August 16, 2009

Race for the Cure 2009

A new friend of mine shared an article with me this morning that she wrote several years ago in honor of her dear mother. The Evansville Race for the Cure is coming soon on Saturday, September 19. This article is a good reminder about the importance of Komen for the Cure, not just for our community but for all women. Becky lost her dear mother, and I lost my friend Michelle Head from breast cancer. Please put September 19 on your calendar, as the search for a cure continues.

Article courtesy of Becky Coudret, Evansville Courier and Press.

Date: Friday, September 24, 1999

Every nerve was exposed. Raw. No protective covering that is the gift, the blessing of time. No artificial toughness that we who have been hurt to the core can call upon as a cover-up. Tears were ever-present, sitting there pooled in my eyes, even, occasionally, rolling down my face.

The Race for the Cure was over.

I drove home. Quite composed, actually. I had walked (not run) the "Race," but for a totally sedentary person, I was so proud I had finished the three miles. Proud they hadn't had to call a stretcher for me. Proud of the 5,000 who cared so much they were running or walking with me. Shedding my perspiration-soaked clothes, I got in the shower -- and the tears began, hot droplets mixing with the cool water from the shower.

And then I broke down.

Standing in the shower, I leaned against the tile wall and cried. Then sobbed. Deep, painful sobbing that shook my whole body. Not hysterics. Not wailing. Just that in-your-soul emptiness that comes from losing your best friend.

From losing my mother.

The September 1998 race was just three months shy of eight years of missing her. Eight years without my greatest confidante, my biggest fan, my most-loving supporter, my precious mother.

And I sobbed. For my loss. For her pain. For all she encountered in buying time. There wasn't going to be a cure. She knew it. The breast tumor was discovered too late and was too large. It had spread, and over the months would spread even more.

Yet she never gave up. Never stopped the chemotherapy. Didn't say, "That's enough," to the radiation. One more day with me. One more day with my sister, Cathy. That's all she wanted. The gift of one more day.

And so I sobbed, selfishly, perhaps, for all I had lost. But also for all my mother had endured, all she had lost. After my father's death in 1981, my mother's brain aneurysm/brain surgery in 1983 and her broken hip in 1985, she was rebuilding her life, a life she would share with her two best friends.

My sister. Me.

And then in 1988, while taking a shower during a vacation, she found The Lump.

The cursed lump that changed our lives.

Yet all that's noted in her daily calendar, on Oct. 28, is "6:30 a.m. Surgery. Right breast removed."

That's all. That simple.

That earth shattering.

And that's why I walk.

No cure will help my mother.

No cure will help Susan Komen.

But it will and has helped others. Advances have been made, and three-quarters of the money stays in Evansville to help women here. The rest goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Dallas for research.

The entry fee for the race is $20.

For some, that's a lot of money. For others, it's nothing.

But for everyone, it's a start. A chance. A life that just might be saved.

Even if you have to ask 20 people to give you $1 each, how can you not want to be a part of this special day? We don't know what life has in store for us. Next time, it may be your mother. Your wife. Your daughter. Your friend.

My guess is she's worth at least $20 to you.