Monday, October 17, 2011

How Many Miles Does It Take?

During the breast cancer walk, we asked why in God's name is this thing 60 long freakin torturous miles. What's up with that? Haven't we suffered enough? I mean, everyone here pretty much has suffered in one way or another, from breast cancer, of course. And now we have to walk 60 miles on top of that? Why not 40 miles? Why not 30? But now I get it, and maybe it should have been obvious from the start.

It's supposed to be a little torturous and hard and slightly misery-inducing, because that's how it feels to have cancer. This is as close as it gets to walking in the shoes of those who've had to take the walk unwillingly, a measure of the tedium, the dreariness, the struggle to take one more step, to wake up to another day of uncertainty – besides the knowing that you'll have a hard time just getting out of bed from muscles and joints sore from chemo drugs; stiff, tight skin from surgeries in inconvenient places; looking again at that strange body you're living in and trying to get down with. Wanting to get back into bed and forget about it. 

After Day One of the walk, it seemed preposterous that we'd go back the next day and do it all over again, and then again. But, like cancer too, there is grace in the struggle, humility, an abundance of love, gratitude and support. How many miles does it take to get you to that place? Fifty-nine just might not be enough.