I am haunted by an image that lives only in my fears.  It is an image that I worried about last summer, only weeks after I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer:

a young mom, bald, struggling to push a stroller with two baby boys

It’s an image that I worried about for a long time because I was afraid of being seen in such a state of weakness. 

Ironically, the image that I feared never became reality.  As I lost my hair, I lost my strength, and I was never able to take a walk again.  From June to April, I was struggling to walk, to sit, to even lie on the couch and play with my children. 

But now it is May again, the flowers are in bloom, and the weather is perfect for strolling.  I have cleaned the cobwebs off the stroller, put on my walking shoes, and I am walking, once again, one or both little boys with me, keeping me company and cheering me on when the hills get high.  We are walking to the park, watching the squirrels scamper over driveways, listening to the birds cheeping in the trees, smiling at the children playing as we pass.

And we are passing them, because we are walking once again. One, two, three, four miles a day.  It seems unbelieveable that one, two, three, not even four weeks have passed since the last radiation treatment seared my skin with the promise that cancer cells will not be able to live there again.

Three weeks.  And yet, every day I am stronger.  Every day we go for walks, and instead of being worried that people will see us, point and laugh, I am delighted that people can see us, that they can see ME once again.  I am no longer alone in my bed, watching the world out my window.

I am wearing my Avon Walking tank top proudly today, and I am walking.


30 Responses to Haunted

  1. Awesome! And if you’re already walking 4 miles in a day, the Race for the Cure 5K should be a piece of cake…maybe you can pull me along behind you? 🙂 I haven’t walked 4 miles in, um… a long time.

  2. Lisa says:

    Good for you! Does this make you remember times pre-cancer when you were too lazy to go for a walk, or do busy to make time for a walk? Reading about you and all of the things that you don’t take for granted really puts things in perspective. How beautiful life is, and how often I choose to skip out on it… for no reason!

  3. I’m so happy to hear it… I can just see it. So happy.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I have to say, the sound of you laughing and playing with your boys in the backyard last Friday was, to me, the very definition of joy! Enjoy the beautiful weather, your beautiful family and your returning strength.

  5. Mrs. Chicken says:

    I’m so glad for you, friend. Walk on!

  6. Linda Lawrence says:

    I love the picture you have painted for us! What could be more beautiful! Walk! Walk! Walk!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Dee says:

    I could NOT have said that better myself. I’m going to print this post and keep it with me so I will remember to ‘not skip out’.

    Whymommy- thank you for being such an inspiration not only to cancer survivors and mothers but to just regular ole people like me.

  8. Sarah S. says:

    It is so good to hear you are getting so much stronger! 🙂

  9. kdw says:

    What a wonderful time to be regaining your strength! Enjoy your beautiful spring with your boys.

  10. momma knows says:

    what a blessing, enjoy!

  11. Cathy says:

    Enjoy all your walks!

  12. Wonderful!! Now all you need is a hot pink pedometer to keep track of all the many, many happy miles you stroll…

    xoxo CGF

  13. laurie says:

    This piece brought tears to my eyes. I understand completely the joy in doing the things that, before cancer, we may have taken for granted. You right beautifully. I love that you are now cancer-free. And I can’t wait to meet you at BlogHer!

  14. Jacquie says:

    You’re an inspiration WM!! Just wanted you to know that.

  15. canape says:

    I’m so happy for you.

  16. Donna W says:

    It’s always darkest before the dawn; and you seem to be at the dawn of a new day. God bless you.

  17. Stimey says:

    You’re fabulous, woman.

  18. Lisa says:

    O.k. I need to get in on some of the walking action as soon as my blisters heal ;).

  19. MummyCha says:

    I am so happy to hear that you are feeling stronger every day. I am also thankful that you have been steadily keeping your blog during all that time, during the good and the many bad days. Anyone who is facing a difficult situation as the one you have been undergoing this past year will find in your blog not only important information about how to deal with cancer, but also a message of hope and that things do get better!

  20. Yay! I am so glad you are getting out there with your boys and can’t wait to walk with you at the Race for the Cure! Congrats on being cancer-free. It must feel amazing.

  21. How spectacular are you? This is the best thing I’ve heard/read/felt all week.

  22. NYfriend says:

    I’m so glad, and I can sooo totally see you out there walking and soaking in the joy that is life. 🙂

  23. I am so glad that your beautiful boys and you are able to go outside and enjoy wonderful walks together.

    I had the pleasure of meeting a women this past weekend that made me think of you. This beautiful woman so full of life and love for others crossed my path because of maternity clothes. She has a young son who is 6 months old…the same age as my baby girl…and she is 8 weeks pregnant with her second. She needed new maternity clothes because she got rid of all of her maternity clothes from the first pregnancy because her doctor told her that she could never get pregnant again because of her breast cancer diagnosis. Shortly after her double mastectomy was when she learned that her second child was growing under her heart.

    Her doctor wants her to have a “medically necessary” abortion, but she is refusing. Her faith in God and his love for all of us is so strong.

    I know that just like you, she will soon be in remission and enjoy walking to the park, pushing a stroller with her two beautiful babies. And everyone will stop and smile at the beautiful sight.

  24. clairej says:

    That recovery of strength is hard to describe until you’ve been there. It sounds so illogical … darn, it probably *is* illogical. But living it was good and now you’re getting to know it as well. Splendid.

  25. That is absolutely wonderful.

  26. Wish I was there laughing along with you. But then again, I think we all are.

  27. Dawn says:

    As always, I’m so inspired by your post. I’m so happy that you can take those walks again. YAY!

  28. Good for you. I’m sure your boys are pleased with that.

  29. Bubba's Sis says:

    Yay for you, girl!!!!!!!!

  30. Scylla says:

    You are walking more than I do!! That is great!!

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