When I initially saw the weather report for Maine, nothing but rain, I just wanted to give up. I was warm and toasty at a friend’s near Boston and it would have been so much easier to say I’ve done enough and I just want to go home. But nothing I’m doing out here has been as painful or as uncomfortable or as awful as what Ericka’s been doing back home. And she does it all with a grateful smile on her face.
So yesterday I waited out the rain in Ogunquit at a packed little hole in the wall called The Omelette Factory. I knew if I could put in four hours on the bike I’d be able to cross over a big milestone – 1,200 miles – so I was OK to wait until noon to start. That’s exactly what I did and it turned out to be a gorgeous ride from Wells Beach up to Old Orchard and back in my sixth and final New England state!
It’s been clear for quite some time that my initial goal of over 2,000 miles in thirty days was just a tad overblown. Haha! That’s putting it mildly. Going into this I really had no idea how far I could go or how fast I could get there, I just wanted to set out on something epic enough to get people’s attention and raise a decent amount of money to really make a difference.
My true goals have been to plaster all six New England states with fliers (done!), flash as many people as I possibly can with a big grin when they notice my FUCK CANCER jersey and to tell a good story that sheds light on what really happens when a woman is diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I won’t reach my mileage goal but all of those other more important things are happening and the donations are still piling up.
Meanwhile back at home Ericka has continued her trek up Recovery Hill. She’s been to physical therapy to increase range of motion in her arm. The surgical oncologist removed so many lymph nodes from her armpit she’s had a lot of pain in that area and difficulty stretching.
The physical therapy will help reduce her chances of having lymphedema, which will be a concern for the rest of her life, and also get her to the point of being able to rest with her arm above her head while lying down. That’s the position she’ll be in next month when she starts five weeks of daily radiation.
It’s all still so much to take in but she keeps moving forward no matter how difficult or painful it gets.
Tomorrow she’ll continue physical therapy and implant spacer inflation. She’ll start to grapple with what radiation is going to be like and hopefully figure out what the heck is going on with her eye (ocular nerve damage being another little tidbit left behind from our dear friend chemotherapy). Meanwhile I’ll tackle the Kancamagus Pass from Conway, NH to Lincoln, NH and back – over 2,000 feet of elevation gain in each direction. We’ll be brave and strong for each other as we each tackle hills that at one point may have seemed insurmountable.
And I figure whatever intended miles I don’t conquer on this journey, I’ll make up for in vertical feet tomorrow. Haha!
Wish us luck! And don’t forget to check out my fundraising page. If all of you made a tiny contribution we’d be able to help a tremendous amount of people through Ann’s Place, and of course my dear friend and her four wonderful kids! Ten or twenty bucks goes a long way when it’s multiplied by all the people tracking this story!
Here’s me surpassing 1,200 miles at Wells Beach in Maine! Thank you SO MUCH for the continued love and support!!