This is probably going to be a bit of a rambler as I have been pondering this for a few days and I guess my initial shock has dulled.
A beutiful and talented lady that I had the distinct pleasure of coaching through her first 2 half marathons and someone I consider a friend if only in the Sunday run/facebook sense of the word has been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She is 29 years old.
I had the pleasure of watching her mature and evolve as a runner. It was wonderful to watch her complete her first full marathon this spring under the careful guidance of my close friends June and Cory who coach the Full Marathon clinic. I was so proud of her.
She recently got married but her facebook updates over the last couple of weeks gave me pause and while she never directly said it I had a sinking feeling that she was about to begin a new journey. I sent her a note this week and she confirmed my suspicions of breast cancer.
In my past career I worked with Cancer patients at a clinic that did PET scans so I am well versed in the language of cancer. It was a job that I was very passionate about and was devastated the day we closed the clinic so much so that I have taken a LOA until they open the clinic again.
The thing I learned in that job was eternal hope and strength. I met some of the most beautiful and amazing people. The inspired me and made me thankful and grateful for all the gifts I have and to not take for granted a single second - live every moment.
I told my friend that she was about to begin a journey and that while it was not clear now it would be eventually be made clear why she was chosen. I explained that there were so many advances and survival rates were very high and was pleased to learn that she had, in my mind, the best oncologist in the province on her side.
Finally I told her to try and stay optimistic, to call or email me if she needed anything or just a shoulder to lean on, and lastly to plan her comeback use it to keep her focused and motivated because I had every intention of running the Vancouver International Marathon with her next year if she would slow down enough so I could keep up!
God speed to you "K", thank you for sharing with me and know that you are in my prayers.