When the oncologist told me not to wait to have surgery – that I should plan to have surgery 2-4 week after chemo. His words were “don’t waste the chemo by waiting”, I had to make a choice – triathlon after chemo or Hawaii. It was a pretty easy choice. The triathlon was proving to be challenging, as I wasn’t finding any newbie friendly events. So, I revised my plan.
One of the ladies at one of my support groups had walked in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. She was very inspired by the experience. I have known others who have done similar walk’s in Ottawa (known as the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers). I wasn’t so sure about the whole idea. Does the money go someplace useful? In looking into here, the answer is actually yes. Without socialized medicine, much of the money goes to provide programs for women who otherwise would not afford screening or whose treatment options would be limited by their finances rather than their choice. I am lucky, in that when I was diagnosed, we were in a good financial position, but also we have decent medical insurance. As much as we fight occasionally to get prescriptions covered, I’ve never had to make a treatment decision based upon finances. I am very lucky, and many other women are not. So, I’ve been seriously considering the Avon Walk … so much so that I will probably sign up this weekend! I’m just waiting for some answers to questions relating to international donations.
The next Avon Walk in San Francisco is July 11-12, 2015. The other coolness factor about this is just walking around San Francisco. The walk will necessary involve crossing the Golden Gate bridge at least once. Last year’s walk involved walking through Sausalito – which always reminds me of Starfleet Academy as well as walking through several interesting areas of San Francisco! For me, this event will come at a time of transition. I will be transitioning from ‘in-treatment’ to ‘survivorship’. The walk provides a great symbolic activity, and I can visualize myself walking through the finish line as if it were a bridging ceremony marking the end of treatment and all the healing from the trauma associated with treatment, to begin my life as a breast cancer survivor.
To help me start training for the walk, I’ve set a new post-chemo stretch goal of being able to do the hike down from the summit of Haleakalā on Maui. The hiking trail is 18.1km. That is double the furthest distance I’ve ever walked. It also involves altitude, so I will need to get in some altitude training.
To help with the altitude training, we have booked our anniversary weekend (September 28) trip up to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite has some nice high altitude hiking trails, so I should be able to test out my abilities for hiking at altitude that weekend. It should also be a lot nicer weather in the fall – as Yosemite in the summer is darn hot! We may do an additional Yosemite trip (or Tahoe) to celebrate the end of chemo (November 17) with one more weekend of higher altitude hikes before we go to Hawaii. We shall see. It seems like a lot of time away, but awesome healing time, spent largely in the wilderness, so definitely worth it
So there you go, my new stretch goals. Right now, I feel that they are very achievable!