Saturday, June 10, 2017

March 8, 2017, A Special Day for Both of Us

June 10, 2017

current mood:  Blessed and Inspired

I believe people come into our lives for a reason.  Some stay for a while and others for a short time.  And even strangers come into our lives for a reason.

The selfie above is of a women who I met on a very special day.  It was a special day for her and for me.  It was March 8 of this year and it was my 10 year Cancerversary and I decided to go for a bike ride.  I was just getting back on my bike since my accident and I wanted to do my favorite trail, the Withlacoochee.

On my way back I always stop at the same picnic table at Croom Trail.  It's 5 miles from the car and always a great last resting stop.  That March day, Margaret and her husband decided to stop at that same picnic table.  They were riding 40 miles that day and stopped to eat their lunch.  We started chatting about the weather and what a beautiful day it was with the low humidity and perfect temperature for a bike ride.  She shared with me that it was her 80th birthday.  I was so amazed at how she was still riding her bike.  Wow!  What an inspiration!  We also shared our love of the Withlacoochee trail and she told me her and her husband were not originally from Florida.  After they retired they bought an RV and traveled across the Country looking for the best spot to retire.  They love the trail so much they settled along it, here in Florida.  How awesome is that?

We also chatted about the Van Fleet trail.  I had never been and she told me that it's a nice trail too but it's in the middle of no-where.  I have since checked out the trail and I have to admit every time I ride it I think of her and her husband.

I've seen them on the Withlachoochee trail several times since our meeting and I always acknowledge them with a smile and hello.  Today when I saw them we were biking in opposite directions.  I knew we'd pass again so I decided on the way back I was going to ask her for this selfie.

Sure enough I passed them and turned around and caught up with them.  I told her we had met back in March on her 80th birthday and she smiled and said what a great memory I had.  I told her what I hadn't shared with her that day was that it was my 10 year Cancerversary.  I didn't feel it was right to share that with her, since it was her happy, special day.  I also told her that she is my inspiration and I hope that when I'm 80, I'm still riding my bike too.  She was so thrilled and touched when I asked her for the selfie pic.  And then so sweet when she said she wished she had a pencil and paper to share her email address with me.  I told her not to worry I could put it in my phone.  She wanted to share the pic/story with her two daughters.

Thank you so much Margaret for touching my life and being a true inspiration.  Here's to many more miles and smile and hellos along our favorite trail, the Withlacoochee.

Monday, April 3, 2017

10 Years!

April 3, 2017

Current Mood:  Reminiscent

Well, March 8th marked my 10 year Cancerversary and I wanted to blog about it but wasn’t sure how I wanted to tackle it or how I wanted to share…

I could take the approach, how did Cancer change me? Or what have I accomplished since my D-Day? I guess I’m doing a little of both in this blog.

Sure it’s been 10 years since I heard those life changing words, “You’ve got cancer”, but I live with reminders every day. Yes, every day I have to take a shower and see my scars and look at what the cancer took from me. Yes, putting lotion on my body has gotten easier over the years and sure the scars have faded but they’re still there, a constant reminder of my past. I try so hard not to dwell on it but every now and then it still hurts.

So how has cancer changed me?
Well for one I definitely don’t judge people and by that I mean when I see someone. I hated when people would stare at me and my bald head. Or even better would stare at me when my hair was just growing back and probably thinking, wow that’s a short haircut she must be a lesbian. I think, no I know, cancer has changed me in how I look at my life and what I want to do and who I want in my life. I believe I’m a better person for meeting other cancer survivors and sharing our stories. I’ve made some amazing friends, who I call my Cancer Friends. They’re the ones that really get me. Sure my Family and Friends were there for me through my Cancer Crapness Journey but it’s my Cancer Friends who really understood cause they’ve walked my walk. I try to surround myself with positive people. I’m still single and I do know I’m not settling for being in a relationship where I’m not happy. Life is too short to not be happy. I’d rather be single and happy than in a relationship and miserable. Statistics say that cancer survivors have better marriage success than those without cancer. That makes total sense to me. Cancer survivors have been to hell and back and I know as much as I would love to be in a relationship and sure someday get married I need to make sure it’s the right person cause for me, it’s forever.

So what have I accomplished since my D-Day?
Well let’s see. I chased my dream and moved to NYC. I owned a co-op in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan for the NBA. I traveled to London and Paris and did it by myself. Yes, that’s the adventurous side of me that comes from my Mom. I moved again this time to Florida to be closer to my Brother and see my Niece Kiersten grown up. I started traveling again on several cruises to the Caribbean. Some fun excursions were trekking through the rain forest and cave tubing in Belize. I loved Jamaica and taking a ride on the bobsled. And of course snorkeling in the Cayman Islands was amazing too just to name a few. I got my butt back in shape and took up cycling again. I rode my first century (100 miles) ride last year and just did another one a few weeks ago. Proving to myself and my body that cancer may have failed me once but it’s not getting me again!

As many of you know, I love Lance Armstrong. It has nothing to do with the cyclist; it has to do with his Livestrong foundation. There is a line in their manifesto that sticks with me every day. “Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life.” Those words are so true!

So here’s to another 10 years of kicking cancer’s ass!