Sunday, August 9, 2015

Never Ever Give Up...

One thing we've learned since our daughter, Miranda, died is to never give up even when things seem impossible to get through.

August 1st was Miranda Day, the day she was born and the day she earned her angel wings.

She would have been 14.

The lesson to never give up hope, to never give up fighting, and to believe in miracles regardless of how bad things get has been tested repeatedly since 2001.

I also learned that God is ALWAYS good. Always. Even when we don't get the answer we wanted when we pray.

I prayed for Miranda to live, but she died.

And God answered my prayers by loving me through it and showing me that I can be strong and that He is there for me if I just allow him to be. I think he grieves with us and is there to love us through the hard times.

I do not believe the "bad stuff" comes from Him. Bad stuff isn't a test from God; it's just bad stuff. God doesn't give people cancer to test their faith or to punish their parents.

It's. Just. Bad. Stuff and you have to get through it, either in one piece or in several.

Because of my faith, I have learned that persevering through the tough things is possible even when it seems impossible. I choose to remain in one piece.

It's not always enjoyable...and certainly the circumstances that we need to persevere through are not desirable...

but the way to win over those tough things (like cancer) is to refuse to allow it them to win.

I'm stubborn.

Launching a passive aggressive offense comes naturally for me. that our lives have been more....I suppose one could call it "normal"....with the recent lack of cancer treatments (TAKE THAT cANCER!) I'm trying to reclaim my life and #TakeItBack.

SOO....I decided to do something really not so smart, illogical, and pretty much absurd...

and I signed up for a half marathon.

The why is simple. I have Multiple Sclerosis, I am a cancer survivor, I've been a "momcologist" for almost 8 years, and I spend my days fighting for childhood cancer research and awareness. Oh and I don't run.

Seriously....8 months ago, I couldn't even walk down the stairs without gripping the stair rails and moving to the next step one foot at a time while squinting in pain.

So maybe it's not that simple...

but it IS passive aggressive and totally stubborn.

I wanted to do something that would be really hard and seemed impossible...and this sure fits that bill.

SO to keep myself accountable, I posted on Facebook that I was going to do a half marathon. There was no way to back out after I posted...I mean it's Facebook...people only post things that are 100% true on there.

Notice I didn't say I was going to "run" a half marathon, I am going to finish one but my gait has been termed "r/alking" by one of my dear friends, Stacy.  Mostly walking mixed with a little running.

I'm so gonna r/alk that half! ;)

Two of my friends, Cari and Shelley, made a t-shirt for me that I will wear the day of the marathon. The front is an image of my biggest reasons to #TakeItBack...Miranda, Braden, and three babies.

Okay, please don't tell Zach I said baby because he's a seventh grader and that would result in much grumbling and grouching.... And I don't have time for that...for the 100th time today.


The back was inspired by a t-shirt my friends and I had a few years ago for an event we called "Trail of Beers".  It had like 20 bars listed on it and there was a checkbox beside each bar. The goal was to get each bar checked off in one day.

And you had to drink a beer at each stop...

except for the DD....

and I was the DD (smart me) automatically got a checkmark just by getting your passengers there.

This time, there are no bars listed officially on my shirt...

(although I'm fairly certain there will be one soon after the finish line)

The final box gets checked off after I cross that finish line.

R/alking or crawling....

Every day I write the name of a childhood cancer hero or angel hero on the bottom of the back of my shirt and I think about that hero while I am running..

When I feel like it's getting hard and like I don't want to keep running, I think about that hero and all that child has gone through.

The keyword there is "Child". These are kids who should be focused on swinging and running and playing, not fighting cancer.

And I push through my pain because it doesn't even begin to compare to theirs.

I'm not very fast...and I'm certainly not always graceful...

Yesterday was the perfect example of how "not" graceful I was. It was storming that morning so I went to the gym to r/alk my 3.5 miles on the indoor track.

About mid-way through mile 2, I felt myself begin to fall.

The last time I fell, I broke my I was eager to avoid that.

Instead I threw myself into a baseball type slide on my hip. Jarod Dyson would have been proud!

I was safe and I got right back up and started running again. Unfortunately, the "slide" occurred right behind the television sets in the gym...which is where every single person doing cardio is looking.

I was totally on center stage!  Awesome!!

I recovered and was doing well when somewhere in mid-mile 3, I felt myself begin to fall again but this time my weight was shifted all the way forward resulting in a less graceful fall looking more like this:

Except this guy looks better than I did.

I got right back up and started running again, but I was cracking up. And it was right in front of the free weights section of the gym (I call it Muscle Beach). It's the most testerone ridden corner of the gym filled with buff people doing buff people things and I totally wiped out flat on my face right in front of the buff people!


I am physically unharmed, but I did put a hole in the knee of my favorite capri workout pants so I'm a little messed up emotionally about that.

It's my MS...I have a terrible sense of balance on a normal day as a result of my MS and heat is one of my triggers. We are having really hot weather in Kansas right now. What? Hot weather in Kansas in August?? ;)

I just need to think about my feet and my balance more when I'm running...

rather than jamming to Disturbed.

My half marathon journey is likely to be more falling than flying but I'm going to keep going and Never Ever Give Up!

I'm taking my life back...even if it does result in falling.

I'm going to keep getting back up. All three of my children are fighters and the names of the heroes I write on my shirt are fighters. They inspire me.

My goal is to honor them and raise awareness through this journey. It is NOT a fundraising effort, it's just about fighting like these kids.

Some of my amazing friends put together a video about why I'm running. A huge thank you to some amazing guys for this beautiful video. We will keep making some clips so you can hear all about our kids.

Special thanks to  Tug McTighe, Jon Hardesty, and Matt Loehrer at Callahan Creek and Brandon Green at Evergreen Images for the video!

I hope you like it!!

The YouTube link is:

Today my training schedule says that I can either run or cross train.

I think I'll pick cross training and save my second favorite capri workout pants from certain disaster!

One thing I know is that I'm not going to quit....

No matter how many pairs of capris I have to buy! :)