Archive for md anderson

Her last wish: She said “Run for me”. So I did and I never stopped.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2015 by runmyssierun
Some runners measure their success in time, others in distance... mine was in keeping a promise.

Some runners measure their success in time, others in distance… mine was in keeping a promise.

Last night I was asked to tell my story at the “kick-off” party for ACS’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball. From the moment I walked up the stairs to the event, I felt a gush of sweat trickling down my back. I was a big ball of nerves. I hate crying and I knew that by sharing my story to this group, I would eventually burst out into sobs… and not those Hollywood glamorous slow motion tear drops gracefully gliding down a single cheek… I’m talking full blown Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer blaring red neck with slimy boogers gushing outta my nostrils and the black mascara smudged down my face kind of train wreck. So as I approached the microphone, I apologized in advance. I hope it was sufficient for them… because all the above happened. I told my story… skimmed through some parts… forgot others.. purposely didn’t talk about that…and wrapped it up before I made a complete fool of myself in public… and then walked off stage. Dad was in the audience. Knowing he was there made me nervous and safe at the same time. George, the chairman for the event announced that Mark Chesnutt will be performing live for the Cattle Baron’s Ball with Costello opening up for them.  The band then performed some songs for the group there and closed with “After that speech, we’ve decided to donate the portion that we are being paid to perform back to the cause!” 11391191_10155671548305068_5516012634173941912_n costello cattlebarons 11391747_10155671362385068_2101660274164910459_n 11392989_10155671361745068_5148268348846252956_n I was floored!!! Lack’s Furniture donated $25,000.00 to support transportation services for those who need assistance getting to and from treatment. And so many others also stepped up to do what they could… This evening my cup runneth over. This… this is what Momma prayed for. It’s all coming together.

Advertisements

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetle….

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by runmyssierun
Me, German and the Ericas sipping on chai tea and giggling about our crazy beliefs and what we would do if we were hypnotized.

Me, German and the Ericas sipping on chai tea and giggling about our crazy beliefs and what we would do if we were hypnotized as Harry Belafonte sang Jump in the Line (from Beetlejuice) over the speakers.

Last night I was with a few of my favorite people at Moonbeans, a favorite local coffee shop, sipping a chai tea and talking about sleep hypnosis and various other topics you wouldn’t ever imagine when a woman approached us at our table outside under the moonlight and cool breeze. She placed her hand upon my shoulder and looked down on me with a sweet smile and blurted out with grace a story about her grandchild, Jessica Garcia, who since the age of three had been fighting cancer. Now eight years old, she said as her eyes welled up with tears, that the doctors at MD Anderson had given them the news that she had only about six months to live but was still scheduled for another very powerful chemotherapy as they were adamant about fighting with the strength of God. Her voice cracked as she went on to say how channel 5 had done a story about her not too long ago and from the tone of her voice… it didn’t seem like she thought the story would end well. I’m not sure if she saw the look in our eyes as we clearly all felt her pain and she caught herself, smiled, touched her heart and then pointed up to the sky and said “The doctors don’t have hope but I do.”

The woman, I would estimate about her mid-fifties to mid-sixties, about five foot three inches, 180 pounds with short curly salt and pepper hair and in need of dental work but with a phenomenal smile, had no clue that she had approached a table with a woman who had lost her family to cancer two years prior, another woman who was an ovarian cancer survivor and two others who had just pledged to complete a challenge for the purpose of bringing awareness to the masses about cancer.

She was carrying around a handful of little stuffed holiday ornaments to sell for $6.00. They dangled from her delicate fingers as she explained almost shamefully how MD Anderson had given them to her so that she could raise money for her granddaughter.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my purse with me and only had my ATM card and felt awful about not being able to help her.  I asked for her granddaughter’s name again and one of my friends asked her for her name and a phone number explaining that she worked for one of the local news stations and would like to do a follow up story and possibly help even more at that time with awareness and a bigger cry out to the public for donations.

I told her that as soon as I got to my home computer, I would look up the story and donate online via the KRGV news story. She responded with overwhelming zeal and gratitude. However, when my friend asked if she could call her tomorrow for that follow up on the story… she became quite nervous, stuttered and started looking around. Suddenly, it hit us but no one wanted to say it.

