D-Day in 72 hours
Apr 25, 2013 by Vera Lim
It's definitely been a long journey this past month. There have been a lot of personal trials including...attempting to get back in the workplace, shingles, getting out of the workplace, fluctuating stress levels, among other things. But one of the things that has remained consistent has been my training and my awesome team.
Even though the numbers dwindled down to a mere eight or less, my team has been consistently strong in both training and moral support. I don't know an emotionally stronger group than this one. And here is yet another downright shameless plug: if you EVER EVER are considering any sort of endurance event, these are the people who will get you there. Yes, it does require personal effort. It requires whooping your own @rse (pardon my french) to get up early on Saturday mornings, to meet people who may seem unexceedingly cheerful when the sun isn't even out yet (but I still believe that they secretly harbor a desire to be in bed), but these are the people who will have your back with every step, pedal, or stroke that you take. They are among the nicest people in the country and you know why? Because they are physically torturing (and yes, I feel like I can say this because the larger majority will say that the amount of training we go through is literally torture) themselves for someone else.
I had some injury, if you haven't been following my personal blog, that followed my longest training run ever (12 miles!) but luckily it was right before taper week 1 so I felt decently okay. So we'll see how this Sunday will treat me. Hopefully, God-willing, I will have an amazing run with 15,000 (well ok 7,500 hopefully from TNT) other people.
I met my fundraising goal thank goodness from the final contribution with a friend's company who matched his generous donation of $500. Honestly, I think that literally made my fundraising, and I could not thank him or Zynga enough. I wouldn't even know where to start, but somehow a thank-you note to the CEO of Zynga just doesn't seem sufficient. Having had the hospital bills pile up definitely makes me grateful, especially knowing that there are others out there who have much longer treatment regimens than I do, years in fact, and who are financially not able to foot the bill. Life should be priceless, but in this day and age, it seems to be more along the lines of costly.
And lastly, I wanted to thank everyone, as an honored hero, for giving me this well...honor. I don't feel like a hero truthfully nor do I think that I am one in any sense of the word. I just do what I think should be done, what I hope that people would do, or should do. I keep God close at heart, hoping that He is guiding me consistently so that I can channel Him through this and everything else that I will continue to push for. I think the real heroes are the ones who do TNT every season, the coaches, the alumni, the fundraisers (because this is equally if not harder than the actual training sometimes), the donors....all of you are heroes. Because the hero is he/she who actually does something that helps save someone, not just by default cancer survivor status.
I am glad I was surrounded by heroes all season.
Once In a Lifetime...
Mar 17, 2013 by Vera Lim
I am several posts overdue, but I want to catch up because these posts are really important to me. I hope that this entry makes sense as I am currently writing it while on Lortab (narcotic pain medicine), the reason that will be explained in the next entry or two. This first entry is to kick off the long absence and it is about the statewide GTS about two weekends ago (Group Training Session) on March 2.
I volunteered to give a few words as the season honored hero after speaking with my team manager. Truth be told, I was so nervous. I get some awful stage fright, and I am terrible at public speaking. For one, I don't think I am motivational at all, and definitely not with my words unless they are on paper. I had no idea what to say, and I wish I could just send this post out to all of those people who were there that day.
The one word that would best describe how I felt would be this: humbled. I have found, after training and getting to know my team, and then on top of it seeing all those people who woke up on a snowing morning to walk, run, or bike down in Atlanta, that being an honored hero is more than feeling special or honored. It is humbling. Dont' get me wrong, it is a great honor and privilege to be an honored hero, but when I saw all these people out there, who push their bodies in the craziest of weathers, but who do it for cancer research and people that they may not ever meet in their lives...it is humbling.
It takes a special kind of person to do the things that these athletes do. To not only train, but to fundraise for a cause in an economy that is hard-pressed. It is hard to find the same kind of heart in a society that is so aggressive, so selfish, and so harsh. Manners are forgotten, generosity is a thing of the past, and self-sacrifice is slim to none. You can see it as soon as you get into your car and hit the road. And so for me, to speak and train with these people of all places and ages, it is more than just an honor. Because to meet people like them (or you if you're a TNT-er), is a rarity and something that I will forever cherish.
Thank you for letting me be your honored hero.
Feb 25, 2013 by Vera Lim
Yesterday I ran 8 miles. I ran 8 miles, and I am 5 months out of treatment.
It is amazing what milestones can be met just with some simple perseverance and a good friend. My church friend, Jen, wants to pick up running and so she came with me for a good four miles. I had to bust out the last four on my own which was pretty sad because it is so much more fun to run with people than running by myself. But somehow the last four miles came pretty quickly. My overall time was 1hr50min with a small water refill break and a potty break. Still a little slow with an average of 13:46min per mile but the eight miles are completed!
I'm hoping to get a little faster, but I'm not sure if that is possible at this point. Even though I have two months left, I am left exhausted at the end of each long run. When I get home, I could literally fall asleep on the couch for three to four hours. I suppose this is the effects that a long run can have on a post-chemo body. The last time I ran about eight to nine miles, I was twenty years old and in perfect health. I could pull all-nighters if I wanted to the same night. But not so much the case now is it?
That being said, I am only $30 away from my fundraising goal! :) that's pretty awesome eh? I still haven't bought my airline ticket and I'm probably going to pay for it through the butt because gas prices just went up and so did flight tickets. :( that's what happens when you procrastinate I suppose.
Hitting those eight miles yesterday was great. I had been feeling pretty down about life in general. It's just part of the package when you're trying to pick up the pieces as a cancer survivor. But sometimes running and especially running for a cause just gives one good thing to count towards our second chance at life.
