THIS post. I had been running with my girlfriends and we were all planning to do the NSL 5K together on July 3, 2010. Then I was diagnosed with the cancer in my lung and spent June 22-July 6 in the hospital and wasn't able to run the race. Instead, my mom took my number and ran in my spot and my girlfriends ran as "Team Jamie". I remember sitting in my hospital bed and getting a text from them before the race, showing a picture of Abby and Meighan with huge smiles, wearing their "Team Jamie" hats. I bawled. I was happy they were doing it, sad I wasn't there, happy my cancer was gone, sad I didn't know if I could run races again, happy I felt so much love and support, sad I didn't know when I could come home. Lots of emotions. Throughout the race, Amber kept me updated with more texts and pictures. I cried some more. It was a crazy/happy/sad day... hard to put it all into words. Then after the race, my 5 friends all came to the hospital and gave me a shower (something I couldn't do on my own and desperately wanted. It had been 11 days since I had taken a full shower, been scrubbed down, hair washed and all.) I stripped down to nothing but my chest tubes and telemetry monitor and they all gently and lovingly scrubbed me down from head to toe. I felt so good afterward and my love for them grew exponentially that day.
I was excited when I got a text from Abby a few days ago telling me she had signed up for the 5K again. And then the next thing I knew Meighan and Kim were on-board again, too. We all carpooled together and there was excitement and lots of joy in the air. We were celebrating! After we all checked in, got our numbers and waited in line for the race to start, I looked around the park. I looked at all the people, watched my friends fiddling with their sunglasses and iPods, felt the warm sun on my face, breathed in the clean air. It made me smile. It was one of those perfect moments where you just wish you could stop time so you could soak it all in for just a few minutes longer. The race began and we all took off at our own paces. I crossed the finish line at 30:11, Kim around 30:30, Abby at 32 (a PR), Meighan at 33, and our friends Amy & Natalie around 35. During the race I remember noticing the lack of lung capacity as I tried to take a couple good, deep breaths. I know my body will never be the same again. I can't be sad that my 5K PR (24:58) might never be broken. My friend told me I have to think of my race times as my new PPR (Post surgery/cancer Personal Record) which is true. When I saw 30:11 on my watch I was happy, and proud. I've come a long way this past year, and I know it's only going to get better. I feel blessed to have so much love and support, and to be healthy enough to run races... and just to be alive! Life is good.
Cub camp. Potentially my last :(
3 days ago