My name is Tricia and I am a cancer survivor, but I would much rather be called a runner.
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 all these 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 decided to participate in the 2014 CIBC Run for the Cure for the Canadian Cancer Society. I wanted to help raise money to find a way to stamp out this 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 also wanted to improve my health and change 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. I was going to walk the 5 km fundraiser.
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? After all, it was a 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 slowly. 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 my 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 11 half marathons with a multitude of other 5 km, 10 km and 16 km races. Running has healed me physically, 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 want to share what I have learned with you. At risk of sounding cliche, if I can run, anyone can. Seriously, that is the honest truth.
I went from a hospital chemotherapy chair to running half marathons.
Never doubt your capabilities!
My story continues. I am now going to tackle my first marathon. The year 2019 will find me training for and running in the Twin City Metronics Marathon. You can follow me, and the 2 crazy ladies joining me, in our Marathon Challenge antics here at pinkribbonrunner.com.
Bling or Bonk, we are doing this!