Slow and Steady...
Feb 18, 2013 by Vera Lim
I apologize for the delay in blog entries: the past three weeks have been ridiculously crazy with multiple visitors, training runs, and meetings. I haven't even had chance to crack open my books to study, much less read for leisure these days.
This past Saturday was the furthest that I've ever run. Huddy badger and I hit up Pinckneyville Park early that afternoon to try and do seven miles. I was aspiring for eight, but after feeling an artic blast of a 15mph wind, I decided that it would be a miracle if I made seven miles that day. Before Saturday, the furthest that I ran was for six miles. In addition, it was at Rock Mill Park. Rock Mill is a much flatter terrain than Pinckneyville. In fact, Pinckneyville was hillier to the point where I felt as if my legs were on fire by mile 3.
And only 4 more to go. Woopee!
That being said, it is crucial that your running buddy be a good motivator. Huddy is an awesome running partner. For one, he will keep at your pace and keep you going. Even though I am run-walking and he is purely running, he still kept up. This past Saturday, this crazy fool did a total of 10 miles! TEN! He had gone for a short 3-mile run with another friend earlier that morning prior to doing my 7-miler with me! Not to mention, he also had a tennis match the following day. Tough mudder indeed! That being said, for all runners out there, if you can get a running buddy, do so. It will keep you from plugging in earphones which is pretty dangerous when street running. It's also dangerous when you are running solo in a park - goodness knows who is lurking behind what bush around the corner.
I have to say though, after that run, I was freezing. My hands were so cold despite having stuffed them in my pockets the whole time, and after a twenty-minute stint in a hot shower, I literally crawled into bed whereby my legs then went into default vegetable-mode. I could not even walk to the bathroom without stumbling or wincing in pain. The oddest part though is that I did NOT feel that sore on Sunday given a few awkward stances. Squat positions for example, were killer. Jump squats were definitely not pleasant. However, walking and moving around was not that painful surprisingly. It is giving me hope that this race will be easier than I thought. (*knock on wood).
As for fundraising, we are almost to our goal!! only about $30 left to go. I'm secretly hoping that I will exceed my goal, especially because this first race means so much to me. It's not just because it's my first half-marathon, but it's my first half-marathon, and it will be 7-months post-treatment. SEVEN MONTHS! Sometimes just thinking about it astounds me. I may still have back aches from that darn tumor pushing on my spine, and I may not be able to work because of it, but somehow, God is making my legs work extra hard so that I can fundraise for cancer patients who are not as lucky as I was to have a cure. I mean, good God, my cancer was/is cureable. I can't imagine all those cancers who are not cureable or worse, have a crazy aggressive recurrence rate. That, to me, is the worst thing than actually going through chemotherapy. It's the fact that you have to go through it again because of a bastard cancer that just will. not. die.
Let's run strong people, and let's run for a good cause. Peace!
Feb 04, 2013 by Vera Lim
We are almost at our fundraising goal everyone! I'm super excited because for once in my life, not only have I actually fundraised by my own, but I may actually make the goal thanks to my wonderful friends and sponsors. Seriously, this could not have been done without you. I just want to let you know personally how much it means not as much to me but really more to all those people that you have not met in person. These are the people who are still struggling and fighting cancer each day, some of them still without a cure. I consider myself truly blessed not only to have you as supporters but as close friends who have walked with me this entire journey, and are still continuing to walk with me. Now it's not just me that you're supporting, but so many other people who in their hearts are thankful that there are people out there just like you who are willing to do this without even knowing them.
There were times this past week that truly made me stop and re-think, "Wow, am I really doing this?" For one, the weather was absolutely abysmal on some days. Yet, I still forced myself to go out. Two, being only 4 months out of treatment, it is amazing how I still have the ability to do these things. I may not be working, I may be tired and achy, but I can still bust out six miles like I did this past Saturday. (HUZZAH!)
Wins don't come without losses though. For one, I dropped my keys somewhere along the route. It was getting really dark, and it had just started to rain. Of course, I only discover my dropped keys at the END of the six mile run, and I literally wanted to cry at the thought of having to walk in the dark and in the rain for another six miles just looking for my keys. However, luckily my friends came and rescued me. Cat didn't let me go back and walk the route, partly because I was rained on and she was worried I'd get sick. But it was probably a good thing because my calves have been ridiculously sore since Saturday. I am so thankful too that Chris (my friend who comes and run with me and the team) was there so he knew the route pretty well and could guide the guys on where to look. Love my friends!!
Another loss came when I was about to buy my tickets last week to DC for the race and forgot to hit purchase because I was running out the door. Now tickets went up to $286 instead of being $220 on Delta. ARGH!
Of course, life isnt' perfect. I did manage to make it to six miles, and I never thought ever that I'd do it this soon, especially considering how close I am to just finishing treatment a few months ago. Hopefully everything is going well as I just had my first 6mo PET scan early last week. I'll be seeing my oncologist on Thursday so we're going to be crossing our fingers that after the "losses" with my keys and flight ticket purchase, we're going to have a WIN and I'll still be in remission!
For those of you who are just now coming to the attention of this blog, please feel free to read earlier entries. My personal blog has even more of my journey as a cancer patient and now survivor (www.rammiegirl.com) . And the most important plug (inserting shameless plug)...
It is never to late to donate! (arrp arrp arrp...record scratching* rap)
My re-commitment deadline is coming up in two weeks, and it'd be great to send in the paperwork for a YES and fundraising at at least 80% if not 100%!
Let's make it happen people!!!