This article is dedicated to: Lisa, Janice, Stacey, Tracie, Joy, Sharon, Michelle, Amy, Laurie, Beth, Ellen, Sabrina, and Auntie and all those who have fought and won, are fighting now, or lost their battle with Breast Cancer. As we end the month of October may they and their families know how much they are loved.
When my family moved to the small Texas town or Argyle in 2006 I never realized what an impact Breast Cancer would have on my life. Prior to moving to Argyle I had already seen my sister-in-law fight it and beat it and I’d experienced the wife of a business associate of my husband lose her battle with it. I never realized just how many people I would come across in my little Texas town who would fight it and win or would lose their battle with it nor the effect it would have on me personally.
Although our little town of Argyle is growing in leaps and bounds these days it is still a very close-knit community where everyone knows most everyone…….or at least knows of each othere. It’s the kind of community that rallies around each other when there is a need, especially when it comes to Breast Cancer. Even our high school gets in on the action having a “Pink Out” night at one of the home football games where money is raised for Breast Cancer and survivors are honored. Instead a sea of red and black (our school colors) you see a sea of pink!
I have had the honor in my time living in Argyle to get to know several survivors and to know several who lost their battle. While my heart was very sad at the loss of those that didn’t make it, the fight I saw in them was so inspiring. I think of them often especially during the month of October.
Just as inspiring as the fight of those that lost their battles are the stories behind those who are survivors and those who are currently battling this disease. If you’ve never sat down and actually talked to and gotten to know someone who has fought or who is currently fighting I encourage you to do so. Not only will your time give them encouragement but you will receive a blessing you never imagined.
Several years ago I embarked on one of the hardest things I had ever done. A new friend of mine I had known about a year was a breast cancer survivor. Her story of courage and faith inspired me. After her breast cancer she completed the Komen 3-day Walk. If you are not aware of what the Komen 3-day Walk is it is a walk-a-thon that lasts 3 days and covers 60 miles about 20 miles per day. You are required to raise a certain amount of donations to participate. Her story about completing the walk was so inspiring we decided to do it again together. Over the next several months we raised donations and trained for the event. I’m so glad she insisted on training because if we hadn’t we never would have made it……….and left to me I wouldn’t have trained or known to train. Thank goodness she did! I would have thought to myself, “I’m in good shape. I don’t need to train.” That would have been a terrible mistake. We trained several days a week walking around 5 miles at a time. We walked at the high school track. We walked in neighborhoods. We walked and walked. During those walks we became very close friends. As I spend more time with her, she inspired me more and more. Finally the day arrived. It started VERY early on a cold Friday morning in November in Texas and would go through Sunday evening. She had matching sweatshirts and tshirts made for us and I was so proud to wear mine. The first day we walked about 22 miles. It took us about 8 hours to finish. We felt great. Our legs and feet a little tired but not bad at all. Day 2 we were on a mission. My son was playing in his pee-wee football super bowl about an hour away and we needed to be done by 3 pm in order to make the game. We had 6 hours to get 18 miles done. We got it done by 2 pm and even had time for a complimentary foot massage. She went to the game with me that evening and unfortunately my son’s team did not win but what a time we had together. By this time both she and I were beginning to get a blister or two and we still had another 20 miles to walk to the finish on Sunday. As we began the day on Sunday we were excited to know we had almost finished but as the day wore on and the blisters became larger and more painful we knew finishing was not going to be an easy thing. The last 5 miles were the toughest. We must have stopped every half mile to take socks off and rest our aching feet. As we approached the last mile the anticipations was almost unbearable. People were cheering and the streets were lined with fans congratulating us. All of a sudden our feet didn’t hurt anymore. I can remember dancing down the street! Walking into Dallas Fair Park, where the finish was, left a sense of accomplishment but at the same time a somber memory of those we had lost to the awful disease of breast cancer. My friend and I walked arm in arm as we finished the last little bit of the walk and proudly took our picture with the 60 mile marker. We hugged and shared a few tears. We had done it. Waiting for us at the finish were are families with hugs and smiles. You could see the pride in their eyes. I will never forget this three days nor the friend I shared those 3 days with and the bond we will forever share. While what we had done was the hardest thing I had ever done, I knew it didn’t begin to compare with the fight she and so many others had and are having with breast cancer.
So as the month of October comes to a close tonight with little ones trick-or-treating be sure to take a moment and say a little prayer for those fighting this fight. If you feel the urge to do the Komen 3 Day Walk or a Race for the Cure I can assure you it will be something you won’t regret and will never forget. May God bless you all.