Knowing that we were a pretty broke group of friends that weren’t going to buy $6.00 ornaments for charity with the hopes of someone giving her a $10.00 bill and then saying she was sorry she didn’t have any change and additionally hoping that we would say “Don’t worry, keep the change.” – because, really, who carries around six dollars exactly, right?

So when the text came in this morning….

Moonbeans cancer scam

It hurts me to a degree that is beyond what the English language can define to know that people would use cancer as a way to scam others… cancer survivors… people who have lost family and loved ones to cancer… as a way to get six lousy bucks.

Why this woman did what she did will always be unknown to me. She clearly was desperate and had no clue who she was talking to and how cancer had hurt us.

Obviously my angels were protecting me and my hard earned money as I probably would have given her all I had if I had my purse with me. Funny how God works to protect us and teach each of us lessons.

Please pray for her. She needs help…. and it’s thankfully not help to fight cancer.

8 year old Jessica Garcia that only has six months to live because of cancer… simply doesn’t exist. Nor do we believe her grandmother, Diana Garcia, exists. At least not in the way as it was presented to us last night.

Workout Envy – my newest phenomenon

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2014 by runmyssierun

All my life I’ve had nicknames. As a child, I lived across the street from my grandmother and great Aunt Lucille. Neither houses had air conditioning and our windows were always open so I could clearly hear them yell out to me “Missinga” (prounounced Mee-seen-gah) or “Queena” if they wanted me to go over and do something for them. In high school, my best friend would tease me with her nickname for me “Missy Lu” and my dance team and coach called me “Myssie Card” all short references of my real name. After I won Miss Edinburg my Senior Year in High School, I was called “Miss Edinburg” a lot but the reference quickly changed to Miss Myssie because I was in a different pageant every semester.

10351455_10154641191700068_2782662429968493463_n
But yesterday at Starbucks, someone said “Hey, that’s Healthy Myssie!”

I was so taken back and honored. I’ve become Healthy Myssie!!!! Someone actually called me HEALTHY Myssie! I must have looked like the worlds biggest hee-haw being that I was oddly speechless after that.

It was three years ago this month that Sissy’s last wish was for me to take up running and become healthy so that I can better manage the upcoming stress she saw in my future and live a longer, stronger happier life than the family members I had been caring for that year. So much has happened since then and I credit her for saving my life and changing my lifestyle forever.

I had never run a mile before in my life and now, as I sit here typing at my desk… I look over at my medal holder hanging on the wall beside me and honestly don’t have enough math skills, fingers and toes to total the miles I have run in these three short, quick years. I have learned how to swim since then and have found a new passion – cycling – all because of her… my Sissy.


As I was in the gym today, I came across an all together new feeling. I was on the treadmill doing a short little warm up and felt sweat begin to drip down my neck and body. I was planning to only do a short little run and focus on leg strength training to help cure my noassitol disease but couldn’t help feeling… “I wonder how much I can run today?” I had already told the spouse man that it would be a short workout so that he could go to the ranch for some bird hunting today so regardless of feeling like I could run forever, I knew I was limited in time. The sparkle of the pool’s reflection outside caught my eye. “Oh how I wish I could go jump in the pool now and swim forever!”

Wait.. what??? Who have I become?

I skimmed through the posts of the Run Walk or Crawl girls and saw all their incredible long run posts that we were all congratulating them on. “I want to do a long run, too!”

My facebook feed used to be filled with pictures of droopy-eyed friends acting goofy and holding up half empty beer bottles and red solo cups hanging on to each other for balance… and now it’s filled with friends holding up finisher medals, podium trophies, covered in mud, jumping fires, open water swims, cycling over mountains, etc… and I immediately look for an event calendar to see if I can do the next one with them!!!

Oh my lord! I have workout envy! I want to do it all and have all day to do it!

Here I was in the middle of my own workout that was carefully planned out and calendared to fit the upcoming events I had chosen to do… and I find myself wanting to do something else and so much more… just because I can.

