Today, I walked my second full Komen for the Cure event in Houston with my co-workers and friends. The day started early, before dawn. Anyone who knows me knows I am dedicated to something to get up that early!
As a breast cancer survivor, the Komen Walk has a different meaning for me than others that participate in this event. Others walk for people they lost to breast cancer, to support the cause, or just to participate. For me, the Komen Walk is a way to celebrate my cancer’s demise and the effort of rising up afterward and moving forward.
As the thousands gather at the starting line to walk, they are excited to get moving and tackle that 5K. Some are somber as they remember those they’ve lost, the ones they are there to honor. Today, I was reflective of how far I’ve come and the people I was there to represent (see above photo).
The walk was a bit more challenging for me than I thought it would be. I’ve lost almost 50 pounds, I am working out and I prepared by hydrating this morning and eating a power bar. I was ready. I do as much cardio in the pool each week. After completing the second mile, however, my legs were like jello and I was running out of steam.
Our pack of walkers had spread out and I was lagging behind, trying to keep a steady pace. The sun was hot, and the temps were climbing into the 90’s. Hydrating with such a small stomach is a new challenge. I am grateful Dora and Glenda slowed down a bit and kept me going.
Along the route, I was greeted by several volunteers to cheer me on as well. I tried, as much as possible, to thank those volunteers for coming out and doing something so important. Encouragement is so needed during an event like this. Whenever the volunteers heard the words, “thank you,” they seemed to perk up a bit. They were out in the hot sun with us, too.
A lady ran up behind me and saw the sign I was wearing that said, “Beating cancer runs in my family.” She said she’d buried 7 family members from breast cancer and if she got it, she knew her fate. I started to ask her if she’d had the BRCA gene test but she jogged off, alone. Another pair of ladies in front of me wore a photo from 2011’s walk with their friend JoJo, who died last summer. This is what breast cancer does. This is what breast cancer is. Breast cancer robs people of loved ones and friends.
When I reached the Survivor’s Row, where they called my name and how long I’ve been a survivor, I was so grateful I’d made this journey again. After our group dispersed Reagan and I went to the Survivor’s Celebration so I could pick up my Survivor’s Flag and some swag.
By the time I got home and soaked in a hot tub, I was exhausted! I am so grateful I had this experience again and it is truly different every time!
This is me after the race as we went to lunch. I am as tired as I look in this photo, but very happy with where my journey has brought me. I am a woman on a mission. Breast cancer didn’t defeat me, and every day I’m grateful and more determined to live life to its fullest!
Though this particular work event was not about me, I am so grateful to have had a team to walk with this year! Thank you MAN Diesel & Turbo for allowing this and for Alejandra Bohorquez for putting the team together!