On November 29, 2010, I completed my last chemo treatment. As much as I hate the phrase “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” I feel like it was appropriate and I couldn’t get the phrase out of my head. November 30th was that first day for me. I could put cancer behind and me get on with my life.
I’ve tried to forget about this day but it’s actually a big deal. Today is my 5 year milestone -huge in the cancer world. The further I get from November 29, 2010 without a recurrence, the better. The more I live my life without fear, the better.
Last week, I was the survivor spotlight for Fred Hutch’s Innovator’s Network. You can read the story here but I’m sure you’ve seen some variation of it before. When I told a friend about the spotlight and the milestone, she asked what I was doing to celebrate. Funny, I didn’t really think to ‘celebrate.’ I thought for a minute and said well, go for a run, of course! It’s what I did during treatment and I haven’t really stopped since.
Today is also day 5 of the #RWRunStreak. Originally, I was only going to run about a mile or so since yesterday I ran 5, added lunges, squats, and stretches. My legs were a little like jello this morning but as soon as I realized what day it was, I knew I needed to run another 5. 1 mile for each year. I told myself I’d just got out and do an easy Green Lake loop -it’s a mile to the park, 3 miles around and another mile back to the condo.
My run wasn’t bad, it was definitely slow but it actually felt really good. During my run, I left my music at home and I thought back over the last 5 years and what I’ve accomplished. I’m definitely a different person than I was before cancer. I’m better at setting goals and accomplishing them and I’m better at helping others. I’ve completed 4 marathons, 3 15ks, roughly 15 half marathons, and several century rides on the bike. I’ve also stepped up my advocacy to help others going through cancer. I can wait to keep on going – running, advocating, and celebrating more milestones. Running was the perfect way to celebrate my milestone.