Survivor-versary #5

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.

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