Thursday, October 16, 2014


I ran today.  I think the Achilles felt better after only one treatment but it could have been the placebo effect.  I’ll really know tonight when I get up and pee because it always hurts like hell after I run earlier in the day and then am in bed awhile.  The hamstring is not fully healed and hurt, but not terribly.

As I stopped to wait to cross the street about 4.75 miles in and didn’t want to keep going, I thought about motivation, pain and healing.

And I thought about Archer whose hematoma is healing extremely well, but the ear infection is still really bad.  He is such a good boy as I’ve had to clean out the drain and apply the antibiotic cream twice a day for a week!

But mostly I thought about my hairdresser.

I went after work and, as soon as I walked in, I saw her.  She looked great, and not really any different except for her head – which normally has funky colored long hair – it was instead wrapped in a pink wrap with a large cute scissors pin in it.

“Hi Jennifer!” she said – with no hint of self-pity.  I was wordless and instead went over and gave her a huge hug.  I hoped it didn’t make her uncomfortable – she hugged back.

I told her I wanted her to fill me in, unless she was sick of talking about it.

As she shampooed and then cut my hair, I had her tell me what the last 10 weeks of her life have been like.

She is 45.  There is no history of breast cancer in her family.  She doesn’t smoke or drink.  She’s not overweight and eats well. 

In other words there is no reason she should have cancer.  And yet…

She talked about both breasts being removed, and implants put in and the chemo that took her hair.  And she shared this with me with a smile and not even a bit – not a tiny bit – of “feel sorry for me” attitude.

She had the surgery done at the same hospital I had my skin removed and we talked a little about that.

We also talked about her dogs – her crazy Springer Spaniels who – like my dogs after my surgery – instinctively knew something was wrong and were gentle and calm around her.

I told her I was blown away by how positive she was.  She assured me that was not always the case and that she has “her moments” but being at work helps because it makes her feel “normal”.

She checked me out and we exchanged another big hug – this time with her initiating which made me feel good.

I thought I would be depressed and shaken after seeing her, but instead I felt inspired and impressed and hopeful.

I have a 10K on Sunday and was pitying myself earlier today – how slow my time is and how I probably won’t do that well.

I hope when I start running I remember Jodi and realize that a first place finish means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and that being alive and healthy – that’s what matters!!



  1. Thank you for this today!!! I know first-hand what she is going through. My husband has recently completed treatments for head/neck cancer- squamous cell carcinoma. The treatments are brutal and required a feeding tube. My husband is now on the long, slow road to recovery. It is difficult at times, but I know that when he is down, I have to be his rock. When I'm down, he lifts me. But we both focus on the positive and keep pushing forward each day with renewed hope.

    We all have things that are important to us, like your 10K time. There's nothing wrong with wanting to achieve your best time. There's also nothing wrong in realizing that there are other things going on in life and, in the grand scheme of things, being first isn't going to make or break you.

    Keep pushing forward each day and know that, through your blog and interactions with others, you are serving to inspire many to keep pushing too!

    1. Hugs to both you and your husband!! Really tends to put things in perspective - CANCER FUCKING SUCKS!!