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.
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.
Run on, friends!