Saturday, December 10, 2011
Today, I ran 2 miles
This whole running thing started because my friend Mark died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma back in February. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has a fantastic program called Team In Training that helps even the most out of shape losers like me run half marathons. :)
Cancer has had a profound impact on my life this year. Three weeks after Mark died, my father-in-law lost his battle with cancer, too. A different type, but cancer nonetheless. I took care of him the last eight hours of his life. Giving him is medicines every hour on the hour through the night.
One of my mom's oldest friends I'd known most of my life, another extended family member, a man from back home I knew. All gone. Others I knew were still fighting. My friend Renee's family had just been through hell with her nephew fighting a rare disease, only to find out that her dad has cancer. He had surgery not long ago to remove the cancer and is having followup radiation now. Our friend Nate from college kept fighting even though the traditional treatments weren't working. He lost the fight last week.
Not everyone I know has/had the same kind of cancer. LLS is the only organization with the great training program, and more people die of blood cancers than the next four cancers combined. Some of the drugs developed for blood cancers have become treatment options for other cancers. So that's how I found myself getting up at 7am to go run 2 miles this morning.
While I was running, Joe was waking up in Nashville. Today is Nate's funeral. He was 34. Thirty-freaking-four! He left a beautiful wife and two adorable kids. This isn't the first young friend I've lost. I've gone through this three times before. Mark was only 37. Mark started all this, but today isn't about Mark. Today is about Nate.
Nate was a good guy, and he didn't deserve this. His wife doesn't deserve to have to raise their kids alone. His kids don't deserve to grow up without their dad. I can make a donation to the kids' trust fund, but the bigger thing I can do is be an active participant in the fight against cancer. I can raise money to help cure the disease and make life better for those with it. I can run two miles and train for a half marathon.
These two are for you, Nate. Safe home.