December 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Posted in My life, S (the cancer chronicles) | 3 Comments

Almost 10 years ago, I signed up for a 150-mile weekend bike ride from Boston to Provincetown.

Even though I was relatively fit (I was running a lot), I didn’t own a road bike. And hadn’t really used my mountain bike for a while.

But it was to raise money for MS research. And my good friend M had just been diagnosed with it. And she was riding it, too.

So I decided to do it.

And that weekend was probably the HARDEST weekend of my life.

I mean. Saturday was 90-something degrees. And like 1000% humidity. (And I’m not exaggerating, either.)

And the longest ride I had done prior to that weekend was MAYBE 20 miles. (Probably closer to 10.)

And OMG the HILLS.

So I literally had to TALK MYSELF into riding the last 10 miles into Provincetown on Sunday. Because my ASS hurt. My legs hurt. I was exhausted.

Pedal pedal, stand. Pedal pedal, stand.

By the very end, the only thing that kept me going was my stubborn belief that I was NOT GOING TO QUIT.

And then I crossed the finish line. And I stood there, legs wobbly, and was just amazed.

I had pushed myself more than I ever thought possible. And FINISHED.

That little stubborn BELIEF was the reason why I finished.


I found a card a couple of days ago for my friend S, who’s responding well to the chemo but from what I’ve heard is feeling exhausted, and down, and tired, and scared.

She can’t do her long runs anymore. She gets tired from walking down her driveway to get the mail.

The plan is that, once she finishes this chemo regimen in a couple weeks, she’ll have surgery some time in January, once she has another PET scan to confirm that the tumors and cancer clusters in her breast and liver have shrunk.

So the other day, I saw a card which was perfect for her.

It was a simple message.

I believe in you.

So I sent it to her, along with a Starbucks giftcard.

And she emailed me today. And she told me that my belief in her, in part, is what keeps her going through the moments of doubt.

And that she is SO encouraged and inspired by my belief in her.


So I signed up for this half marathon in April.

And I’m fully, 100% into the “holy SHIT what did I GET MYSELF INTO?” phase of freaking out.

Because, when I run, I walk the SAME places. I get tired before I’m even HALFWAY into my runs.

And that’s my USUAL run, which is only THREE MILES.

My training program in January – which, for those of you following from home, is NEXT MONTH – starts me running at 4 miles two days a week.

Then a SIX mile run on the long day.

So I’ve been freaking out.

It snowed this weekend in Massachusetts. And on Sunday, the day I was supposed to run, it was icy and cold. And since I’m not actually TRAINING yet, I didn’t want to do something now to hurt myself.

So I trucked over to the gym and resolved that I was going to run my four miles on the damn treadmill.

And I started running. A little slower than I do initially outside, but I felt good. And I kept going.

And going.

And sped up multiple times. By the time I was done – I had run 4.25 miles. In 42 minutes.

And the whole time, I felt like I could run FOREVER.

And I left the gym with the belief that I can, in fact, run a half-marathon.


Infertility took so much of my belief in myself away from me.

And I find that slowly, as I heal from those wounds, I am starting to believe in myself again.

I believe that I can run a half marathon. (So I’m going to PROVE it.)

I believe that I am a good mom.

I believe that I can have a good life, where I successfully balance my career, my marriage, and parenting.

I believe that I can be a good friend to those I love.

I believe.



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  1. To bad “This I Believe” is done on NPR…this post would make a good contribution. Very moving.

  2. You can do it! You know you can! I know you can!!!

  3. Your posts have been downright awe-inspiring lately. Thanks for the brightness in this pre-winter dreariness.

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