Pink Edition Tradition Continues

by Cathy Miller

in 3-Day Walk for the Cure

2014 Idaho Statesman Pink Edition

2014 Idaho Statesman Pink Edition

The Idaho Statesman continues its tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its annual pink edition.

Last year, I accepted their invitation to submit an article.

It became My Story at this site.

I had not planned on writing a second one this year.

I am extremely busy with work. Furiously working to be done before I participate in my 11th 3-Day, 60-Mile Walk for the Cure next month.

So I admit I was a bit surprised when in the early morning hours of the paper’s deadline, I found myself writing another article for the pink edition.

Like the 3-Day Walk, I cannot walk away. There are some things in life you simply make time for.

Pink Edition: When Life Deals You Cancer, Walk On

My 2014 article for Pink Edition

My 2014 article for Pink Edition

by Cathy Miller

Cancer has a way of putting all else in perspective. It is the uninvited guest whispering in your ear. You want to do all you can to silence the sound before it silences you.

As I prepare to walk my 11th 3-day, 60-mile Walk for the Cure, I reflect on why I cannot walk away. If you had told me at my first walk in 2003 that I would still be strapping on my walking sandals and donning all things pink to walk 60 miles, I would have thought you crazy.

Yet here I am. Fast approaching age 63 and still walking.

My first step was to honor my sister, Terry, a breast cancer survivor. I am happy to report she is still going strong. Along my journey, I became a part of a fabulous team of women, three of whom are breast cancer survivors.

Another teammate and I were diagnosed with skin cancer. I admit I feel like a bit of an impostor when I see what others have gone through with chemotherapy and the loss of hair.

This year, eight of our 15 team members will meet once again to walk those 60 miles next month in San Diego. Penny, one of our team’s breast cancer survivors (she wasn’t when we started), marvels at those of us who continue to walk, even though we never had breast cancer. Yet Penny walks. And our other two survivors, Sue and Martina, walk. Every year.

Really, Penny? How can I walk away?

I remember the second year, when I looked for my new teammates I met on that first walk. We had parted ways, promising to walk again the following year.

In those days, I was a road warrior for work. Somewhere along the way, I lost Penny’s contact information. But I was not worried. I’d see Penny and Sue at the next walk. But they were not there.

I could not imagine what happened. Penny and Sue had walked past years when another organization sponsored the walk. Shortly after the completion of my second walk, I had my answer.

I received a call from a client. I had given her my business card with Penny’s contact information on the back. My boomer brain had struck again. I was thrilled to have it back. I sent Penny a Christmas card and expressed how much I missed them at the walk.

Penny replied to my card with one of her own and a message that rocked me. The reason Penny did not walk? Penny, who started walking just in support of others, had herself developed breast cancer.

We have walked every walk since. We share our stories and hear others in return. Like a family of five sisters, who all but one have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Or the mother with breast cancer, confined to a wheelchair, who got up to dance with her son at his wedding. Then passed away 72 hours later.

So many stories of incredible strength, perseverance, and most of all, love. Yes, cancer has a way of putting all else in perspective. Penny recently shared her family’s mantra. Whatever life hands you, it ain’t cancer. Walk on.

Walk on!

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wayman October 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

Great story, Cathy – amazing how you carry on walking. I’m impressed and thank you.

Reply

Cathy Miller October 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

Thanks, Anne. And I appreciate your ongoing support. Can’t wait to get together for lunch. 🙂

Reply

Care Across October 27, 2014 at 11:03 am

Thank you, Cathy – not only are you walking (literally and metaphorically), you are also motivating others.
Thank you for leading the way.

Reply

Cathy Miller October 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

The honor is mine. Thank you.

Reply

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