I’ve always enjoyed running and have done a couple of fun runs.
In September 2016 one of my running friends told me that she had registered for the 10 km run at the Carman’s Women’s Fun Run, and I said I’d consider it. The next day, I found a lump in my left breast. My world was rocked when I was told that the lump was breast cancer.
Race day saw me two treatments into a four-treatment chemo cycle. However, I was determined, and I ran the 10 km, crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with four of my running mates.
That day was one of the proudest days of my life – to achieve that while having chemo – let’s just say there were a few tears when I crossed the line.
My third round of chemo was two days later, and I physically couldn’t run after that. It knocked me around more than I could imagine. If the run had’ve been any later, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
Like so many other women going through treatment for breast cancer, completing my chemo and then undergoing radiation saw me struggle with my energy levels and what I could do physically, so the idea of exercising again was a scary prospect.
To get over this and to take some control of my body again, I saw an oncology exercise physiologist. He told me that my body would never be the same as it was before cancer, but that didn’t mean that I need to put limitations on what I could physically do. He asked me to set a goal that I hadn’t achieved pre-cancer. I thought about it, and the first thing that came to mind was to run a half marathon.
Prior to this, the furthest I had run was 15 km (and that was many years ago), so a half marathon is definitely a stretch. I initially thought that this goal was two or three years away, but my running is going well, so I’ve decided that now is the time.
BCNA has been there for me, with its invaluable resources and support, from the time I was diagnosed to now. Being able to give back to BCNA by running the half marathon at the Carman’s Women’s Fun – less than 12 months after finishing chemo – would mean a lot to me. I’ve asked my friends and family to donate and spread the word about BCNA.
I hope my run this December inspires others to believe that despite what we come up against, we shouldn’t put limitations on what we can achieve and that nothing is impossible.
A breast cancer diagnosis, as shocking and as devastating as it is, doesn’t mean we have to put limitations on our lives. If anything, it should inspire us to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. I know that it’s has definitely had that effect on me!