An Open Letter to My Blog

Dear Lemon Drop Pie,

I am writing this letter to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you. Really. It’s just that I’ve been busy. Busy walking. This morning, for example, I woke up at 4:50 a.m. to get inan early walk before Ed left for work. Now, mind you, I didn’t get up when my alarm went off. I stayed in bed for an extra fifteen minutes, but eventually I got out the door. The air was crisp and clear, and I was able to walk two miles before six o’clock.

This past week, I walked a total of 22 miles, most of them on Saturday. Now, I’m not telling you this to brag, but to let you know where I’ve been. And no, I haven’t suddenly become a fitness guru, I’m just in training.

You see, I need to do something. I need to do more than write about being a breast cancer survivor; I need to do more than recruit women for the Army of Women by being one of their supporting bloggers. Writing and recruiting are both good things, and I’ll still be here, doing those things. But I also need to get up from my comfy chair and take action.

In June, I’ll be remembering that fifteen years ago I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life; to have a mastectomy. Not only that, but one of your faithful readers has been lost. Lost to breast cancer. Do you remember what she wrote in your comments once? CMJHMom said, “We need to know the cause [of breast cancer], not just create the warm and fuzzy images of ‘survival’. I am still a victim, but that will not stop me!! I have too many precious people in my life. And, as always, I do know that God and His grace are always with me.” Just a couple of days before she died, she told me she did not want to give up. She was not ready to go.

And so I’m going to fight for her. I’m walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago, and I’m going to be strong. I’m going to walk all 39.3 miles, no matter what.

The walk is still over 30 days away, and I’ve already been blown away by how generous people are. I needed to raise $1,800 to walk, and so many people are supporting me–including people who have never even met me! I’m amazed by their generosity.

One of these women is also a breast cancer survivor. Stacey, of Bringing Up Goliath, writes about surviving breast cancer in a very honest way. She first heard that devastating diagnosis two years ago, a diagnosis she never wanted to hear. For years she dreaded that she would hear that she had breast cancer, and her fears came true. You see, Stacey lost her mother to breast cancer. Stacey and her mom are two people for whom I’m walking.

Casey, writer of Half As Good As You, may have a potty mouth, but she is an incredible mother and she has a most generous soul. I have been hooked on Casey’s blog ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago. I’m so honored that Casey is supporting me in this walk!

I cannot praise Debby from Just Breathe enough. She has been following Lemon Drop Pie since she started blogging, and is the definition of generous. I once won her giveaway where she donated money to the American Cancer Society in memory of my mom. She is such a wonderful blogging friend!

I could go on and on about my friend and family’s generosity — I have already raised $2,005! It is my small wish that in raising this money, I will have played a part in finding the cause and a cure for breast cancer which may also lead to discoveries in research for other cancers.

And so, Lemon Drop Pie, you can see that I’ve been busy. But you are always in the back of my mind, and soon, I’ll start publishing posts more regularly. I promise!

Yours truly,
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10 Miles

There is a bike trail less than a mile from our house, and I’ve never followed it to where it goes. On Saturday, as part of my training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, I had to walk 10 miles. I decided to see exactly where this bike path went.

Mile 1

Shortly after I started walking on the bike path, I realized I was in an industrial area. The path followed high-tension wires. Above me were great, gray, buzzing towers, and around me were school bus yards, machine shops and tree-trimming services. But between the path and these industrial yards was a border of wetlands. Birds were abundant, and I heard robins chirping and the call of red-winged blackbirds. I saw two mourning doves, but they did not make their mournful sound.

Red Winged Blackbird

Mile 2

A pair of Canada Geese were ahead of me on the path. In order to pass, I’d have to walk right between them. The ground on either side of the path was too boggy to walk on. They watched me warily as I passed, and one hissed at me as I went on my way, as if to say, “I let you pass this time.”

Mile 3

The path had slowly meandered its way through the industrial area, past town homes and apartment buildings. As I rounded the bend, I saw a picturesque bridge with a weeping willow. I finally heard a mourning dove, but this time the bird stayed hidden.

Mile 4

The day was overcast and gray, but just the right temperature. I finally reached my goal: Lake A—

Mile 5

As I walked around the lake, I heard something behind me. I was soon passed by four kayakers, paddling quickly in the water below me.

Mile 6

Feeling hungry, I had originally thought I would rest on a bench after walking around the lake to eat my granola bar. But as I approached the bench, my legs feeling tired, I realized if I sat down I wouldn’t want to get up again. Plus, I had to go to the bathroom. I ate as I went homeward bound.

Mile 7-8

While I had met few walkers and bikers on my walk to the lake, on my way home I saw one lone jogger. I took this opportunity to stop, rest my legs, and take some pictures.

A milk weed pod, its silky contents long gone

A thistle, dried out from the long winter

Mile 9-10

As I neared the end of my walk, I was tired, thirsty (I rationed the last of my water especially since there were no bathrooms on the path) but yet thrilled that I had accomplished something I didn’t think I could do. Three and a half hours after I had started out, I walked in my front door.

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Don’t forget to join me tomorrow for Turning Back Time. Tomorrow’s theme: cartoons!