Well now, isn’t that a great problem to have?

I can tell I’ve begun to change in some wonderful ways. Although I only put in a small workout today, it helped put me in a GREAT mood the rest of the day. I miss waking up early in the morning and doing my workouts with the team but I understand that hubby doesn’t appreciate it much anymore having me out on weekend mornings and not doing anything on weekend nights. My workouts aren’t just a social sacrifice for me, but for him as well. Making fitness a lifestyle is only successful if the whole family supports it and becomes a part of it, too. Setting my day first with a workout seems to put everything in a calmer perspective for me. It makes difficult situations easier to deal with. Having to wait until the Cowboys play has put a damper on my workouts… and my days. But, eh, I’ll take it. Just a few more months.. I can deal.

Sissy

Sissy


September 23rd marks the third anniversary for Sissy. That’s two days from now.

Not quite sure what to do.

Your suggestions are welcomed. How would YOU honor the woman who saved your life?

MARTIN MEDINA

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2014 by runmyssierun

I’m going to do something different for today’s entry. I’m not entitling this post with the name of a song. I’m not going to gracefully dance around the severity of a taboo topic. I’m gonna slug you in the gut with the story of an incredibly amazing person and hopefully move you and this whole community into action… because the worse thing you can do is absolutely nothing.

quote-throughout-history-it-has-been-the-inaction-of-those-who-could-have-acted-the-indifference-of-haile-selassie-265791

A few years ago, I worked for a studio with several different television and radio stations. I loved my job mostly because I was given the ability to befriend so many incredible clients who entrusted me with their business and event marketing/promotions. One morning my co-worker had announced that she was going to sign up AHSTI as a client. However, that afternoon I received a phone call from a soft spoken nice gentleman asking to meet with me to plan out a promotion for his event – the same organization that my co-worker said she would sign up. Now, the way that my office worked was that if you called out your possible client that morning… it was the equivalent of calling “shot gun” for the front seat. She called dibs.

I met with him and went over a few ideas and he quickly blurted out “We wanted to work with you because you are trusted and don’t BS anyone.”  I’ll never forget that. He could tell I had great ideas and he could tell I was worried about something.

I admitted that I had just received some worrisome news about my mother who was at MD Anderson at the time. He let me vent and then we planned one of the most successful events that AHSTI ever had together.

I had never fought for a client before. I’m so glad I did.

So that’s my side of the story and how this friendship began.

Here’s his.

http://www.themonitor.com/life/valley_life/palmview-resident-turns-cancer-diagnosis-into-plan-for-nonprofit/article_218773e2-1417-11e3-9ba9-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm

Martin grew up poor and knew the challenges that this area had to overcome to attain a home, an education and a good life. He dedicated himself to helping the poor get homes through the local Affordable Homes program. And he was really good at it!!!

And then one day, out of the blue, I got a phone call. I was in a meeting so I couldn’t answer it but I did see the caller ID and was a bit puzzled when I saw his name. About two hours later, I was able to listen to his message.

I dropped the phone and my heart sank. He told me that he was diagnosed with Stage III Colon cancer, was weak, needed help and wanted to partner up with me on some ideas that he had and to call him back. He knew I understood what he was feeling. He knew I understood how expensive this disease is. He knew I understood.

I held the phone in my hand for a good thirty minutes. I couldn’t call him back. I knew that if I spoke to him, I’d break down in tears and that’s not what he needed from me. He needed positive reinforcement. He needed someone strong. He needed someone I could not be at that time. I was so distraught. He was so young! How does this happen? Why does cancer strike the good ones? Why him? He has so much to offer with his good heart and his youth and his ambition and his… (the list went on and on)

Long story short.. I never had the guts to call him back. I didn’t trust myself. I cried.

Truth is, he never needed me or my support. He dug in his heels, went through treatment and continued with his plan.

Now, if any of you have gone through surgery, radiation and chemo… you KNOW how that knocks you down. This guy did it, got knocked down and used that down time to create a non-profit for others who are going through the same thing to receive a revolving loan to pay for expenses related to dealing with cancer treatment.

