3 Days, 60 Miles, 1 Cure

I have sat down in front of the computer easily 5 times in the last day and a half to try to form all the words to share my experience of the 3rd day and I can’t seem to find them all. This was my reason for walking. I wanted to honor my two grandmothers. I wanted to honor my daughter’s grandmother. I wanted to pray for a cure for this life taking disease before my daughter has children to call me grandmother. All through the opening ceremony on day 1 I was able to keep my emotions in check. Steve can tell you I can be a hot mess when it comes to tearing up and let the water works flow. But I was there as a professional right. I needed to maintain my composure. The problem is when you are surrounded by women and men all fighting to save lives it’s hard to keep your composure. The My Grandmother sign was what did me in. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of my grandmothers. How hard I wished that either of them could have been standing next to me and walking this walk to fight with me and then thinking about the other men and women that were surrounding me that had lost their grandmothers.

Over 3 days I met some amazing men and women who were each there for their own personal reasons to fight for one common ground. Darla was an amazing lady that tented next to us. She was a little kooky but she was a support system beyond words on Sunday. I was overly annoyed with myself and angry that I wasn’t able to Keep Going. My calf muscles were in tight little bundles twisted around themselves and my feet have blisters the size of Texas on the bottom of them so I felt it was best to be able to continue at the end and document the closing then to try and force myself to do more mileage than I could safely do. Darla was able to “Sag” with me on the bus and kept my spirits high. Although anyone coming in contact with her, please be aware that she likes to talk loudly with her hands and thus meant a spilled Blackberry Izze all over the Starbucks window, table and floor. Thank you Darla for making Saturday evening and Sunday a joy rather than a heartache.  I’ll see you in Philly next year right?

To help keep the walkers safe throughout the mean streets of DC and Gaithersburg there was the road crew. This wonderful husband and wife team saved me on Day 1. I went to step towards the wife as she was helping me to cross the street and my aforementioned calf muscle twisted horrifically. She quickly grabbed me a chair, sat me down, called her husband to help keep the other walkers safe across the street and got me on a sweep van. I wasn’t smart enough to grab their names but Thank you my Day 1 Angels!

(Since I’m not talented enough to take photos of my own feet, I had to borrow my tentmate’s feet.) The blisters were running rampant. I didn’t see a single person that hadn’t been touched by these lovely little monsters but you know what I also didn’t hear any whining about them either. Darla and I saw a pin on Sunday that said it all. “Blisters Don’t Need Chemo” Honestly a blister, a twisted muscle, a headache are nothing compared to what the men and women who are fighting breast cancer have to deal with. So the injuries we sustained over the weekend are little in comparison and I would gladly do it all over again if it meant a cure.

We slept in tents in the middle of a thistle field. We ate the same basic food for 3 days. (Some was better than others. Can I please have another PB&J Graham Cracker Sandwhich?) We showered in portable trailers that actually did have hot water. We used port-a-potties. We heard thousands of snorers. And we all did it for one reason.

To find a cure. This past weekend just under 2000 walkers hit the streets of DC and Montgomery county and in doing so raised OVER 5.3 million dollars.

I was asked yesterday what was the most amazing thing I saw this weekend. Without a doubt it had to be these two sights:

Survivor circle

In that Survivor Circle, was Terri. She was able to walk all 3 days even though she had only finished her treatment 2 days before hand. What an amazing sight Terri was.

And on the stage was Isabelle. Isabelle is a team mate for Team Girlapalooza. She is a 1 year survivor and had the best attitude I’ve ever seen. Menopause hit and Isabelle was spared some of the side effects like hot flashes. Then came her diagnosis. Now Isabelle is going through what she calls Menopause 2. The medications she is taking to halt the estrogen causes her to have menopause effects. Most people would be complaining about the hot flashes and other side effects but not Isabelle. Isabelle said ” I’m glad to see the hot flashes. They let me know the medicine is working the way its supposed to and I get to smile that I’m still here and making it.”

Keep Going Isabelle! You did every step of that 60 miles this weekend, you did it with a smile on your face and love surrounding you. You really are an inspiration and a fighter!

My heartfelt thank yous to Energizer for allowing me to walk, share my journey and more importantly to let others know how they can fight breast cancer.