I wanted to share with you a story about one of my closest friends (a sister from another mister
Out of respect and great admiration for this person, I am not going to share her name as she really doesn’t tell many people about her condition … it’s due in part because she doesn’t want people to feel bad or sorry for her (which I think is crazy) and she doesn’t like a lot of attention. So I’m going to call her IronLady
IronLady is a 33 yr old mother of two beautiful boys, published author and artist. Last year at a seemingly uneventful OBGYN appointment, the doctor informed her they need to schedule an ultrasound and biopsy. She soon learned she had Stage 1B endometrial cancer. IronLady is adopted so she doesn’t have access to her family medical history. When she was diagnosed, she was in incredible TIP-TOP shape, training for Triathlons therefore it came as a big shock. Naturally you think, how could someone this fit be diagnosed w/ cancer?
IronLady decided that she was not going to back-down or change her daily life. She forgo the option to get a complete hysterectomy (wanting to avoid a lifetime of side affects) and underwent an alternative form of treatment, including months of chemo and radiation while training for a FULL-Ironman … as a reminder that race includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile run. I should add her youngest child was 18 months old at the time so she would wake-up at 4AM to ride her trainer indoors so she could be a mom during the day. She would push him in a stroller on long runs while balancing work, chemo and family life.
The day she competed at her Full Ironman, she had just completed her final radiation a few days earlier. During the race, she crashed her bike at mile 5, breaking her gears and getting bad road burns. The medic/volunteers who work the aid stations wanted her to pull-out but she refused. She got on her bike that was stuck in the small chain ring – if you are a cyclist you know how critical it is to be able to use your big chain ring. When you’re stuck in the small chain ring, it pretty much guarantees you for a torturous ride. That being said, IronLady rode the next 107 miles in her small chain ring.
She went on to finish the Ironman in an impressive time of 12 hours and 19 minutes. However this is not the end of her story…
In early Spring of this year, she learned she would have to undergo treatment again. She was registered for a Half Ironman so she decided she would start 2 weeks after the race. The half ironman race she did was very tough – extremely hot on the run and a very hilly course. She finished strong and we celebrated in style
What is so incredible and inspiring about IronLady is her ability to face life’s challenges, not complain and live her life the best way she knows how. So guess what she did … She signed up for 2 more Half Ironman’s! Last weekend was her first race and keep in mind she was 4 wks in to her chemo.
I am beyond proud of IronLady and so grateful to have her in my life. Her energy and love for life is infectious and she pretty much inspires everyone around her. Best of all, she’s one of the funniest people I know, constantly making me laugh till I almost cry!
So my reason for sharing her story with you is on the days you want to slack off in your training, or sleep past your alarm, think of IronLady. If she knew you, she would surely be cheering you on to do your best and wanting you to succeed.
Below is a text I got from her yesterday and a photo of her during treatment. She starts radiation this Monday so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.