And the crazy thing is that it hasn't even been a full two weeks yet. That is, it hasn't even been two weeks since I registered to participate in the Toronto Underwear Affair, a 5K walk and 10K run benefitting the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre and their research into and care for cancers below the waist.
As I've mentioned before in this blog, I was diagnosed with stage one cervical cancer earlier this year on February 20th, 2008. It was a whirlwind from diagnosis to surgery to treatment to follow up, and I'm happy to say that in spite of the media reports about wait times and the health care crisis in Canada that in my case the system worked exactly the way it was supposed to. By June 5th my treatment was done and on July 9th I was getting the all-clear from my doc. Or at least, as much of an "all-clear" as they're ever going to give you.
So when I heard about this walk/run to raise money for the cancer centre, and that it was specifically for research into cancers below the waist (ones that often aren't talked about like colorectal, cervical, ovarian, prostate, etc) I decided that by participating that I could bring my treatment full circle by giving back to the place where I had received such excellent care.
My original goal was to raise $500. And I thought, yeah, that's do-able, and I'll probably pass it and then I can up it a bit and we'll see where it goes from there.
Well "from there" was blown out of the water and I had to up my goal to $5,000! And now we're into the snowballing effect. Family and friends have also forwarded my request to their friends and family who know me and asked them for their donations as well. And still they're pouring in! The $5,000 goal has been passed and I think it's just a free for all at this point!
It's a great cause, and I'm so thankful that so many people have been able to show their support, no matter how big or small, it all makes a difference. And what has really made a difference to me, have been all the little personal notes that people have sent showing their support. We chose not to talk about it with too many people when I was going through treatment and to focus instead on getting healthy. The treatment is done now, but the getting healthy part still continues and so to now be ready to talk about it and put that energy into doing something positive and receiving such a positive response and support in return has been overwhelming.
I feel truly blessed. Thank you.
The picture at the top of this post was stitched by Shana in Calgary for me when she heard what I was going through and she told me that when she had her own cancer treatment (for lung cancer, a couple of years ago now) that she would envision during chemo all of her bad cancer cells being put into a balloon and then floating away. It was a great image. I had also stitched a "Fuck Cancer" design for Shana back then (designed by Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, who sells either the kit or the chart for the design and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in the States).
If you'd like to make a donation of support to the Toronto Underwear Affair, please click on this link:
Thanks again for your support!