event. Then I went to my Yoga class which felt really wonderful. I spent the afternoon doing more advocacy work from bed in my comfy clothes. Then I ate a healthy dinner with a treasured friend, saw a second run movie and had an amazing discussion about Marianne Williamson's book A Return to Love after reading 2 chapters out loud to each other.

I celebrated by living my life, by making a point to enjoy it a bit more today.

Ringing the Bell at West Clinic 9/16/2010 to celebrate completing chemo