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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feeling melancholy...and a dedication of sorts.

So I was thinking about yesterday's post. I had so much more I wanted to write, but it was stepping into emotional waters, and I did a little side-stepping to avoid it. But I woke up this morning with those same thoughts on my mind, feeling melancholy. I knew I needed to finish my thoughts, let some of it out, in order to find some peace today. Of course, I am riding the Tour de Pink for so many reasons beyond myself, my family, and my past. There are hundreds of others who will be making the trip. They will most definitely be with me on the ride. For one, I will be thinking about all of the people who have supported me on this ride by donating, sharing riding tips, and just being great cheerleaders: Michael, you are an inspiration. Steve, thanks for the laughs and the beers, Lynn, you inspire me everyday to be a better person, and Bill, I hope I can feel just one iota of the physical strength that you have when the road gets tough. Kim Kos & family, you are the laughter and the light I so often need; thank you for always being there.

Aunt Sue, Mary Ellen, Donna & Richard, Sarah, Laura, Kim & family, Lisa & Bob, and all of the rest of you who have donated and left amazing comments on our active.com site, I will have all of your smiling faces on my mind. And to all of you die-hard garage salers out there who helped us raise over $3000, all I can say is "Wow!" Every penny is so important. It makes me think of all the young women out there on the YSC boards who are fighting, surviving, and dying; who will get support thanks to your generosity. I hope you know what a difference you are making.

I often think about the young woman who is just finding a lump, or just going in to her doctor. I pray that she gets great care, and if the news is bad, I hope she finds the YSC; that faceless young woman will be with me, too.

But weighing most heavily, most close to my heart are those who I have met on my own cancer journey. Those who helped me fight the battle: Jim, Leslie, Greg & Kendall, I don't know if you realize what a life raft your home was for my family during our cancer storm. Bonnita, my 10 year Cancerversary buddy, my lone cancer support group, I will have your voice from all those phone calls where we dared to talk about living and dying deep in my thoughts. Lisa S. and Carolyn, and all the Docs & others, and the warrior women at the YWCA, for putting your faith in me and trusting that the YSC could make a difference, you'll be on the ride too! Cara, my confidant and life coach: I'm taking you for a ride! I will be thinking about the doctors and nurses who fought with me during my battle: Doctor Mary, Dr. Christie, Dr. Dalton, and Dr. Nikcevich, thank you for daring to know me as a person and not just a patient.

And finally, to those who have blessed me with their stories, who have shared their fear, sadness, longing, hopes, dreams, and laughter: the ladies (& gents!) I have met through our YSC cancer support group. I will have each and every one of you with me. You all have an important chapter in my story. Julie, I know you know what is in my heart; imagine yourself on the handlebars. Wendy, I wouldn't be where I am with YSC today if it wasn't for you; strap on your helmet, lady! Stina, Kathy N., Roxanne, Barb, Janelle, Debbie, Chris, Eileen, Ann, Diana, Natasha, Laura D., Jami, Karole, Marcy, Shana, Mary & Patrick, Lorena, Kathy T., Silva, Pam, Maribeth, Binner, Jessica, Mary, and all, words cannot express how grateful I feel to have your trust. I have learned so much from you; you have supported me much more than I think I have done for you.

Of course, the faces that will help me get up the hardest hills will be no surprise to those of you who understand; Tricia, Chris, and your wonderful girls. Tricia, when I feel tired or beaten, or find it hard to breathe, when I feel my heart pumping so hard that it feels like it will burst out of my chest, I will be grateful. I will remember how hard you fought, and I hope I will find the strength to keep pedaling. After all, what is a bike ride in comparison? I miss you. And I promise to have you with me on the downhills, too, enjoying the long, casting ride of relief and peace.

I apologize to anyone whose name I may have ommitted. There really are far too many to name you all. Just know that what you have said or done has mattered and will never be forgotten.

I'm sorry for the length and the sadness of this post, but sometimes the well is too deep, and needs to be released.

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