Friday, November 21, 2008

An Inspirational Visual Display

So I'm going to attempt to add some of the pictures from the walk...hopefully all goes well!

And they're off! Day one begins on a lovely chili Friday morning, very rare in Arizona!

Nothing like the porta-potties at the first pit stop

The Pink Fire Fighters....need I say more?

The Sign kind of explains itself :-)

I have so many more pictures but I don't have the patience to deal with waiting for them to upload onto my blog at the moment! So these will have to do for now!

Goodnight everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And So the Journey Begins

My past weeks experiences have produced a brand new interest to pursue in my spare time, I'm starting my own research process. I'm starting from the very beginning, from the primary question of : "What is a cancer cell and how does it work?" and hopefully after I have thoroughly familiarized myself with the basic understanding of a single cell I will work my way along the research ladder to questions such as: "What effects the development of Breast Cancer?" "What kind of medications are already approved, and what medications are still in the testing phase?" "What exactly do these medications do, chemically and physically, that attacks the cancer cells?" "How exactly does chemotherapy and radiation work, what chemicals are used, and is there any possible way to simulate the conditions within the body using other materials/drugs that would mirror the effects on cancer cells?"

So I began my research...well, I tried to begin my research, unfortunately since it's already past 8 pm my resources have been narrowed to this computer in an ASU computer lab. Anyone who knows me knows that I AM NOT a computer person. I'm the type of person who likes to have my reading materials physically in front of me, highlighter and pencil in hand, ready to make note of anything I find useful or interesting. Undoubtedly I have found several very good resources, peer reviewed and from professionals with years of experience. But even though the quality of the information is superb, I can't seem to retain anything by just trolling my eyes along the LCD screens of text. So I've decided that my research process will begin in the library where I can pull as many books off the shelf as I please, lay them out in front of me, and dive into the richness of written words.

So for now I shall leave you with some of my favorite quote and sayings I heard/saw this weekend:

"Forget the whales, save the boobs"

"Save Second Base"

"I'm here for the boobs" (worn by a supporter who made it to several of our cheering stations)

"Save the ta ta's"

"You don't have to have a lump to have breast cancer" (referring to IBC aka Inflammatory Breast Cancer)

"Got Mammogram?"

"Caution: Many Walkers"

Goodnight everyone. May God bless you and keep you through another wonderful night we are so fortunate to have been given.


Monday, November 17, 2008

3 Days if Miracles

I finished up day three of the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day yesterday afternoon around 1:00 pm. This walk is one of the most amazing experiences that one could ever take part in and I will forever feel blessed to have gotten the chance to. Over 3 Days you follow a route that winds and weaves through cities and towns for a distance of 60 miles, about 20 miles each day. When you cross the finish line the emotions are overwhelming, you're tired, excited, sad, over joyed, yet the biggest feeling that wells up inside of you is unity. Knowing that you strive to complete your journey along with 2000 others, all of who are working towards the same goal, a world without breast cancer.

These past three days were not just a journey which I made friends but a journey which I saw more miracles than any one person should ever deserve to witness, over 2000 miracles. Each and every single walker, crew member, volunteer...each and everyone represented a miracle. I saw women who had lived through not one, not two, but three and even four separate diagnoses of cancer, all beginning with breast cancer, some which all cases were breast cancer, others in which the breast cancer had metastasized to other locations. I saw men walking for their soul mate who, unfortunately could not walk herself because she had passed on earlier that year. I saw best friends, one of whom was pushing the other in a wheel chair along the entire 60 miles. I saw friendships made, barriers broken down. I saw a community support like I've never seen before; from classes at schools lining up in a row of high fives along the side walks, to an old couple sitting in their front yard with water and candy for every person who passes; from families lined up at cheering stations, to supporters who followed the route in their cars stopping as often as possible to cheer us on. Every person who took part in this event was a miracle.

These three days have completely changed my life, as it has, no doubt, changed everyone who was fortunate to take part in it. I have made the goal of Susan G. Komen for the Cure my goal, I have taken on the promise which was made the day the foundation was started, to do all in my power to eradicate breast cancer, so that one day the words "breast cancer" will be considered historical.

I was a proud walker, I am a proud supporter, but every time I think about the 2000 others I walked with on November 15, 16, and 17, 2008 I am humbled by the strength, courage, passion, struggles, remembrance, and victories represented by each individual. I began just walking for my aunt, someone very close and dear to my heart, but I came out not only walking for her but for every person ever touched by this horrible disease, my mother, my grandmother, my grandfather, my dad, my sisters, my best friend, and as the flag which I was so fortunate to get to carry into closing ceremonies said, I walked for generations.