Monday, July 22, 2019

Why Pink Tutus and Running Shoes?

Hey, Y'all!

Welcome to my first post on my brand new blog!

I've spent a lot of time trying to decide what I should write about in my first post. And I mean a LOT of time! I actually created this blog several months ago. And then deleted it. Twice!

I have never been a writer. And, Y'all...Grammar was never something I worried too much about. And now that I am dealing with a seemingly permanent case of chemo brain, WHY do I feel the need to have this blog?? I can't even make a decision about one stupid blog post! Maybe I should just delete this thing permanently??

But wait! After literally months of agonizing over it, I have decided to simply talk a bit about the name of my blog. Maybe after I finally post something, I will find that next time, the words will just come tumbling out! And they might even make sense! And perhaps also be helpful in some way to someone else who has received their own cancer diagnosis. Or maybe...a newbie survivor needs to hear some honest talk about the ups and downs of trying to find your new normal after having your world turned upside-down?! Maybe someone else is trying to become the runner they once were and could use a virtual training partner, or even just someone to commiserate with??!

As you can see, I may not be great at writing or decision making, but I'm pretty darn good at rambling!!

So, decision FINALLY made!

Why Pink Tutus and Running Shoes??

You may not believe in the healing powers of sparkly pink tutus and running shoes, but I'm here to tell you that they do indeed exist!

I'm sure you have heard people say that laughter can be the best medicine, right? And although there isn't anything funny about breast cancer, I can tell you that laughter has helped me through some pretty tough times since my diagnosis. And what could make you shake with laughter more than pulling on your very first pink tutu at the age of 64?!!

Maybe watching as your great friend Sherry (who along with her sweet daughter made the tutus AND drove down from South Carolina for this event!) convinces your then 16 y/o son to put one on also?!!

Sherry and Conor

I can't speak for everyone, but for myself, a breast cancer survivor, I can assure you that after getting over the initial feeling of silliness when putting that tutu on for the first time and lacing up my running shoes I felt stronger! I felt a sort of healing in my soul! 

The 2017 Paint Gwinnett Pink 5K was not only my first 5K since completing my breast cancer treatments,  but it was also held the beginning of year from my diagnosis. 

This event is the largest 5K supporting breast cancer in Gwinnett County, where I live. It is a celebration of survivorship and raises awareness and funds for breast cancer programs at Gwinnett Medical Center, where I received my treatments. 

I can't explain the feeling of standing at the starting line with my family and friends, surrounded by so many cancer survivors, including my good friend Laurie, an 8-year cancer survivor herself,  who came down from Connecticut for this event! I still get all teary-eyed just thinking about it. It was so emotional.

Pam's Pink Posse 2017

Below is a picture of my 2018 posse!! I was feeling a bit stronger for this one!

Pam's Pink Posse 2018

I think that pretty much everyone knows the significance of the pink ribbon, and also the reason that those of us who have never taken a ballet class in our lives would wear a pink tutu! However, many other types of cancer identify with different ribbon colors as well, and many women (and some men!) wear the appropriate color tutu in walks and runs in support of those causes.

People run in tutus to support many different causes these days. And some people simply choose to wear a tutu, solely for the fun of it!

My second tutu was green because the 5K that Sherry and I ran was on St. Paddy's Day!

Pam and Sherry

Will I wear a tutu for my next race? Yeah, I think I will! Lord knows the tutu won't slow me down! I mean, I can't really get much slower these days! If I can't be fast, at least I can sparkle!

BTW-You can click here for more info on the Paint Gwinnett Pink 5k and how it came to be. One of the two ladies responsible for this amazing event, Bobbie Menneg is also the founder of Beyond the Ribbon, a non-profit organization that does so much for cancer patients (not only breast cancer) and their families in our community. Bobbie works endlessly to support people in need, and she is known as a Super Hero amongst us cancer patients and survivors! 

Me and Bobbie at the Hats and Ribbons Afternoon Tea. A lovely fundraising event for Beyond the Ribbon.
Sometimes the occasion calls for a hat instead of a tutu!!