I went to see the Salmon in the Cascades going up 15 feet of boiling, rolling water. They literally jump far beyond the length of the body, and far beyond I could think was possible. “Hell!” was what I said when I saw what the Salmon had to jump, because in Goldstream, the salmon come up the stream but they sure don’t simply leap over or INTO rock. (click the pic) That salmon is a couple feet long.
Once the Salmon starts the run, they don’t eat, which is the way I had already lived, losing the fat, and keeping the weight down in order to do what should be impossible. But then simply because it looks impossible, or what we have decided is impossible or possible in our head.
We simply can’t know what is possible or not until we try. Terry Fox taught me that. Next week is the Terry Fox 10K. Terry Fox designed it when in the hospital so that there is no winner, no loser, no first, no last. And while there is just now, starting, an autonomic rare disease group of seven doctors in the world working together, there are no fundraisers for it. Nor are there for better palliative care, because as the Doctor in the hospital for the dying tries to explain to a VERY important government man about his wife and how she needed to be PRIORITIZED as she had just shat herself. ‘Over there, on the other side of town’ he points, ‘a hospital just paid 50 MILLION for a microscope which detects a certain type of cancer cell faster. But here,” he stood up, “here, we don’t have the aid staff to help people take a shit. Does that tell you about priorities?”
If you are old enough to go to uni, then you probably know someone who has cancer, who has been treated for cancer, who has died from cancer. Because you always ‘have’ cancer after that, since cancer is the beautiful deceiver and all it takes is just one cell to survive. I recommend Wit, with Emma Thompson if you don’t know about the nature of cancer treatment. And while there are BETTER THINGS you can do than money, like for example being there for someone, week after week while they go through treatment, not just the ‘fun weeks’ but ALL weeks. Or volunteer for a palliative center (oh, did you think the people who aren’t cured from cancer mysteriously disappear? Nope, here they are, throwing up – oh as the doctors says, ‘some irritation of the intestinal tract from lips to anus’ – a moment for side splitting laughter of understatement if there is one). Because if there is one thing that is worse than going through treatment is going through it all alone.
Terry Fox ran and tried, and did his 3000 miles and died and Steve Fonyo did it, both to raise funds and awareness to cancer. 1 out of 3 of you will get it, your families will have it, your friends will die from it, it is a disease that should need no introduction. I will be at mile 0 on the 18th, and I will be walking or running for Cancer. A webpage is here (I am a luddite on links and stuff)
Yeah, walking. I might be wheeling too, if I can still move. Five kilometers is what I am aiming for and I have been training for it for two months. But seeing those Salmon last week, I knew exactly that I needed to do something.
I walk because I want every person who has cancer to have something I never had these last four years: HOPE.
I will finish, I will fall, I will not finish, I will be removed, I don't care, because it isn't about how hard it is (and hard it is, as my heart will be beating at 180-220 BPM the entire time, and chest pain normal and otherwise, leg pain, body pain, and two giant hills), but about trying, and raising awareness.
Because while I can’t feel much down there, or even go straight, or stop from falling, I went out and did 43 minutes and change on my feet. And if that doesn’t do it, then I will have to keep going. I didn’t stop, I didn’t sit, or rest. And at 39 minutes I had an ‘infarction’ which felt like a mix of lightning coming in my chest and splattering on my back along with pain which had me on a morning street screaming while I watched my hand and arm go purple. But I kept on, and then lay 2.5 hours, and then got to bed, and couldn’t sleep. And the pain goes on.
How is it possible? I don’t know. If you had asked me before Sunday I would have said it wasn’t. Since my earlier time was 8:05 minutes which I had worked up to. I just saw my death and kept walking toward it. I looked and picked a spot and said to myself, 'You have to get there before you die." And whether I ended up walking into a tree, or backwards, I made that marker and said, "And now it waits over there." And it hurts, every couple seconds I am up, and the edema makes me look like the Pilsbury Dough Girl, and after 15 minutes I have to keep putting my arms over head to get that blood back to my heart, and use one leg far more than the other, but I go. And that’s the point. So now, unless I am chained in hospital or dead, I will be at mile 0 in Victoria. My pain is the future’s gain. Because the other thing I thought when I saw the fish was that if I was a salmon I would think, “Geez, mom, couldn’t you pick someplace…easier to leave your eggs?”
There comes a time when it is about the future, in Salmon and in me. I’m not going to be here long, and life ain’t that fun now. So to go through hell of pain for 36 hours for some awareness or funds raised for cancer, then that seems a good exchange (most of the time, I go through hell of pain for nothing, so this is a win/win).
6 hours ago