As I walked, I talked on the phone for a bit.
I looked at groves of trees and soccer fields.
I watched cars sail past a little too fast and a little too close.
I prayed for people I know and people I don't know.
My neighbor's mother died two weeks ago. She and her mom were best friends.
The mother of two of my favorite bloggers - they are sisters - died this past weekend.
One cherished friend has been actively seeking full-time employment for well over a year.
She also recently lost an uncle.
Another is planning a trip to Europe with her family.
My sister-in-law went back to work today, a couple of weeks after surgery.
Another sister-in-law walked a half-marathon to raise money for kanswer research this weekend.
The daughter of a dear friend who died of kanswer several years ago ran the full marathon at the same event in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Both of them had my name on their bibs. They don't know each other, but the both know me. I am humbled and so grateful for their love and kindness on my behalf and on behalf of the millions of others who have fought and are fighting kanswer.
I just finished reading a funny, sad, poignant book called The Victoria's Secret Catalog never stops coming - and other lessons I learned from breast cancer, by Jennie Nash. She wrote eloquently about the gift of love, friendship, meals, smoothies, hugs, and presence during the terrible ordeal that kanswer is. She wrote about the fear and courage, the decisions and uncertainty, scars and breast reconstruction, arrogant doctors and compassionate spouses, and the worry and hope that all ebb and flow during the months and years of treatment and survival following a diagnosis.
As I walked today, I thought about that book. I thought about Anya and Noemi and their commitment to help end the terrible reign of kanswer in the world by walking and running and raising money for the cause. I thought about all the women and men dealing with new diagnoses, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, recurrences, hospice care, saying good-bye to their friends, their neighbors, their children, their spouses - and far worse, the ones who are facing this battle alone. There are far too many people who keep their illness to themselves, who don't have strong shoulders to lean on, who don't have meals being brought to them, who have been forgotten and abandoned on the battlefield of their health crises. I weep when I think of those lonely, frightened, and exhausted warriors.
As I walked, I couldn't help but wonder about what I would do and how I would respond if I were to have a recurrence. The "what ifs?" do get burdensome sometimes, I must confess.
As I walked along the busy road, I looked down and saw a piece of paper propped up in the grass.