Archive for October, 2013

Now what?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2013 by runmyssierun

I went from never running a mile in my life to running a marathon (ok, make that plural for technicality’s sake)

And then after that was dared to complete the Triple Crown for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Did that.

As part of the training for the Triple Crown, I joined the Maniacs. Part of their requirements was to complete three triathlons a year… did that.

Now what?

As I sit back and contemplate on the personal PHYSICAL milestones that I have achieved in this short time, I have to wonder if my personal EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL milestones were met as well. And don’t kid yourself… I’ve also asked myself the question “What’s next?”

Yes. My relationship with God and myself has become quite intricate and intense. I would love to say that I’ve always had a closeness to God and was pretty good at knowing myself… but these last two years put me at a level that I never thought possible. After speaking to Derek a short while back, I was reminded of my purpose.

Have I completed my PURPOSE?

No. I don’t believe so.

I went back to the picture that fell on my foot that Sissy had intended to give to me but passed away before she could.

The first line grabbed me once again.

Life in not a race but indeed a journey

“Life is not a race — but indeed a journey.”

You see, it’s not about the races that I complete… it’s the journey that I have taken along the way. It’s the people that I have met and befriended. It’s the obstacles that I have overcome. It’s the way I have looked fear eye to eye and took that step forward anyway. It’s about all I have lost and all I have gained. It has nothing to do with the medals hanging on my office wall. It has nothing to do with my PRs and splits and what I weighed on the scale before and after. It’s much bigger than that. MUCH MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT.

It’s about the people that I have helped. It’s about the hope that was generated. It’s about relieving someone else’s family from debt. It’s about taking the worry away from a family wondering how they’re going to get transportation to MD Anderson or San Antonio. It’s about providing housing and utilities and copays during chemo treatment. It’s about getting people to realize that there is a problem, a serious epidemic here and it seems to be getting worse. It’s even more than just a cure. It’s about PREVENTION of this ever happening again to another family…. selfishly, it’s also about doing all I can to make sure it doesn’t happen to MY family ever again.

I had made mention of being asked to be a panel speaker in a previous blog post. I was leary of being a part of this movement because I live in an area where anger and ignorance thrives. We take a mistruth and spread it around like gospel. We call it “chisme” (pronounced cheese-meh for my Spanish-slang novices out there). It is really hard to get a donation from our residents so when you GIVE them an excuse NOT to give… oh ya… they’ll run with it by saying “I’m not going to give because all these races you do are cancer fundraising scams!!!” “I’m not paying for your vacation” “None of this money even goes to help cancer patients!” or that local spin… “None of this money even goes to help LOCAL cancer patients!”

I was so afraid that if the ignorant got word of this, they’ll spread it around and we’d never get anywhere!

I did, however, attend and gave it a chance. I’m glad I did.

I was a little disappointed in the number of people who showed up who were actually touched by cancer. There were more politicians running for election there than those who had or had had cancer. But if they can help create/change policy here locally (i.e. impose smoking bans regionally or remove chemicals from our locally grown agriculture, etc.) I can see why they were there. The handful of people who were there that had been touched by cancer stood out. Not in a bad way. It’s like they lit up the whole theater. I’ve met people like that before. You know… you can tell they’re going to be big, really big, but no one knows who they are yet. That’s the kind of shine they had. Momma had that light. Everyone she met could see it. We as humans gravitate towards people who have that light.

The movie played in that freezing cold theater and while I completely agree with the ultimate message they were intending, I still saw so much bitterness and … oh, I really don’t want to use this word but can’t think of any other word that describes it… hate towards big corporate business.  I do not believe that all big business is bad and greedy. The undertone sure made it sound that way especially when the leader boasted that they did not take donations from ANY big business. If I owned a big business and knew that 1 out of every 2 men  and 1 out of every 3 women would be touched by cancer, I would certainly take a good look at my workforce, calculate those stats and jump in full force to do something for my employees. Big or small business, that’s just the right thing to do.

I guess my background in economic development has given me an understanding of social and economic balance and need for both the big box and the mom-and-pop or sole-entrepreneur in this country. So the tone that was set from the get-go was like nails on a chalkboard to me. The women who were interviewed were all angry and bitter. They were all stage IV breast cancer patients.

My mother was first diagnosed in 2006 with stage IV cancer and never once showed anger or bitterness to the world (although I know she must have felt it at some points – she never showed it). She told me over and over again that she was not “battling” cancer. She was DANCING with it. Cancer would take a step and she would take a step back and then she would take a step and cancer would take a step back. She smiled when she said that. ALWAYS. She danced with cancer for 6 1/2 years. It was when the death of her sister, the death of her son and the overwhelming worry of expenses stole that smile from her face that her condition worsened. It was when she was UNHAPPY that cancer finally gained control over her.