Seriously, who does that? Who creates a revolving loan fund for OTHER people to utilize when undergoing cancer treatment, after they’ve lost their job, their income and still have mortgages to pay, utility bills, travel expenses, children’s expenses, car payments, insurance, yada yada yada????

MARTIN MEDINA DOES that’s who.

So when you come home and complain about having a hard day at work and plop down on your couch in your home with a roof over your head and a big screen TV and dinner in front of you with the air condition/heater blasting, able to put in your crossfit workout or daily jog and a warm shower to ease you… think about what you did today and count your blessings. Ask yourself… WHAT DID YOU DO YOU HELP THE WORLD TODAY?

Were you inactive? Were you indifferent? Were you silent?

What excuse are you mustering up in your head to give me? I’m not going to buy it anyway. Wake up. Do something. If you can’t think of something to do, to say, to be… then help Martin Medina.

This is his facebook page. Become his friend and offer your help, your talent, your voice, your anything… just whatever you do, don’t do NOTHING.

 

No matter what life tosses our way, there are always those individuals who will take their given situation and turn it into something positive. Martin is one of those individuals. Despite his battle against cancer, he took time this weekend to introduce his friends to each other in efforts to create a foundation to help people in need at a local level. Thank you Martin for your inspiration, our world can use more people like you. We love you dearly and are here to support you any which way we can. We pray that you continue to recuperate and return stronger than ever. Si se puede!

“No matter what life tosses our way, there are always those individuals who will take their given situation and turn it into something positive. Martin is one of those individuals. Despite his battle against cancer, he took time this weekend to introduce his friends to each other in efforts to create a foundation to help people in need at a local level. Thank you Martin for your inspiration, our world can use more people like you. We love you dearly and are here to support you any which way we can. We pray that you continue to recuperate and return stronger than ever. Si se puede!” –Lori Michelle Ruiz

10006538_809748135721572_2119915376_n 1458496_10201780526380154_762543378_n

This is Martin Medina surrounded by his friends who contacted me. Together, we'll be organizing a RAVE RUN, concert and dinner to help him with HIS expenses and establish his revolving loan fund and nonprofit to help others.

This is Martin Medina surrounded by his friends who contacted me. Together, we’ll be organizing a RAVE RUN, concert and dinner to help him with HIS expenses and establish his revolving loan fund and nonprofit to help others.

THANK YOU LONESTAR NATIONAL BANK FOR SETTING UP AN ACCOUNT FOR MARTIN SO THAT ANONYMOUS DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO HIM!!!! *I’ll set up a link here shortly so that people can donate here online from my blog to him.

 

God Bless you Martin!

 

With a little help from my friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by runmyssierun

They say it takes a village to raise a child… and without any offense to my Momma and my family – in fact I am quite certain that she would agree – I am living proof because this community sure has picked me up to a place where I never ever thought I could be!

Officially changing the spelling to The "Myssie"!!!

Officially changing the spelling to The “Myssie”!!!

The Health Nut (a local chain of stores independently owned and operated) that makes healthy shakes and smoothies has a shake that is labeled “a local favorite” named “The Missy Shake” and I swear it really is the best tasting healthy shake EVER!!! Well, when I walked in on Friday… they (brother and sister Michael and Sara) coyly reached into the drawer and pulled out a label spelled “Myssie” to replace the original lettering!!! This coming weekend, they will be offering “The Myssie” at a discount and donating that discount to my Mimi’s Miles fund!!!

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

Windetergent is also donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of orders from this link: http://tnt.windetergent.com/myssie

*If you haven’t tried WINdetergent, YOU NEED TO!!! No more stinky bike shorts and drifit running jerseys and sports bras for me!!!

1964346_10202679882494897_611667115_n

I’ve had jewelry (necklaces and bracelets) custom designed to symbolize the love between my mother and I with our now famous hand sign made by the former Miss Corpus Christi (*True story – I was asked to be “the other woman” in Selena’s last video but I couldn’t make it and suggested Miss Corpus Christi as a replacement. She was stunning. There’s no way I could have done a better job. Here’s her video) She made about 100 necklaces and bracelets with her own hands and donated all her labor.

