Updated June 23, 2020
My name is Patricia Prince and I am a cancer survivor, but I would much rather be called a runner.
I am also a wife, mother, writer, running coach, outdoor enthusiast and avid reader.
I am a graduate of the University of Calgary (BSc) and the University of Saskatchewan (DVM). Considering myself a bit of a science geek, I read science and medical journals all the time. I have taken many courses in biology, physiology, nutrition, food therapy, pharmacology, acupuncture & psychology, to name a few subjects. I worked in the medical research field for over 10 years.
I am currently studying for my health coaching certificate. Ultimately I would like to become a cancer coach and help others through the process. I wish I had someone to help me sort through the chaos of cancer. I would have loved some guidance to get me back on the right track towards healthy living. As it was, I did this myself. Now, I want to be the person to help someone else.
I started Pink Ribbon Runner to inspire and empower people, including other cancer survivors, to lead healthier lives. I am one of so many that are living examples of what is possible. I believe knowledge is power to take take control over our health. And I wanted a platform to share the knowledge of healthy habits and all that is healthy living.
Welcome to my website. I hope you find inspiration in my story.
In September 2013, I was told I had breast cancer.
I was numb, devastated, angry, scared, anxious and worried. Multiple negative emotions filled my body and mind. It took me several days to actually process this information and even longer, much longer, to come to terms with it.
My left breast was removed within 3 weeks of my diagnosis. I had stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma, or as my oncologist put it, “average, ordinary, everyday breast cancer”. The cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, but so far, no further.
I went through 4 months of chemotherapy and 3 months of radiation treatments. My right breast was removed later in 2014 because of another suspicious lump, which thankfully was not cancerous.
I came through the other side of my cancer treatments physically weaker than I went in.
The thing about cancer….treatments that are suppose to save your life are much worse than the early stages of the disease. I was not feeling ill from my cancer, but I was ill and worn down due to its treatments.
I desperately wanted to feel healthy again. I needed to change my life. I dove into the medical journals to see what else I could do to make my life better.
I started eating better and walking as much as I was able during my treatments.
After my treatments were finished in 2014, I decided to participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure for the Canadian Cancer Society. I wanted to help raise money to find a way to stamp out this horrible disease. I was now a part of the notorious cancer club; a club no one ever wants to join.
My awareness of breast cancer and its devastation increased exponentially since I became a part of this horrid club. I met so many others affected by breast cancer and other forms of cancer, a few who are no longer with us. I wanted to do something to help.
I was also committed to improving my health and changing my lifestyle. I was 100 pounds overweight and sedentary; a real life couch potato. My oncologist said I needed to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. So, I started walking faster and further. I was going to walk the 5 km fundraiser.
I started running...
One day I was walking my usual route and saw some runners smiling and laughing. Could I do that?
Could I run the 5 km in the Run for the Cure?
I started to look into it and I asked some friends who ran. With the support of my husband, I took up running….sort of. I started very slowly and cautiously.
The first running stride on the first day of my training was immensely awkward. It felt so unnatural to me. I felt silly. I could only run slowly, not much faster than a walking pace, for about 1 minute before I was winded and had to walk.
I had serious doubts that I could do this.
But I pulled up my big girl running tights and kept going. I gradually increased my distance and speed, as I was able. I had random aches and pains before, during and after running. I wondered if I was capable. I had doubts, but I refused to quit. I ran that 5 km 3 months later.
What an absolute rush of happy emotions crossing that finish line! I did it!
I wanted more of that feeling…
I entered another 5 km race, then another, then another. I met some other fabulous runners that encouraged me to keep going and keep improving.
I worked my way up to 10 km, 16 km and 21.1 km races. Yes, couch-potato, non-athletic me, ran my first half marathon within 1 year of starting.
I lost 90 pounds. I was active and eating healthy. I was happy again. I had found my strength again.
I have since run over 15 half marathons with a multitude of other 5 km, 10 km and 16 km races.
Running has healed me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I have learned so much about running and from running.
I am now coaching running. I have successfully helped many fellow runners achieve their first races, their first half marathons and their first Boston Marathon qualifying times. I have taught many survivors and beginners to run. I have never forgotten how hard it is to start.
And then I ran a marathon...
But it doesn’t end there. In October 2019, five years later, I trained with my fellow crazy lady friends, Stephanie and Anita, to run our first marathon. We ran the entire 26.2 miles of the beautiful Twin Cities Metronics Marathon. You can read all about our Marathon Challenge antics on pinkribbonrunner.com
I went from being obese in a hospital chemotherapy chair to running a marathon!
Never doubt your capabilities!
It is possible! You just have to believe and commit.
But, most importantly, you have to START.
I hope you find the articles and resources on Pink Ribbon Runner helpful. Enjoy browsing the blog.
My dream is a world without cancer. But, in the meantime we need to do what we can to stay as healthy as possible.