Several years ago, I lost 60 pounds.... never mind how hard THAT was..... harder than the losing of pounds was the living with a new body. I was over 50 and experiencing all the attention and attraction of someone much younger. Sounds good, huh? Not so much.... I have learned by now that all that fat made that attention go away..... so deeper issues exist :-) Anyway... in one of my first attempts to figure out my body image issues.... I prayed and prayed. I asked God what I should do with this new fit body..... because owning it wasn't enough!
Of course God didn't answer me (I keep expecting a voice from heaven to tell me what to do).... but for some reason, the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk came across my radar. Out of idle curiosity, I looked it up.. and found that there are 3-day, 60-mile walks held annually in 16 locations across the United States. And, as always when I find something new, I talked about it to the friends I came in contact with. One of those friends goes to my church and told me she had often thought about doing one. Two others were online weight loss buddies who live near one of the locations..... Somehow.. within days... we were registered to do the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3Day Walk. Pretty breath-taking considering I had never even heard of it.... nor did I know ANYONE who was a breast cancer hero.
Scary...... I really felt like I'd lost my mind but it sounded like a good thing to do... and the training schedule would keep me focused. So I was on my way... the largest hurdle would be to find $2300 in donations!
The story only begins there.... the hand of God is all over it.
The following week, my mammogram results came back....... irregular for the first time ever. I was nonchalant about it..... and figured it was a mistake.... and didn't get around to making another appointment. A month later, I got a reminder notice and figured that since I was now training for the 3Day, I'd better do my own due diligence. So I went for the second mammogram.
......which came back irregular again..... and I was sent to a surgeon.
Okay... now I am freaking out a little. I met with the surgeon and we scheduled a biopsy..... which went so badly... that they had to do it again..... and that one confirmed that there was something that needed to be removed..... so I am officially and totally freaked out now.... because that biopsy went awry and bruised me so badly that I had to wait another MONTH to have the surgery.... and I did have surgery...
The end (or beginning?) of the story is that I did NOT have cancer..... but God led me on the journey. God did answer my prayer..... but not in the thundering voice I hoped for but in the way of life... the quiet voice of every day.
While on this journey, I and my family lived with uncertainty and fear..... I dealt with the indignities to my body..... I met the people that work with breast cancer.... I walked the journey that my heroes walk... I met valiant men and women who deal with this disease. And I learned...
And I learned that God has asked me to pray and raise money and walk with those who struggle with cancer.
Not just breast cancer. The Breast Cancer 3Day Walk is where I am called to raise money and participate.... but achievement in curing ANY cancer brings hope to us all.
I walked that first 60 miles in Philadelphia in 2008..... I hit 120 in Boston in 2009..... 180 miles were completed in Dallas in 2010.. and with God's grace, I will complete 240 miles in Washington DC in September 2011!
If you read this far, I thank you. And I will ask you to help me.
I will ask you to consider donating to support me. Each year I must raise a minimum of $2300 in donations to the Susan G Komen Foundation in order to participate. You can go to my website at http://www.the3day.org/goto/kvanattaDC2011 and either donate online or print out a mail-in form (or I can send you one via email or snail mail if you like)
I will ask you to print out a donation form or share this blog entry and ask a friend to help me
I will ask you to check and see if the company you or a loved one works for matches charitable donations.
I will ask you to send me the names of your loved ones so I can pray for them too while I rack up training miles.... (usually over 400 training miles BEFORE the event)
AND I will ask you to pray for me! That I can keep the energy and excitement and faithfulness that will keep me on the journey to answering what I believe to be God's request of me.