- Everyone should do the 3-day walk. It's a beautiful event and a great cause (1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, but the research done for breast cancer has also been applied to other cancers). There is a palpable feeling that you are putting kindness out into the world, and you are receiving it back almost ten-fold.
- If you think you love your friends, walk the 3-day with them and you will find you can't live without them! To Therese, Sakura, Laurie, and Nicole - I will never forget our weekend and how hard we laughed! Wendy - I'm sorry I kept my darling tentmate up late talking about everything under the sun! Everyone else on Nancy's Naughty Nockers, I hope you know how much I adore you, too...and hope for more 3-day dance parties and conversations to come! I am missing the team like they were amputated from me.
- The walk was easier this year. I think everything is easier this year, after having gone through chemo! I had a small internal problem each time people asked me if I was able to make it, though. OF COURSE I WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT! Don't you know that I am a breast cancer survivor? After all I've been through this year, walking 20 miles a day was seriously like a walk in the park. I could have probably walked 40 miles a day if there was enough time. But I can't take the sympathy so well, apparently!
- I had two "moments" over the weekend. One happened when I walked into the shower truck and saw some fellow walkers partially naked. I had this thought, "Whoa! I don't have those boobs anymore, I can't just be in here with these people!" Let's just say that the liquid running down my face in the shower was NOT just the shower water.
- The second moment happened when I had to pick up my pink shirt. I thought I would be so proud to put that on, but instead I was angry! I told Laurie (as more liquid ran down my face) "I don't want the pink shirt!" and Laurie, bless her soul (with tears running down her face too) said, "You don't have to have the pink shirt if you don't want it! Go get a white shirt! You can do whatever you want!" As I explained to her, I am used to my bald-baseball-hat look, which is one of my cancer-patient identifiers (though the pictures in the paper freaked me out a bit) , but I wasn't used to the pink shirt. Aunt Joann told me it was better than the alternative "No shirt at all", and of course I agree. I put it on and walked with the survivors, but to be honest, I wish I could have walked with the team members who fundraised with me all spring and summer, walked with me all weekend, and slept on the ground and used outhouses, bleary-eyed, in the middle of the night, or joined me in impromptu dance parties at pit stops. I had amazing Ellyn next to me, and Aunt Joann (who flew in from Kansas and walked with oozing blisters next to me for that last survivor walk), and I knew I had Nancy Mc behind me (as she has been for the past 7 months)...but still. And now that I write this, I am embarassed, because I know that I was walking with people who had done that, so I guess I have to take it all back. If only you could walk RIGHT next to thousands of people all at the same time.
- I can't tell you the thrill it was to meet other survivors and their families, and to see how much people LOVE each other...just how far they would go to prove their love for someone. I'll write about some of these people soon in another post!
P.S. ( in my "rock star" yell, with rock star motions like Sherri, Kathy, or Shannon): I LOVE YOU, NANCY'S NAUGHTY NOCKERS 2008!