She didn’t “market” herself that way. She simply WAS that way. Always smiling. Always happy.

She taught me to be like that. By example. It’s not some marketing ploy.

So that was the only other part of the movie that I didn’t agree with… and took offense with. *But that’s another topic

Bottom line: I hope that all those miles I put in and all the money I helped raise are not in vain. I run for organizations that my mother said helped her. I know there are organizations out there that have profited off of the breast cancer awareness movement. There will always be greedy people like that in the world. Let God deal with them when their time comes. In the mean time, don’t make it any easier for them. Think before you buy pink.

Pinkwasher – a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Critical questions for conscious consumers

* How much money, if any, goes to a breast cancer organization?

* What organization and programs will your money fund?

* Is there a maximum donation and has it already been met?

* Does this product put you at an increased risk of breast cancer?

Donate directly to a breast cancer organization of your choice if you are concerned about where your money is going.

If you are local to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and would like free movie passes to see the last viewing of Pink Ribbons, Inc., I will gladly provide them to you. It will be showing on Sunday, October 27th at 2:00 p.m. at the Historic Cine El Rey Theater (311 S. 17th Street, McAllen, TX) A Question and Answer panel with discussion will follow the film.

My personal note:  I don’t care what kind of cancer you have or what kind of issue you have, once you let anger get the best of you… it has already won.  Do not let it control you. I highly recommend watching this movie but please disregard the bitterness. Just think before you pink.

Critical pinkwashing questions to ask when donating or purchasing pink ribbon items.

Critical pinkwashing questions to ask when donating or purchasing pink ribbon items.

Speaking about the toxicity of our environments and our need to not just focus on finding a cure for those who have been hurt by cancer but also  PREVENTING cancer from the rest of the world. Discussing cancer priorities

Speaking about the toxicity of our environments and our need to not just focus on finding a cure for those who have been hurt by cancer but also PREVENTING cancer from the rest of the world. Discussing cancer priorities

Talking about the points in the Pink Ribbons Inc documentary that stood out most to us.

Talking about the points in the Pink Ribbons Inc documentary that stood out most to us.

So in conclusion… now what?

LET THE STORY BE TOLD. Momma and Sissy had a message. The world needs to hear it so that it doesn’t happen again. Not just deal with it and “slice, burn and poison” it… but NEVER allow it to happen again. This is beyond a much needed cure that is accessible and affordable to all. This is now about prevention for the next generation.

Oh! and ya… I’ll keep running and getting others to run with me (or tri, too).

Princess no more

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2013 by runmyssierun

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Say what you want

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2013 by runmyssierun

I spent all of my early adult life in pageants and training for them and training others for them as well. I was pretty good at it. I won a good share of them and taught others how to win, too. We called each other the “Rhinestone Mafia”. We are a great group of women.

My forte was interview. One question that came up over and over again by judges in personal interview and on stage interview (which usually meant the final question) was “Do you regret anything in your life?

Pageant coaches have always told me to NEVER say I regretted anything in my life to judges.

But honestly, I do have regrets.

I regret not learning to speak Spanish fluently and often.

I regret not paying attention in school as much as I should have.

I regret not asking what Sissy’s favorite color was or what flavor of ice cream she liked most.

I regret not putting my foot down and taking Donny to LaHa.

I regret not speaking up for myself to bullies throughout my life.

I regret all the time I spent watching TV (except for MTV when it showed videos)

I regret not telling the people that I love that I loved them. I regret not taking that chance to hug them or making that opportunity come around. I regret not saying what I wanted to because I was too scared of what they would think of me.

I regret a lot of the choices I’ve made. I’m paying the price for them now.

I regret not spending all those last moments with the ones I loved.

Say what you want. Say what you need. Say it all to me, to them, to yourself… but say it. Let it out. Let them know.

I’ve conquered so many of my fears these last two years and it’s such a shame that I got to realize the biggest fear of mine was the fear of not being loved back.

Crossing the finish line taught me so many things. It got me out of my stagnant comfort zone. It took me past my fears. It made me re-evaluate myself, my true self. I have many regrets.

I just told them to a judge (you)

A big no-no in pageantry.

But guess what? I was once told by someone that this world is made up of women who are either princesses or queens. I think I just realized I’m on the queen list. I have regrets. I have fears. I still can’t say everything that I want to… but I’ll try harder.