I’m still in need of a corporate sponsor this season. And I am sure this company is going to run into me when I least expect it. Maybe this is the wrong way of doing things but so far… all my “signs” have led me to so many awesome people. I’m hoping my signs stay true and lead me to the company who understands how important this cause is… not just for me…but also for the community, the nation, the world… but more personally, for it’s employees and their loved ones.

It is with this frame of mind that I am so honored that Life Time Triathlon chose me as their ambassador this year! I’m still in shock!

Use the code #CAPTEX1402 to get 10% off your CapTexTri registration

Use the code #CAPTEX1402 to get 10% off your CapTexTri registration

Spread this around and make it viral! If you are a triathlete or know one or have been on the fence about becoming one… use this code #CAPTEX1402 when you register for the Capital of Texas Triathlon on May 26, 2014, in Austin, Texas, and you receive 10% off your registration fee and you’ll be using that discount to help fight blood cancers via #Mimismiles all in memory of my Momma!!!

And now I’ve been asked to participate in so many other cancer events!!! I now sit on the Board for the CAP5k (Colonoscopy Assistance Program) which fundraises via 5k race events – among other events – and the proceeds go to fund local Rio Grande Valleyites that are high risk for colon cancer and need assistance paying for their colonoscopies. The 5k is this coming weekend and you can register through active.com or this link right here:

http://www.active.com/mcallen-tx/running/races/rgv-cap-5k-run-walk-2014?int=72-3-A4

1743676_10153855950225068_1335386399_n

I was also asked to be part of Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance’s Colon Cancer Awareness Walk with the Doc tonight. “The Doc” is Dr. Belinda Jordan who happened to be my very first TNT Mentor!!! I got a text from Annabell and a reminder from Gaby and they even got me a t-shirt for the event! I love how there is a great sudden move to push people from the uncomfortable taboo subject of people’s “privates” and making it a bit more socially acceptable and comfortable to talk/ask about Colorectal Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. If you are around here locally and would like to join me tonight, please please please do so! #bottomsup

Walk with the Doc

And speaking of Ovarian Cancer… I was invited to attend a little intimate discussion about Ovarian Cancer and the Sprint for Like 5k with staff from MD Anderson at the home of Rosalie Weisfeld. I had no idea that there wasn’t a test for “Gyn Cancers”. I honestly thought that my CA-125 was all that I needed and since I was ok on that test, I was off the hook! I think I was wrong!!! I honestly learn something new on the subject of Cancer every day! But the best part about that afternoon was listening to Heather Marks talk about her experience. Her journey began just two months before my Momma’s. I am so very happy that her story had a happy ending. I do still believe in hope even after all we have been through. 

Sharing their stories about ovarian cancer and the Sprint for Life 5k Run/Walk and the Sprint for Sprouts Kids Run! All benefitting research and awareness for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Thank you Rosalie Weisfeld for hosting this discussion!

Sharing their stories about ovarian cancer and the Sprint for Life 5k Run/Walk and the Sprint for Sprouts Kids Run! All benefitting research and awareness for the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Thank you Rosalie Weisfeld for hosting this discussion!

And now for my training update!!! My tummy has been giving me lots of issues this week. It’s gone so long now that I will probably go visit the doctor about it. (it’s been almost a week like this!)

I wasn’t able to attend the group swim practice this week but did get to make it up plus an extra swim workout the following day. My bike ride on Tuesday morning was torture on my legs but after the first few miles, I was able to get back into my groove. I wasn’t able to make the Thursday ride since I was saving my legs for the Team McAllen Time Trial on Sunday. But was able to easily get coaxed by my fellow San Francisco TNT alumni and CAP Board Member, Laura, as she blurted out to me that she wanted to become a triathlete, too! So we went swimming!!!

971760_10202372817014770_541279970_n

And of course… as we were hanging over the ledge of the pool chit chatting… we naturally go into the discussion of cycling. Wouldn’t you know it.. the following day, she comes back with a beauty of a bike from my bike guru, Wally Alaniz at Wally’s Bicycles!

