Jun 27, 2012 - 6:24 am
this is my first post, and kind of sums up my story. It was first originally written for a Lifetime Fitness contest. I love reading about everyone's journey, and hope that my story is of some help to others.
June 3, 2011. This is the day that I was told that I have esophageal cancer. Oh, crap. I had been through some challenging times in my life. Drug and alcohol addiction in my teens and twenties. Clean and sober at thirty. Herniated disk at 32. I was 210 pounds on a 5 foot 8 inch frame at 35.
That was all just practice for what 2011 was about to bring. In February, I ended a 16 year relationship to a great woman, moved out and purchase a new house. Stress. In March, my father died after a long struggle with booze, cigarettes and a generally poor lifestyle. More stress and anxiety. I thought those were some dark days. I did not know how dark it was about to become.
Until June 3.
I had been having trouble swallowing for about a year. It stared gradually, and with all of the other "distractions" going on in my life, I was continuously finding ways to avoid doing anything about it. After finally going to my doctor, then the gastroenterologist, then the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, and then the surgeon, (anyone who has had cancer, knows exactly what I am talking about), I quickly began chemotherapy and radiation and then on September 1, 2011, I had my esophagus removed.
I don't have think I have to tell you how much that all sucked. I am going to anyway. It really sucked! You are sure that you are going to die. I was sure I was going to die.
But then I didn't.
Then I had to figure out how I was going to live. I had always been in okay shape. Thank god, because I do not think my recovery would have went as it has otherwise.
After I was able to start moving around, I slowly stared getting up and walking.
First one lap. Then three. A month later, a mile. Then two miles. Then I started running... and running... and running. My goal was to run a 5K six months after my surgery (or at least before June 3, 2012: one year since my diagnosis).
I ran the "Woman Running Wild" 5K Breast Cancer Benefit with my mom in Palm Springs CA on March 25th 2012. I ran the Blaine High School Spring Fever 5K on April 14th 2012. I ran the Fast and the Furry 8K on May 26, 2012. As of right now, I have two more events scheduled this summer. It would have been very easy to still be on the couch, taking move drugs than I needed, feeling sorry for myself, wondering when the cancer was coming back.
I will keep moving until I drop. This has all been aided by the Life Time Fitness Center in Fridley MN. I am there at all hours, even if it means that I just walk around the track one time. It is always inspirational to see others getting and staying fit. I cannot tell you how important this has been for my mental, emotional and obviously physical well-being.
I would love to tell you much more about my journey.