I don’t want to regret any more.

Momma after her fall IMG_4235 the last family photo with Donny MD Anderson Cancer Center IMG_4293 stained glass angel Momma and her crown before her surgery Momma getting skinny Momma made tuna casserole the day after 9 tumors were removed from her brain IMG_4301 IMG_4302 IMG_4305

someday

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2013 by runmyssierun

Go ahead. Want to ask me WHY I do these crazy events again?
Because at one time I said “Someday I’ll be like them.”
“Someday I’ll be able to do that”
“Someday someone else’s family won’t have to endure what my family did”
“Someday”
AND SOMEDAY CAME!!! I did it. Anything is possible.
And somewhere on this Earth someone is thinking to themselves
“Someday I’ll be cured of cancer”
“Someday I’ll win this fight”
“Someday I’ll develop the cure for cancer”
SOMEDAY IS TODAY
#RELENTLESS
#1team1goal #beatcancer
#join #teamintraining

 

I was also sent an email today from ACS. I copied it for you here:

Dear Myssie,

Today, we want to report back to you on what some of our brightest researchers have been doing — to give you a sense of the kind of breakthroughs your support makes possible. As a committed American Cancer Society supporter, you are a vital partner in the fight to make this cancer’s last century.

Just this week, it was announced that a former American Cancer Society research grantee is one of the three scientists receiving the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology! Dr. James E. Rothman, along with two colleagues will be honored for defining the control of the movement of membranes in cells; which contributes greatly to the understanding of cell functioning in numerous diseases, including cancer. These internal cell membranes are key to the function of cells and the ability of cells to move, both of which are hallmarks of cancer cells. In 1982, while at Stanford University, and in 1988 while at Princeton, Dr. Rothman’s research was supported by an American Cancer Society research grants.

Investing in researchers like Dr. Rothman is possible because of people like you. Here are just two of the other advances that may help cancer patients in the future that have been made possible by American Cancer Society supporters like you:

Scientist

A new device that can detect tumor cells in your blood
The Herringbone-Chip is capable of finding rare circulating tumor cells also known as CTCs. CTCs are living tumor cells which are thought to be metastasizing and they are very hard to detect because very few of them are in the bloodstream. With this new microfluidics-chip, tumor cells could be found much earlier and could save lives.

Test Tubes

A new way to predict if aggressive cancers will spread or not
The presence of a specific type of molecule called miR-101 may be the link that allows doctors in the future to predict whether a tumor will remain contained or if it will be very aggressive and spread. What’s more, new research suggests that some cancers could be contained by putting miR-101 into tumors that have lost it.

We thank you; cancer patients across the country thank you; and future generations thank you for being part of this fight.

Thank you. Please feel free to share this with friends or family who might be interested, as well.

Sincerely,

Your American Cancer Society

P.S. If you’re inspired to make a gift today, please donate here. Innovative and deserving projects as well as critical programs and services for families touched by cancer are always in need of funding.

Something for the pain

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2013 by runmyssierun

I am aware of pain. I feel it. I just won’t talk endlessly about it nor will I go around showing everyone my boo-boo or tell them “it hurts when I do this”. I simply won’t do “this” because it hurts.

I do listen to my body and know the difference between muscle fatigue and muscle damage. After a few harsh extreme endurance physical events, my body is bound to feel one of the two.

I went for a second opinion (yes, other than my own). Sometimes, I admit it, I don’t know everything.

The doc’s opinion… I’ve got a pain in my neck.

Spine works in McAllen…. That was pretty cool. They hooked up this thingamajig to my spine and it calculated all the problems and intensity of the problems on my back.

Way cool!

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Give a little bit

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2013 by runmyssierun

More on the point about this journey being more than about just me…

I’ve had this song in my heart for years, decades probably. The lyrics mean a lot to me but if you take a verse by itself, it can mean something else and still be meaningful.

This weekend I gave a little bit, a little bit of myself.

I got so much more back in return.

Thank you to everyone who had anything to do with the Fiesta Marathon! I didn’t run in it but the blisters on my feet would tell you otherwise.

This finish line was shared with so much heart and determination.

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Proverbs 9:8

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2013 by runmyssierun

Derek told me to.

I’ll be praying for you until then. I hope you get out of this darkness you are in.

 

On a lighter note… in fact, a very very pink note…

Had the best run since the San Antonio Rock & Roll marathon. Why? I never turned on my Garmin and I remembered why I started running in the first place. Back to basics.

 

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