I hope my blog silence hasn't led you to believe that I dropped dead during my 60 mile walk! Far from it, in fact. The Big Man and I walked every step together. We crossed the finish hand in hand. We are victorious!
I am not sure how to sum up our 3-Day for the Cure weekend in a way that will do it justice. All I can say is that, over the course of those 60 miles, Alex and I fell in love all over again.
You see, the Big Man and I had only been dating about six months before my diagnosis back in 2005. We were still getting to know one another and then this huge cancer thing was thrown into our laps. Over the past six years, we have done a little dance when it comes to my cancer. I want him to be involved, but I also want to be independent. We want to communicate about complicated emotional issues and we don't quite know how. He wants to get involved and help, but at the end of the day, this cancer journey is mine.
The most difficult step to learn in this cancer dance has been that my man wants to make it all better and take the pain away. We are learning that is impossible. Every day is a new chapter in our relationship. Every day is a learning experience. It can be beautiful, but it is so hard.
The 2010 Susan G. Komen DC 3-Day for the Cure was the high point of our relationship, the culmination of all our hard work. We embarked on the journey still doing our little "figuring this all out" dance, but we left totally in sync. It could have gone either way. I was so nervous that he would hate the walk or wouldn't get the emotion behind it. I should have had more faith in my man's heart. I should have had more faith in how he understands my struggle and appreciated more that he is dealing with a struggle all his own. He may not come to every appointment because there are simply too many, but he feels deeply every ache, pain and every set back.
Each day we were both pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed walking and talking together and we were shocked that we could laugh until we cried and come up with brand new nicknames for one another. Our team, The Million Dollar Babies, was perfect. The perfect amount of support and encouragement and comic relief, and it was a large team so that we could have our own private journey as a couple, but we were never ever alone.
As we walked across the finish, Alex looked at me and smiled and said, "Congratulations, Little One." Next to the words, "I Do," that was the sweetest phrase I've ever heard. Alex was proud of me. I was proud of him. We were both in incredible pain!
When we left the 3-Day Sunday night we were no longer those two people traveling the same difficult road. Instead, we left as one person looking forward confidently toward the future.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so, without further ado:
The Big Man and Big Girl 3-Day for the Cure journey
music courtesy of Ingrid Michaelson: "Soldier." Everybody. 2009.