1961956_10202378193109169_137424175_o

I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or her, about her new adventure in triathlon!

Saturday morning was our TNT TriTeam’s first real long ride. It was about 27 miles. I arranged for two of us to SAG because I predicted the group breaking off into two. I was right! One of my fellow cyclepaths was eagerly  volunteered into the SAG position 😉 And I rode in the next car with all my safety gear.

Sure enough, on the second loop of the great city of Granjeno, Gio gets a flat. I quickly jump out of my car with pump and tube in hand. Flip the bike over and carefully give her instructions while helping her put the wheel on and off and replacing the busted out tube. HOWEVER… in my haste I think I may have punctured the tube by pinching it on the side with the tool and knew that the rest of the group would be at the third loop by that time. In frustration, I packed up the bike and found the group at the corner convenience store along with many of the 5am’ers and TMC cyclists. With my tail between my legs, I handed over the bike to Coach W where she began the tire changing lesson as if it was as easy as boiling water.

Lesson: I still need more practice changing tires! I can’t afford to have this happen again!

On a happy note, the group did awesome! There were about 4 PRs that morning!

1510464_10153971978455068_1196273161_n

Nothing can stop this group now! #renlentless

And then Sunday morning came around… the Team McAllen Time Trials!! This would be my third time trial but my first on the Cervelo! I arrived LATE because of my diarrhea I had been having all week long but more so that night before and that morning!!! I was dehydrated but stubborn. I needed to see that I was improving.

It was sooooo worth it! I shaved two minutes off my time from just last month!

TT 3 2014

Remembering WHY I am here doing what I am doing.

I went back through my blog to this week two years ago and re-read this entry. I cried to myself and vividly remember and felt every emotion just as if I were right back there. So, to the person who wrote me last night about her mother that recently passed away, know that your emotions are valid and it really does take more than a week of grieving to heal… but it does get better and you do get stronger and the grace that your mother had finds its way into your heart some way some how.

Here’s the entry from two years ago:

March 21, 2012

quit (verb) – to stop trying, struggling, or the like; accept or acknowledge defeat.

These past two weeks were emotionally difficult for me. I saw my usually vivacious, super-power infused mother weak, frail and suffering. What ever was in this last treatment knocked everything out of her. I could get my thumb and touch it with my index finger and her leg could fit right through it. Her hair has now fallen off and her normally wrinkle free olive skin has an odd grayish/yellow tint to it.

I was worried – really worried – for the first time ever. So I spent the weekend with her and then called her main doctor at MD Anderson. After questioning me about her symptoms, we agreed that it was best for her to return to Houston for a week so he could monitor her better under medical staff care. I was not comforted by his concern.

She grabbed my hand and squeezed it with all her might and looked me straight in the eyes and said “I’m worried about Myssie. She has so much on her plate right now. Can you keep an eye on her and help out?”

We had been warned that her memory functions may be lost as a result of her last radiation treatment. I don’t know who she thought I was at the time but I was glad that I had the strength and courage not to have the shock and sadness show in my reaction to her as I replied with “I will Momma, I will. Don’t you worry. I’ll take good care of her.”

That was Sunday about noon time. They drove to MD Anderson on Sunday afternoon and met with her doctor on Monday morning.

I was sitting at my desk working on a proposal for a client of mine just shortly before lunch. I had a ton of meetings scheduled and needed tons more to make my quota. The stress was insane. That’s when I got the phone call from Dad.

“Myssie, can you talk?”

“Yes Daddy. What did the doctor say?”

“It’s not good. There’s nothing more that they can do. We’re coming home…. right now. They’ve released her to hospice. We’ll be home about 6:30.”

There must have been at least a year of silence after that. I was crushed.

Why?

I was asked just days ago by my Team in Training coach why I was running. Why I was putting my body through this? What was I doing this for?

As silly as it may sound, part of me was hoping that God would see how hard I was trying. That He would see that I was willing to take the pain away from her and volunteer it onto me in order to not have her suffer any more. I wanted that pain and suffering to quit. I wanted cancer to quit. Because I wasn’t going to allow myself to quit. I would never quit.

