On Sunday I ran the Race for Life in 34.1 mins and for me this is as close as it gets to a dream come true.
The day is cold but bright and the atmosphere enigmatic as thousands of women gather to run and raise money for one cause. It is also a celebration and shared remembrance for those who have fought or are fighting cancer. If you've never been the event it is incredible and hugely emotional; the sense of camaraderie is combined with a tense undertone because everyone there shares the same pain.
It has taken me two years to get here and somehow I've not done it by half. I am not alone but part of a team of forty (Team Imagine It) who together have raised well over two thousand pounds sponsorship. My husband, friends and family are here to support and cheer us on.
I run and kept pace with an old friend who I trained with university and we push each other to a decent time of 34.1 minutes.
|Thats me in the pink wig and blue shirt.|
A very decent time if you take in the physical burdens I carry. I won't make out it was easy, it required grit and determination every step, but to cross the finish line with a sprint was such a physical and emotional triumph I nearly burst into tears. Even writing this piece I have found highly emotional and this is part of why it has taken me so long.
Most of the team celebrated with a pub meal at our favourite Darby's; everyone tired but buzzing with the excited talk of our still rising sponsorship. A great deal of credit goes to my cousin in law whose hard work brought so many together.
I was extremely tired when I got home not just from the run but from what felt like playing my part. All day I had put aside so many emotions; the anxiety I might not be capable, the constant talk of cancer, the dedications other runners wore on there backs especially mine. It all added to the fuel that drove me round, an insistence that I am still here, not dead yet, my battle far from over. Then acutely the knowledge that within forty eight hours of sprinting across that finish line I would move away from the pink wigs and tutus, the money raised, through the administration, laboratories, doctors offices right to the sharp end of the needle.
As I write this I sit in a hospital bed lined up with so many others, there is a cannula in my left hand that props the iPad as I type with my right. The machines click, whirr and beep. It is my fourth day of watching the sunshine outside of the clinic windows, my hands are full of punctures and bruised and I feel nauseated. A painful means to an end, an end of disease or of life.
This is where that money will go, this is the flip side of the coin.