Running the Race
Last updated: April 2023
At some point, all of us start on this particular race of life. Some of us have trained beforehand and others were not ready at all! We all have one thing that qualifies us to enter the race and that is blood cancer.
Once we get on the track, we are so focused on the finish line, remission! We just want to get this over with!
Same race, but different tracks
I understand that and have been there, but I have learned that we all are on different tracks, with different coaches, in various physical conditions & mental states, etc.
Many of us want to get in there, run the race, cross the finish line, and be a Survivor!!! Let's Ring That Bell!! But what happens when you find yourself... still in the race?
Starting the race with determination
You start this race with great determination. You have taken time to meet with all your doctors, oncologists, hematologists, specialists, and techs and form your own medical support team. You have educated yourself on your diagnosis. You are prepared for what lies ahead. At least you believe you have, and for now, that's good enough!
You choose your treatment (or it may have chosen you, depending on your situation) and you hit the track to start the race of life...
At the beginning, you have many supporters
When you first start out, the stands are full of people supporting you. The sound of the cheers from the crowd can be so loud and overwhelming! They are shouting, "You got this!" "I'm here for you!" "Kick cancer's butt!" "Fight cancer!" and all the popular hashtags. They are even wearing shirts and silicone bracelets! Some even come down and run with you, asking.. how they can help and what your family needs.
Wow doesn't this feel awesome! You feel so supported and that gives you super fuel to run!
You can see the finish line! You are feeling great! Let's ring that bell!!
Others have rung the bell, but your finish line is still far away
After you have been running a while, you keep hearing "the bell ring!" You can't help but notice that some people you started with have crossed their finish line. You look ahead, why does your finish line seem farther away than when you started?? You look at the stands, unfortunately, its fewer people there now. They won't admit it, but it's just taking too long. They went back to their lives and left a note, "I'm still praying for you. Call me if you need me." How can I stop to call, if I am using all my strength and energy to get through this?
The race is taking its toll
You continue to do all you are supposed to do. Now it's taking its toll on your physical condition and your body is slowing down. In fact, fatigue is overtaking you, you are sick, and in pain.. neuropathy is affecting you and you just can't run! You have been training to beat this. This just can't beat you! So, you find yourself crawling, just trying to get to the end...
Surprisingly, the few people who were left in the stands come down and pick you up. As they get you the nourishment you need and allow you to rest, they carry you, they run FOR you! As you come back to yourself, regaining your strength, you discover the people something beautiful. Some of the people running with you and supporting you now are not those who you expected the people you needed.
Just keep running
Back on your feet, you are back on track in this race! You have indeed been in this race for quite a while now! You reflect on when doctors first told you you would cross that finish line. You have watched many friends finish their races and ring their bells. However, you also watched many others finish before their time... sadly.
So, what happens when you are still here? Stay focused on yourself, not the remission. You will get there when you get there.
I have been in my race for 8 years and I am still running! Despite how I am thankful and trust you are too! Keep running my friends!!
What blood cancer were you diagnosed with?