2nd Annual Miles for Melanoma of DE 5K… continued

My apologizes if I left people hanging yesterday.  All of the sudden I was just hit with the need for sleep.  I’ll be honest, laying in bed alone at night is hard, so what I do is stay up till I’m really tired and then go to bed.  Maybe I’ve started conditioning myself.

To continue…

Steve warming up

Steve warming up

They called the runners and Steve headed over to the starting line.

Everybody else had headed to the restrooms, so I wasn’t sure if I should head to the starting line or wait for the rest of Team Smitty.  Luckily, we ended up meeting up.  The start for the walkers was a little disorganized.  The paperwork said 9:15, but they started before that.  Ironically, we started at 9:11- fitting as we were doing the walk in memory of a firefighter.

Carri, Wendy, & Samantha

Carri, Wendy, & Samantha

I was feeling much better at the start of this walk (as compared to LiveStrong).  I had that urge that runners get to just go… I had a spring in my step and strided out as much as I comfortably could.

Me & Nathaniel

Me & Nathaniel

Me & Nathaniel

Me & Nathaniel

I’ll admit, I really have enjoyed the 5Ks that I’ve done on the riverfront… there is just something about running on the boardwalk.  Keep in mind- running is something that I enjoy- for me being able to run a 5K involved overcoming a lot of emotional obstacles (I’ve never been athletic, have been overweight for I can’t even remember how long, and was always one of the last people picked in gym class) as well as a lot of physical conditioning (I did a 12 week conditioning program and took it VERY seriously).

But now, it’s a different scenario- my heels are in such bad shape that I can barely walk at times.  Running is out of the question.  Even if I was in perfect shape, you can’t run with strollers in the 5Ks around here, so as a single parent, what would I do with my child?  I’m not going to pay a babysitter so that I can do something that I enjoy, but can’t do with him (it’s also not in the budget).  I’ve pretty much given up on “solitary” Mommy activities till he’s old enough to either stay alone or participate with me.  Now, if somebody volunteers to babysit… then maybe I’ll change my mind.

I thought it would make a cute photo with Carri leading the statue.

I thought it would make a cute photo with Carri leading the statue.

A business had really cool wooden fish hanging from the roof.

A business had really cool wooden fish hanging from around it. I thought they were neat, so I snapped a photo.

You can see the water behind Wendy & Samantha.

You can see the water behind Wendy & Samantha.

In the scope of things, I look at what John endured and I think that worrying about my silly feet hurting is trivial.  He faced cancer so bravely and very rarely even complained.  He had bad moments, but he never even had an entire bad day.  I don’t think a lot of people in his shoes can say that.  I admire and respect him so much for how he fought his fight.

On the flip side, you only get two feet and you need them for your entire life, so I should try to see if I can get the pain under control and get them healed up.  When John was sick, I let some of my issues go, so now it’s time for me to take care of me… not just for me, but for Nathaniel, who only has one parent now.  I have to be serviceable for him.

Well.. the spring in my step lasted till about mile 2.  Then PAIN set in… each step on my right foot was painful… going down a hill was torturous.  Only one mile and one tenth to go… I could do it.

Team Smitty walkers

Team Smitty walkers- Wendy, Samantha, Carri, and Mary Katharine. You can see our yellow shirts stood out a little more today than at the LiveStrong Challenge.

Team Smitty pursued by the cops?

Team Smitty pursued by the cops?

Bad girls?

Bad girls? No... probably just finished at one crowd control point. They did a great job, although, it maybe wasn't necessary to tell us that the first runner was already on his way back before we'd made it to the mile marker... lol... of course... we also started late, too. 🙂 I actually was disappointed, I think I only saw two runners on their way to the finish... I always think it is cool to see the runners coming back through. I love how everybody cheers for them- true sportsmanship!

They had some signs with melanoma statistics and I’ll admit, this year I felt melancholy reading them.  Facts like, “Every hour somebody dies from melanoma.”  This year, John was part of that statistic.  Last year, he was walking in the walk.  What a difference a year makes.

I find myself looking back at the past… specifically, a year ago.  Last year, the event was held on a very hot day and John was so worried about getting Nathaniel out of the heat.

Later that week was when John had his doctor’s appointment with Dr. Elias.  We’d taken Nathaniel because we wanted them to meet him.  John even told Dr. Elias that without him, he probably wouldn’t have lived long enough to have Nathaniel.

It was that appointment where Dr. Elias felt the lump under John’s armpit that was later confirmed to be a return of melanoma and put John into the stage III category.

What a difference a year makes. 😦

It was also sad to see the number of other people who were walking in memory of friends and loved ones.  I’m not the only one in the area who has lost someone to melanoma.  😦

Anna Marie Farro, c0-founder of Miles for Melanoma of DE, has a vision and a lot of fight, and I know that she puts her whole soul into doing what she can to support the fight against melanoma.  I just hope that there can be some research breakthroughs and soon we’ll have far fewer people dying of melanoma.  I hope that in my lifetime stage IV becomes much more treatable.

Carri & Mary Katharine finishing

Carri & Mary Katharine finishing!

Afterward, we were pretty tired.

Tired Team Smitty

Tired Team Smitty

Especially Samantha

Especially Samantha

While they rested in the shade, I went off to see the vendors.  I purchased a “Cancer Sucks” button & a Melanoma Ribbon magnet, that may make it to my car… right now it’s on the fridge.

They were also selling carnations in memory of a loved one lost.  I purchased a red one.  The idea was to participate in the ceremony where everybody tossed their carnations into the river as a tribute to those lost to melanoma.  I thought that was a great idea, but I opted to take mine to the cemetery.  I also try to stay within the limits of what I can emotionally handle and I knew that on that day the ceremony would have been outside of my emotional limitations.

So, on the way home, I took John his carnation.  I couldn’t barely walk when I went to get out of the car.  The things we’ll do for our men.  Although, I can only think that he would have told me that I should have gotten my feet checked a long time ago, not to let his illness interfere with me, and to not do what hurts…

Once I got home, I put Nathaniel down for his nap, took a prescription ibuprofen and a nap.  At first my foot was throbbing every several seconds, but soon the medication kicked in and I was MUCH more comfortable.  By the time I woke up my feet were back to their “abnormal normal.”

My feet were x-rayed on Friday, I told Dr. Teal that it probably wasn’t the brightest thing to do the walk, but that I was doing it (she understood).   I have an appointment with a podiatrist for Monday, so we’ll see.

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
This entry was posted in Events in honor of John, Friends, Life after John's Death, LiveStrong Challenge, Nathaniel, Pre-stage IV, Stage IV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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