Monday, December 08, 2008
Three years ago my mom was struggling with Liver Cancer. She had just retired and was looking forward to moving down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to her beach house when she was diagnosed. It started with some pain in her side and progressed from there. After what seemed like months of tests, the doctors determined that she had Liver Cancer and was in Stage 4. Only 5% of people this far along survive, and unfortunately, my mom was not one of the lucky ones. In January 29, 2006 she passed away, six months before she could move to the ocean. My dad is there now, and I think of mom whenever I walk the beaches. This was her favorite time of the year down there - no tourists and nice cool days to shell hunt. I count myself fortunate that I was able to get to the East Coast from the West in order to see her one final time before she passed away. Now, my mom did not do drugs, did not have Hepatitis C, and was a very moderate drinker (2 glasses of wine and she was looped). There was nothing in her life that should have caused liver cancer, except a family history - my great grandmother had passed away of it many years ago.
I have since been looking for ways to remember my outgoing and fun mother. I wanted to raise funds for liver cancer, but most of those funds go to preventative care like drug and alcohol counciling - and while those are indeed worthy causes, they are not a way to remember my mom. When LiveStrong Announced that they were holding a bike ride in 2008 with the funds going to cancer research and helping families cope with cancer, I decided I had found my way of honoring my mother's memory. I bought a new road bike and trained for the 50 mile ride. I also raised $1000.00 for cancer research. I was very happy.
This year, when the ride was annouced, I realized that I truly wanted to expand my goals. I have signed up for the 100 mile ride and here in the Bay Area, that will mean a HILLY 100 miles, so I will be training hard. And I set my goal for fund raising for $3000.00. I will blog my journey to reach those goals here. I'd like a record of my journey.
I rode 30 miles this past weekend, and realized how much I have let slide. It was a hard 30 miles, and I'm kind of beating myself up for not having stayed on top of my cycling, but it will come back. As the ride is in July, I'm focusing more on leg conditioning at this point, and I would like to drop 20 pounds - so I don't want any really long rides at this point. I will work up to a base of 50 miles, and then when it's time to train hard, I will have the base to do it.
If you are interested in learning more about the LiveStrong foundation, please go to www.livestrong.com.