ink and other crazy ideasbe forewarned: i have something to say that some of you may not want to hear.
our experience with cancer has not been all bad.
now, i will never be one of those people who get up on their soapbox and say, "cancer is the best thing that every happened to me." those people make me rather cranky, and to be honest, if cancer is the best thing that ever happened to them they must have had a pretty shitty life pre-diagnosis! but there have been lessons learned throughout this whole experience that i'm not sure i would've gotten without being up-close-and-personal with our mortality. i've gained a new and better life perspective through cancer, and for that, i am thankful.
i plan to live my life with no regrets and to pack each day with as many new experiences as i can. in the past seven years, hubby and/or i have tandem-jumped out of an airplane at 13500 ft, hiked through a rain forest, helicoptered over an active volcano, hiked over a recently cooled lava lake (50 years--but geothermally speaking, recent), jumped off of a three-story tall rock into the ocean, swam with sea turtles, and moved 5000 miles away to hawaii for the first two years after college with no place to live and no acquaintances. i wouldn't call us thrill-seekers, and we are far from wealthy, but when the opportunity comes to do something, we rarely turn it down. you just never know if you'll get that opportunity again (or if you'll be around the next time the opportunity comes around). because of cancer, hubby and i have gained the ability to live each day to the fullest, and our lives have become more interesting for it.
one of my more recent "no regrets" moments (some would call them impetuous) happened in baltimore right after the bone marrow transplant. hubby still had his normal appetite and sweet tooth and had asked me to walk to a candy store a few blocks away to pick up a small box of chocolates. i took advantage of the walk to explore the area around our building (this was shortly after we moved to baltimore) and found a tattoo studio. hubby was (and still is) quite excited about getting his first tattoo, a phoenix rising out of the ash, on his right shoulder (we have to get the OK from our chief oncologist first, which may take a while). i decided to walk in and check the place out for hubby's sake. fast forward about forty-five minutes and i'm leaving with my second tattoo on the base of my neck. the text is "Na Pukaua" which translates to "The Fighters" in english, for hubby and i.
three months later, i've come up with one more crazy idea: i am going to run in the honolulu marathon, and finish it. before you kind souls defend this plan to me with your encouragement, please keep the following facts in mind: 1. i have never been a runner, much less an athlete, in my entire life. 2. i'm currently five-foot-four and 220 lbs. i'm smaller than this sounds, as even when i am working out and fit, i am five-foot-four and 170-175 lbs. but taking such good care of hubby since february has resulted in me neglecting myself a bit (ok, a lot). 3. the race is on oahu and i am in maryland.
i am writing this here, as a matter of public record, so that i can't back out. i'm not sure about whether i will aim for the december 2006 or 2007 marathon--it will depend on how my first few months of training go. i plan to run with the leukemia/lymphoma society's team in training and raise money to support leukemia research. i must also admit, while i'm laying everything on the line, that i have two other, more selfish goals; namely, that i'll start taking care of myself again and get healthier, and that hubby and i will get to go and visit our dear friends (and beaches) in hawaii.
let the craziness begin.
posted by amanda @ 12:18 AM