giving thanks.

My last post was kind of a big Debbie Downer confessional on the opposite-of-love feelings I have about running, and that’s not the message I want sitting out here, guys.

And what better month to focus on giving thanks than this, the month of

You see, the day after that last post, I got a somewhat scary phone call that stopped me in my tracks.

Here’s the backstory:

A week prior to the call, I had finally decided to stop dragging my heels and get the mammogram that was a year overdue. (Side note: am I really 41 now and FOR SURE not in my 30’s anymore? I might still be in shock on that, but anyway, let’s move on.)

The deal is that my mom’s a breast cancer survivor and it’s just smart business to stay on top of this stuff, even if it scares us and we’re intimidated by the whole ordeal.

And by “us” and “we” I squarely mean “me”.

But I needed to start being 41-and-responsible about it so I pulled up my Big Girl Ps and scheduled the damn thing.

It was easy peasy – 10 minutes at best – and I was headed back home before I could even say ‘pancake’ (little mammogram joke there). They told me that they’d email the results within a few days and I didn’t give it another thought.

But then a few days went by, and then a week, and I was kind of like “huh, that’s marginally interesting” and then the phone rang. And the person on the other end was like “so, there looks to be something in your left breast so we’re gonna need you to come back in for more tests and possibly an ultrasound and something something etc.”

…and you know that feeling where time kind of stops? Yeah, that.

It was surreal and made my heart race but I’m equal parts optimist + worrywart so my mind was like “it’s totally gonna be nothing…right?”

So, a week of waiting for the next round of whatever they needed to do while, back at the ranch, life marches on, as it is known to do. Whether you worry about a thing or are able to put it into a neat little box for later: life still insists on continuing forward.

And that’s what I did. I kept moving forward, because I could.

I logged my runs.
I did my training.
I put one foot in front of the other.

I tried to focus on everything/anything else besides this kind of odd unknown hanging out in the universe, tapping me on the shoulder now and then like “pssst, don’t get too comfortable with stuff, I’m still over here ya know.”

Finally, my follow-up appointment was yesterday and I was nervous as hell, I’m not going to lie. My body was sort of a ball of dry-mouth-sweaty-pits-racing-heart even though I was SURE it would be nothing, but what if it wasn’t nothing?

The long and short of it is, they did the tests and then had to do some additional tests and then one more test for good measure and I am so happy to report that even though all this testing did turn up a tumor, it appears to be a noncancerous variety. I’m just a biopsy away from a solid green light on this one.

I left my appointment, got into my car and was abuzz with adrenaline, my shirt soaked through from stress-sweating, and

I felt immensely thankful.

As I was pulling out of the parking lot, so ready to just be home, I looked across at the Olympic Mountains – the mountains I grew up taking for granted – and took a deep breath and said “thank you”. Out loud. To the universe, to God, to myself, to my body, to no one in particular.

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I did not take this picture. Driving + photography = unsafe. Also, come on. Do you see me taking pictures like this?

In summary, I do hate running. That is still true.

But sometimes it takes a good shake – gentle or otherwise – to make us remember that if our able bodies CAN do something, we just simply SHOULD do that thing – whatever it is – and embrace the suck.

Suck it up, buttercup.


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Run on, friends!

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14 Responses to giving thanks.

  1. Boo says:

    So many chills…I almost started crying (“almost” because my heart is black not because this isn’t emotional). You are SO RIGHT and I’m glad you’re nearly 100% in the clear. And because life is short and whatnot, let me just tell you I LOVE YOU! You’re an amazing person with a giant heart and I’m thankful for your friendship. xo, boo

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      Oh my love bug, I LOVE YOU TOO. What a treasure you are! How lucky I was to find this internet stranger who has become one of my very favorite humans. I am THANKFUL, too. Thank you. XOXO

  2. Allie says:

    I hate that you had to wait. I had “something” in my breast a few years ago and after the mammogram and ultrasound they had me wait there and analyzed it there. Those 45 minutes felt like hours, I can still tell you the articles I read. I can’t imagine waiting longer. I hate that you had to wait. I can’t explain how thankful I am that every time I see you my day gets better – it just does, it’s like Melisa magic.

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      My gosh, Allie. I don’t even know what to say. I have had to read and re-read your words several times because they keep filling up my cup. I am SO THANKFUL for your friendship, too. What a gift. And P.S. I am grateful you’re all clear, also! Life. Never a single dull moment, eh? XOXO

  3. Christina says:

    Thanks. Thanks for the way you choose to be, in the face of terrifying issues and everyday life. Thanks for sharing it to draw more of the same out of the rest of us. Reading your stuff, or seeing you jog down the road, is a lift. Thanks for that. You are awesome. I’m so very glad that in the end the news was good, but what a terrifying couple of weeks that must have been for you. I’m sorry you had to have this experience and grateful you let it fuel inspiration for the rest of us.

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      Christina, you bright star. Every time you tell me about being inspired seeing me out running I have to laugh because I can only imagine what that scene must look like as I stumble along on this journey. But it makes me feel like I can do this when I hear encouraging words like yours. I am grateful that we know each other on this journey. Thank you for being you. XO

  4. Janet says:

    Whew! That’s really scary. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, and am SO happy for the good outcome. And I’m so happy that I’ll still have you with me to embrace the strength suck. 🙂 xoxo

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      Thank you so much, dear friend! Just 5 minutes ago got the call from my doc to schedule the biopsy so this will be in the rearview mirror soon. And truly, THANK YOU for inspiring me on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and – let’s be honest – all the other days. You BRING IT, and that makes me want to bring it, too. xoxo

  5. Dee Eisenhauer says:

    Thanks for sharing this experience, Melisa, and I am so glad that the scare was nothing but a scare, and that it moved you toward gratitude. I’m thinking of the benediction I say at church so often: “Life is short, and we do not have much time with those with whom we walk the Way. So be swift to love, and make haste to be kind, in the name of our companion, Jesus Christ.”

    And this:

    Blessings and love, Dee

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      Pastor Dee… thank you so much for taking the time to write a note, and for your kind and supportive words (as always). That benediction is exactly the reason why your church is the one we’re drawn to. And speaking of both church and running, I’m so sorry we’ve been so absent the last year – Sunday mornings have been my best opportunity to get the long miles in (though trust me – I do plenty of praying, mostly that it will end soon – ha). Anyway, I always feel reassured that if anyone will forgive me, it’s you. Thanks for being a constant support. Love, Melisa

  6. erin says:

    Oh honey!
    As you can see, I am not the only one you have touched & inspired with your stories and your honesty….Like I have said, sharing our “stuff” is what connects us! Thank you for doing that.
    I had a “suspicious” result a few years ago…so I can relate in some small way (pun intended there on the “small” hehe)…Turns out I just have “abnormally lumpy breasts”. Yay?
    So proud of you for staying strong and staying grateful! What a brave gal you are. Hope to see you out there soon! xo

    • Melisa Lunt says:

      Oh friend, thank you for the kind words!! You can always count on me for a li’l overshare – ha! But I agree – when we’re authentic and honest about what we’re going through, it’s so reassuring how many “me too! me too!” you find other people coming forward with. Our villages are everywhere! I’m sorry you had a “bumpy road” yourself but glad all is OK. I am inspired by YOUR bravery, love. On the daily. I’m doing the Grand Ridge Trail 1/2 on the 14th and then the Wishbone 1/2 on the 27th (prior to doing the Seattle Full on the 29th!). I hope we can connect at a race or two. XOXO

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