A few years ago, my dad, sister, and I decided to do the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve. It was a 5K.
It being Idaho, New Year's Eve at midnight was not a super great time to be outside. The wind was absolutely howling. We were either running in ankle-deep snow or on fully frozen ice.
We had to basically run two huge loops. Around once, and around the second time. I had been training, so I was confident and didn't feel horrible about it. I wore proper gear and all.
But that icy wind - dang. That sucked. And it hit us whenever we curved southward. It was blowing so hard, and with the ice, it almost felt like we were trying to climb a sand dune - not a ton of quick pacing during those parts.
Lex and I decided to yell at the wind to get through that challenging part of the race.
"Bring it on, beyotch! You think you can intimidate us with your roaring??" I bellowed.
"We're Idaho Girls, Idiot Wind! Do you really think you can hurt us with your ice blasts?!?" screamed Lex.
"Your wind is like mother's milk to us! We were weaned on it! Ain't nothing you can throw at us that we haven't seen!" I roared.
"We are stronger than you. We are still going to make crazy awesome time. We are gonna kick this race's butt!!" howled Lex.
Dad was with us, but he is more of a stoic runner. Haha!
Anyways, yelling at the wind - challenging the wind - was really empowering. We got through it just fine and now have something cool we can tell our grandkids about. (I can also tell my grandkids that my sister took such good care of their daddy when grandma was sick. That in just two weeks in her care, he started learning to respond when people talked to him. That he learned to share. That he started instigating 3 to 4 word sentences. That a miracle took place because my sister made this sacrifice for me. I'll never forget what you did for me, Lex. Not until the day I die.)
So tonight, on Chemo Eve, I am shouting at my cancer.
Bring it on, you sneaky little bitch.
You think you're going to take me early? Not a chance in hell. I WILL beat you. I will live to watch my kids get married. I will be the coolest grandma on the planet. My kids will be my best friends.
Ben and I are going to grow old together. So you can forget about taking me.
I am a force to be reckoned with. Just because I'm a peacemaker does NOT make me a quitter.
Be gone, I say.
You know who you're dealing with, right? I've been through some hard-core stuff. I wouldn't roll over and take it then. I certainly won't roll over and take it now.
In a year, to quote Iggy Azalea, "I'll have 99 problems, but you won't be one; like, WHAT?" (That's
rapper talk right there.)
This chemo will be horrible, but it's like a sword in this battle. Chemo and I are going to SLAY you, dragon. And then my hair will grow. And my strength will return. I'll have gorgeous, perky boobs. And I'll be skinny. Rock on. And I will emerge victorious and triumphant.
One of my favorite speeches in all of Shakespeare's works is the speech Henry V gives before going to battle against the French:
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
Every year, on July 25, I'll remember that, in 2014, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I'll lift up my shirt and look at my scars - my battle wounds. And I'll remember the feat I will have accomplished - the remission I will have achieved while fighting for my life. My kids will tell their kids how hard I fought. How I came out champion. And they'll toast me with their cups of coke and yell, "To mom! To grandma!"