Well, that was until I heard those words from my dad.

I did want to quit. I wanted so badly to throw in the towel and give up. Why should I run? Really, why should I? It’s not like running a marathon will produce a cure for my mom as I cross the finish line. What am I doing? I should just quit.

I thought long and hard about how to tell friends and family about the news. I wanted to be angry and blame everything from preservatives to toxic land for her suffering. But I am so glad I didn’t. I took a deep breath and took a step back and told myself now is how I must example the way she brought me up.

The following is what I posted to friends and family on my facebook wall:

Science and medicine has done all that it possibly can. Momma has shown incredible strength and faith through these tough 6-plus years. The choice to discontinue treatment does not mean that she has quit. It means that she is strong enough to accept God’s will and live the remainder of her life with her family and friends at home instead of hotel rooms and hospitals. I am so very proud of her bravery, so very thankful to her miraculous team of doctors and so very grateful for everyone’s prayers, kind gestures and help. Keep them coming.

See, my mother is not a quitter. Cancer will likely beat her body. But it won’t beat her. She’ll never quit. Her legacy will live on and continue to teach us, to love us and to give unto others. She never quit. And neither will I.

My Birthday Wish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2014 by runmyssierun

Image

I am very grateful to have so many wonderful friends wish me well on my birthday every year but this year my wish is for those wishes to turn into $10 donations. In exchange for your donation, you’ll receive either a necklace or an orange or purple beaded bracelete with my Momma’s signature “I LOVE YOU” hand sign silver charm. Turn my birthday into someone else’s birthday to beat cancer. Together we can! Anything is possible. Donate online here:http://pages.teamintraining.org/sctx/txtri14/mcardenasb

After every race, I have a photo made with me holding up my medal with one hand and throwing an “I love you” sign with the other hand. That was originally done so that my mother could see my progress on facebook while she was at MD Anderson getting treatment. We always held up our hands with this sign to each other in the same manner that Carol Burnett tugged at her ear after each show for her mother.

It is because of this that our little sign has now suddenly become so popular at our local races… many of us are racing for someone that we love and when we see the photographer around, lots of us show our love to others by showing the sign.

Please continue to spread the love! On Tuesday, my birthday, I have challenged my social media friends to donate $10 instead of posting a HAPPY BIRTHDAY on my social media walls. In exchange, they’ll receive a necklace or bracelet with the symbol that means so much to me… and hopefully will allow others to beat cancer and experience a new birthday for themselves.

Anything is possible. Together we can.

Oh… wait… you’re a guy? Or you don’t like to wear jewelry because you’re always working out??? Well, you must stink. A lot.

(How’s that for a sales pitch, eh?)

No worries, you can still help on my birthday!!! Because all those technical dri-fit jerseys, sports bras, bike jerseys, cycling shorts, etc… in fact… anything that is NOT cotton that you wear while you sweat can use this.

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

Click on the photo to get WINdetergent to launder your own sports gear and finally get that funky smell out!

WINdetergent has offered to partner with me on helping me fundraise in memory of my Momma and Sissy and Rodney and Donny and…. ya, it just goes on and on…

So why don’t you click here http://tnt.windetergent.com/myssie

and you can smell sporty fresh, celebrate my birthday AND help us with the fight again cancer!!! WINdetergent will donate $5 for every two-pack that you buy to my Mimi’s Miles fund with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society… but you HAVE to use THIS link

http://tnt.windetergent.com/myssie

Thanks a bunch!!! You guys are really making this birthday much easier to deal with 🙂

Slow dancing over the Gulf of Mexico

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by runmyssierun

photo (21)

I’m asked quite often now what events are on my 2014 calendar. Of course, if you’ve followed along, you know my response 😉

Today was one of the events. I really do want to re-race each event I’ve done so far to measure any decrease in pace, if any. The Port Isabel Longest Causeway race was my first 10k, almost exactly one month after my first 5k. I had been running for just about three months. Still very green, awkward and overcome with nerves.

But today was different. Not that I’m all Olympian or Kenyan by any means, but I really did feel at home at this race today.  Practice, training and experience has all helped me overcome the nerves and focus on just doing my best and enjoying everything around me.

