Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is why we walk

Finally, I get to tell you about the Relay for Life which occurred last Saturday.
Sarah did Relay last year and she asked us if we would like to have an IUAA (Indiana University Alumni Association) team.  Several of us said yes.  By the time the day arrived, basically, it was Sarah and me who actually did the walking.  One other lady showed up and walked for a few hours.  Sarah's amazing parents walked with us and served as our support team. 
Sarah and me.  By the time this photo was taken, we were sweaty and disgusting- but still smiling.
This photo was scary, but I wanted to take it for Mindy.

We started walking around 12:30 p.m.  For breakfast, I had two boiled eggs.  I didn't have time to stop for coffee.  I took a liter of water with me which was quickly downed.  Someone had a grill and was cooking hot dogs.  I had not had a bun for over nine weeks, but decided to have a hot dog and bun and a pkg of baked Lays chips.  I downed a bottle of Gatorade and shortly after drinking it, I had mega pain in my lower left abdomen.  At some point I had a no-bake cookie.  Then, I started to struggle to stay hydrated and started downing bottles of water.  Throughout the day, I must have had four or five or more. 
first of the survivors in the survivors walk
more survivors
more survivors

Throughout the day there were different recognitions.  The Survivors Walk made me cry.  We stood to the side and applauded as they walked around the track.  One gal (my age or younger) had the most beautiful wide smile.  You could see she was full of joy at being a part of the walk. 
flags representing those yet to be diagnosed
Bringin' home the bronze!

Even though just a few of us walked, a few more helped raise donations.  Our little team raised about $1300.  I was proud of that.
Around 6:30 p.m., I was getting tired and two of my friends- Jennifer and Alysa arrived to walk with us.  I cannot tell you how that caused me to rally!  They lifted my spirits as we walked together.  I was dancing and laughing.  They both continued to walk with me until near the end. 
Late in the day, word arrived that a wide storm front was approaching.  We started to put everything away and got our tent down before it got wet.  We were walking a track behind the Monroe County YMCA and they allowed us to take shelter inside.  Some of us continued to walk on the indoor walking track.  At 9:30, they decided to call the walk.  The rain and lightening and high winds were continuing. 
One of the ideas behind the walk is that Cancer is "the disease that doesn't sleep," and the relay takes place from noon one day until six a.m. the next morning. 
My friend Miss Janice walked the entire time that she did her walk in Florida.  Honestly, I can't imagine.  In nine hours I walked twenty-four miles.  I just kept walking.  I couldn't have imagined walking another eight and a half hours. 
When I got home, I just wanted a shower.  I stood under the hot water for a long time.  I put on my pajamas, put my feet up and ate a Popsicle.  Then I went to bed.  Doug rubbed my feet for me and I told him I could feel the blood begin to stir in my legs when I was laying in bed.  I was in so much pain that I couldn't go to sleep- despite taking two Tylenol p.m. caplets.  Finally, I got up a took a pain pill that I take for my colitis and was able to go to sleep. 
On Sunday, I didn't feel too bad and Alysa and I took Chelsea and went to a nearby state park to hike and work out the kinks. 

We walk to raise the money for research.  I can remember years ago that if you learned you had Cancer, there was usually no hope.  Now, research has improved and we have learned to fight and with early detection, one has more of an opportunity to beat it than ever before.  This is why we walk.

5 comments:

^..^Corgidogmama said...

What a cool post....you did good!
I'm proud of ya!

Cheryl said...

The photos of the survivors nearly made me cry. It's easy to forget that so many do survive when my list is filled with those who didn't.

You rock, sweetie. Pure and simple.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

You did awesome!

However, you are a tacky tacky girl. Do you realize that clown now knows where you LIVE?

besswess said...

I had a wonderful time and I wish that I would have been there from the beginning. You should be so proud of yourself....Love you!

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Kudos to you Cheryl . . well done! The photo of the survivors . . amazing. To actually suffer is truly serving on someone, you made a difference in someones life that day. Blessings and hugs to you, Sandy:O) p.s. Thanks for the comment, no we are not Hawaiian, it's a traditional thing here in California at graduations. You're too funny, love it!

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