This may sound weird to you non-runners but as a flat valley runner with little to no experience with hills or elevated grades, running up the Causeway is a serious challenge that takes great physical effort and stamina. The challenge plays mind games with you… or at least it does with me. I did a pretty good pace going up and stopped three times to take photos of a few fellow Cyclepaths that I saw along the way. Coach Hector marked my time trial at 10:45 with a 13:15 goal pace. *My run pace has slowed tremendously so I’m building it back up by returning to Running 101 class and tons of run drills that coach has designed just for me. I think it’s working.

I held an 11:40 pace (even with all the stopping for photos and chit chats with friends) which puts me at 2 minutes faster than Coach’s goal pace for me. I finished at 1:14… nothing to be ecstatic about right? Wrong.

Wanna see why this is so exciting for me? Look at my time from the last Causeway race.

My first 10k - The Longest Causeway run

 

To me, any improvement is worthy of celebration!!! Especially after doing so much with so little experience.

I would love to say that by CapTex I can get back to my 8 min paces but truth is that these last couple of months I’ve focused solely on running pace. Once I begin to incorporate swimming and biking into the weekly routines, I’m sure that my 8 dreams will likely fizzle. So I won’t get upset if I don’t reach 8 but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try and it doesn’t mean that I’m gonna kill myself trying to get there. Ya, re-read that last line. Do it again. Understand?

Oh! My review of the race today you ask?

Honestly, today was a bit of a blurr. What stood out the most were three parts.

1. Going uphill on the Causeway was a bit surreal. It wasn’t like last time – sunny and calm with the smell of the salt water filling your lungs. Today had a thick brownish sticky fog that smothered the view and your body with an icky feeling. It took me back to my younger days in dance clubs where the dance floor would poof up with thick smoke and that lovey dovey slow song would play for the traditional “it’s 2:00a.m. bar is closing hook up” song. I remember smiling big as ever as I found myself slow dancing over the Gulf of Mexico. Its hard to describe the feelings I get when I run. I remember getting a few boys upset when I was younger dancing with them at clubs because once I closed my eyes and my hands went up into the sky, I was in my own little world and they knew I was no longer with them. It was how I escaped. I never needed drugs or alcohol. I just needed a good beat to dance to. Well, the same kinda goes for running.

It’s a sensual exhilarating exhausting feeling that isn’t sexual. Does that make sense? People kept telling me how addictive running was and to watch out for the “runner’s high” and I’d laugh. Maybe this is what they were talking about. Maybe I do get high. Maybe running is my drug. Wow. I hope coffee doesn’t get jealous!!!

1017667_10153722027210068_1233267557_n

2. The last mile just as I turned the corner, I flashed back to the year prior when I witnessed a fellow Run Walk or Crawl runner fall to the street with a broken hip. I said a quick prayer of thanks for the ability to run without injury. So many people are not able to. This is a gift that I and all those around me at the time were given. And that’s when my mind went to David Mendez. I had asked a fellow Team in Training team mate about him two days ago. He’s struggling now and has spent the last two weeks at MD Anderson.  And that’s when I jumped into high gear…

3. It was the thought of David that pushed me to my last sprint across the finish. Normally, I gracefully prance across the finish with my hands held high showing my momma in Heaven my hand signs and smiling big for the cameras. Today was different. I don’t know what came over me but I was just so filled with emotion. How could I waste this gift that has been given to me? And my inner voice loudly commanded me to go… go as fast as I possibly could. Sprint. Race. David can’t. You can. Go! I didn’t look at anyone around me. I focused on that finish line and went for it like a crazy mad woman. I scared even myself!!! But it was a great feeling. That was for David because I still don’t know what to say to him to make it all better. So I run.

With all that I’ve been though, I should know what to say by now to people who have been hurt by cancer. Shouldn’t I?

76870_10153721706680068_144741690_n 1520710_615156175187034_882316997_n 1012234_615159165186735_1797220495_n 1551674_10153722027045068_501851303_n

%d bloggers like this: