The Week of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving was this past Thursday. One of the gifts that my cancer diagnosis gave to me was the ability to truly be thankful for small things. In years past, I intellectually knew that Thanksgiving is a day set aside to express thanks and gratitude for the things we have and the people in our lives. This year was truly a different experience for me, though. I have never been so truly, deeply and completely happy to celebrate the small, seemingly mundane moments of life.

In 2013, I had just gotten out of the hospital six days prior to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, I could not stand up straight. I was hunched over because my incision pulled my abdominal cavity together tightly. It was impossible to hold my body in a fully upright position.

My husband and kids had signed up for the local YMCA Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving day. I insisted on going to watch the race. It was physically difficult to stand up for an hour, but I did not want to miss seeing my kids and husband cross the finish line. As for the rest of the day, I barely remember anything from it. I know we enjoyed a family meal, but I honestly cannot remember any of the details.

This week has been an entirely different experience for all of us. Instead of watching my family run the Turkey Trot 5k, I happily signed us all up to run. I had friends tease me about how shocked they were that I would sign up for a 5k because it wasn’t a long enough race for me. Truthfully, I have never looked down on 5ks. On the contrary, I think they are a uniquely painful race. But it is true that I used to never run 5ks. This year, there is nothing I wanted to do more than go run with my daughters. I was ecstatic to get the opportunity to enjoy the experience with my kids, friends and neighbors, not worrying about time or pace, but soaking in the moment. I was grateful for the opportunity to be there with my daughters, and I was grateful that they were willing to spend the time with me.



Thanksgiving afternoon, we had a lovely dinner with friends who have been through this long journey with us. We ate, talked, and laughed. I am truly grateful for the friends who have seen me at my absolute worst and who still choose to be my friend. I am grateful for the people who have supported our family along the way. I am so appreciative of the mothers who have helped me out with my kids during this past year. I am grateful to be able to share a meal with people I love.

I am grateful to be well enough to host a slumber party this year. I am thankful for the house filling with the laughter of girls who enjoy each other’s company. After a year of never knowing when I would be well enough to host other kids, there is no sweeter sound than the laughter of my daughters and their friends. I am grateful for the wonderful friends that my daughters have in their lives.

I am also so thankful for the opportunity I have been given to help other patients who have been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. This week, I have had phone conversations and email exchanges with people who have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I know how lonely and isolated I felt at times after my diagnosis. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to say to others facing this illness, “You are not alone.”

This year, I truly learned that I am most thankful for the people our lives. All I wanted this year was to feel well, to spend time with my family and friends and to experience laughter and joy. I received all of those gifts and so many more. I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to feel such deep gratitude for what is truly important in life.


I Guess I Really Did Have Cancer

Yesterday marked exactly one year since I found out that I had pancreatic cancer. The date was November 22, 2013. I will never forget the date, in part because it is also my father’s birthday. I still feel badly about delivering that news to my family on my dad’s birthday.

A couple of weeks ago, I sought out a second opinion from another oncologist. This has nothing to do with the care I have received. It has everything to do with my own peace of mind. I really should have sought this opinion last November or December, but my insurance company fought me and denied me so many times that I just gave up. For some reason, I could never shake the feeling that I should have gotten that second opinion. This may sound silly, but there was even a little voice in my head that wondered if the original pathologists had been wrong. Perhaps I never had Pancreatic Cancer after all!

On November 21, 2014, one day shy of the anniversary of my original diagnosis, I heard back from the doctor’s office where I had sought out a second opinion. Not surprisingly, my original diagnosis was confirmed. I honestly felt only relief at hearing the news a second time. I was happy to hear that I could now put to rest any lingering questions I had. Yes, I had Pancreatic Cancer. Yes, I am glad I went through surgery and 18 rounds of chemotherapy. I have no regrets about the path I took, and though I am sorry my family had to experience so much pain, I know it was with a purpose.

Denial is a powerful thing, but I think my continued sense of denial helped me through this last year. I rarely thought of myself as a Cancer patient. I thought of myself as a really healthy runner who had a touch of cancer. I think that is part of why I was able to do the things I did all through my chemotherapy. I was not “sick”. I was a healthy person in a temporarily unfortunate set of circumstances.

I have written previously about seeking peace of mind. Even though I got my second opinion much later than I would have liked, and I had to pay for it out of pocket, it has helped me achieve some of the peace of mind that I have been seeking. It was truly worth every penny simply to hear, “Yes, your original diagnosis stands.” To anyone facing a major medical condition, I highly encourage seeking out that second opinion. There is no price tag that can be placed on knowing that you are on the correct path.

One of my goals going forward is to eliminate from my life things that take away from my own sense of mental peace and calmness. During treatment, I was pretty good at establishing my boundaries, and most people respected them. As I have gotten healthier, I am allowing obligations to creep into my life that in no way contribute to my own sense of emotional well being. I take ownership of this. It is my own fault when I find myself agreeing to responsibilities that do not add to my own quality of life. On the one hand, I am pleased that I am now getting healthy enough that some of the lessons Cancer taught me are not always in the forefront of my mind. On the other hand, those lessons were so valuable to me as a person, and to my family as a whole, that I will do everything in my power not to forget what I have learned. As a mother of daughters, I try to live my values and lead by example. I know I personally struggle with attempting to please others while honoring my own needs. As I work towards my second year as a Pancreatic Cancer survivor, I owe it to myself and my family to continue to evaluate the choices I make. What adds to our lives and what detracts from the time we have together? I sure hope I have another 45 years of healthy living, but I cannot afford to take one day for granted.

Remembering on My Cancerversary

There are certain moments that you will always remember in your life: your first kiss, your wedding day, the birth of your children. I can add to that otherwise happy list the moment I heard the words “Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma”. November 18 is the day I had surgery one year ago for what turned out to be Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma. I went into the surgery thinking that I had a precancerous lesion. I did, but there was also cancer present. This past year has been an amazing journey.

I remember seeing my primary care doctor and being told I needed some additional testing. I remember the moment when he got the report from my CT scan and we went from laughing and joking to a very sobering conversation. I remember feeling like the air had just left the room. I remember thinking that my then 10-year-old daughter Peyton was in the waiting room and we were headed to a high school cross country meet. I remember wondering how in the world I was going to pretend that everything was good around my children.

I remember calling my husband at work and saying, “Do you have a minute?” He knew instantly that something was wrong. I remember going into a state of denial, and feeling convinced that I was completely fine. I remember texting my friend who is a PA and asking her if it was really necessary that I get a follow up MRI. I remember her telling me that yes, I had to go and that often these things were “nothing” but sometimes they are something.

I remember expecting the MRI to be fine, but finding out that it was not. I remember going in for the Endocscopic Ultrasound (EUS). I remember the warm and funny nurse who tended to me. I remember being in the operating room waiting for the procedure and talking the nurses into looking up the Screaming Goat video on Youtube, because it made me laugh. I remember the doctor walking in and not looking amused.

I remember waking up and being told that the doctor thought the lesion was pre-malignant, but that it needed to come out as soon as possible because it was showing “worrisome features”. I remember being terrified thinking about the major surgery coming up. I remember reading about the high rate of complications with pancreatic surgeries, and wondering if I would come out of surgery alive, let alone if I would able to run, take care of my family or work.

I remember the somber drive down to the hospital on the morning of November 18, 2013. I remember trying to joke with the nurses to mask how terrified I was feeling. I remember waking up in the recovery room and staying there for hours because there was no hospital room available for me. I remember finally getting to a room and being hooked up to an epidural for pain, a catheter because I could not get out of bed, leg sleeves to prevent blood clots, an oxygen tank and numerous other wires.  I remember spending days in the hospital. I remember seeing my scar and having my surgeon tell me that he had sewed me up in that particular fashion in case he had to go back in.


I remember first hearing the words “Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma” from my surgeon on November 22, 2013. I remember having to tell my husband that I had Pancreatic Cancer. I remember that it was also my father’s birthday, and I had to call him and tell him the news. I remember not knowing a whole lot about Pancreatic Cancer. I remember googling it for the first time and being absolutely astounded by the abysmal survival rates. I remember how surreal it all felt. I remember thinking this was not my body or my life.

I remember pulling each of my daughters aside and breaking the news to them that I had, in fact, had cancer. I remember feeling like I had betrayed them. How could I get sick and shake their sense of security? I remember wishing I never had to have those conversations but that I had promised my kids I would always be honest with them.

I remember how my relationship with my husband changed over night. We went from being loving but not overly demonstrative to laying awake curled up together night after night, seeking solace and comfort and intimacy. I remember thinking that maybe if we could just hold each other tightly forever, we would be feel safe and confident again.

I remember walking hunched over like an elderly woman because it hurt to stand up straight and stretch my incision. I remember those first extremely slow walks around the neighborhood, first with my husband, then with my parents and daughters, and finally with the friends who came to walk with me. I remember feeling so grateful to have people willing to walk with me now that I could no longer run. I remember friends bringing meals and gifts and books. I remember not being able to focus long enough to finish a book, whereas before my surgery I would read at least one per week.

I remember telling a friend, “I know what is going to kill me now.”

I remember seeing my oncologist for the first time and discussing treatment options. I remember deciding to do chemotherapy.  I remember telling my mom and her breaking down in tears. I remember feeling terrible about that conversation because it broke my heart to make my mother cry.

I remember when my parents went back to NY. I remember thinking that I knew we all had to get back to our lives, but I did not want to let either of them go.

I remember counting down the days until I could run, and I remember that first painful and yet blissful run I took with my husband, just shy of a month post-op.


I remember running every day even though it hurt after a month layoff, because I did not know how much running I would be able to do during chemotherapy. I remember feeling so incredibly grateful that I could run at all. I remember thinking I had to be as physically strong as possible before I started my next round of treatments.

I remember getting my chemotherapy port installed and how much it hurt the first couple of weeks.

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I remember being very afraid the night before chemotherapy started. I remember the nurse telling me not to be surprised if I did not make it through the first cycle without a delay in treatment due to my blood levels being off. I ended up never missing a treatment.

I remember taking a chemo selfie with Riley.


I remember being nauseous. I remember losing a lot of my hair. I remember being exhausted all of the time. I remember having pain in my limbs. I remember having to go to the Emergency Room because I was sick. I remember setting a goal of running at least two times per week. I ended up missing only five days over the entire six months of treatment. I remember running the Super Half Marathon with Debby.


I remember running the Greenland Trail 25K with Steve.


I remember how my husband never missed going to a chemo appointment with me.


I remember that final 18th round of chemotherapy, and coming home to a decorated house.


I remember my friendships deepening with long time friends. I remember making new friendships and being amazed by how kind and generous people were towards me. I remember all of the people who were willing to run slowly with me.




I remember watching my scar heal.


I remember finally getting my chemo port removed.

I remember my kids feeling anxious, stressed and angry. I also remember lots of long, thoughtful conversations and how much I loved just spending time at home with them. I remember learning a lot along the way. I remember feeling mentally calm and focused because I just wanted to live and enjoy each day. I remember going from thinking I may not see my kids grow up to thinking that there were so many positive things that had come out of my diagnosis. I remember being grateful for every day, for the opportunity to run, and to spend time with people I loved. I remember thinking that my perspective on so many things had changed and I hoped that I would never take a day or for granted or worry about insignificant things again. I remember re-evaluating everything in my life, and how I learned to cut back and streamline my obligations. I remember thinking that I would only choose to do things that were truly important to me. I remember thinking that as long as the cancer did not return and kill me, maybe this would ultimately be a positive experience for all of us.

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There is so much I could write about this last year. These are the moments that are etched in my mind. I have survived for a whole year, which 75-80% of Pancreatic Cancer patients do not. I am incredibly lucky. I hope I always remember all that we have been through this last year, the good and the bad. I hope the lessons always stay with us. I remember feeling better and not wanting to forget, but starting to move forward.

Moving Beyond Fear

Winter descended upon Colorado in a matter of hours on Monday. I went for a run Monday morning and the temperatures were in the mid 60s. As I finished up, I looked behind me and could see a wall of clouds moving in from the north. The winds
were blowing at gale forces and I was glad I had gotten out to run when I did. I knew the next few days were predicted to be bone chilling, with wind chills below zero. The weather forecasters were not wrong. This week has been bitter cold. Snow began falling Monday afternoon, as the temperatures dipped into the 20s.

After I got done working on Tuesday, I squeezed in a 7 mile run prior to picking up the girls from school. Maybe I am just a little crazy, but I always get excited about the first run in the snow. As winter hangs on into spring, I definitely lose my enthusiasm for running in the snow. But, the first snow excites me every year. So, I ventured out in 16 degree temperatures and was sadly disappointed at the lack on snow on the north side of Colorado Springs. There was a little, and it was pretty, but there wasn’t enough to qualify it as the real first snow run of the year.

On Wednesday I worked from home and then decided to head to the gym. The windchill was -22 in our neighborhood and my dog did not even want to go for a walk that morning. I rarely ever run inside. I have only recently started heading back to the gym to lift weights. I thought perhaps I could make myself do a speed workout on the treadmill to mix things up a bit. I ventured off to the gym, got on the treadmill and instantly regretted it. My body hurts on the treadmill and in places that it does not outside. The constant repetitive motion of the treadmill stresses hurts my joints. I muddled through two miles and then decided to hop on the Stairmaster for an hour. I did some intervals on that torture device and definitely got a workout, but it was not an enjoyable workout. I was frustrated with myself for being so wimpy. Why did I go to the gym? I know that I just do not enjoy it at this point in my life. But, it was good to be reminded of how much I prefer being outside, even when the weather is lousy.

On Thursday, I put on my big girl panties and hit the trail with Tracey and her dog, Arlo. We ran ten miles in the cold and snow and though there was only a small amount of snow on the trail, I would classify this as my first official snow run of the year. The windchill still sat below 0 degrees, but we were dressed for the weather and it was so much better than being inside. Thursday was World Pancreatic Cancer day, and we both donned purple for the occasion.


This morning was a lot warmer and I ran 16 miles. This is the farthest I have run since finishing the Bear Chase 50 miler in September. It was not pretty but it feels like progress.

I am quickly approaching my one year anniversary from my surgery. Anniversaries are always a time of reflection for me. This week has reminded me how fortunate I am in so many ways. in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer day, I had a number of friends post pictures of themselves wearing purple in my honor on Facebook. My kids wore purple to school on Thursday, and my husband wore purple to work.


This kind of thing is purely symbolic but it is a powerful symbol of love, support and active engagement in learning about the disease and helping to spread the word about what it is. I am humbled and grateful to have so many caring people in my life.I truly credit the support others have generously given to me during this time with keeping my emotional state buoyed. It is hard to face illness alone. It is much easier when you know you are surrounded by people who care about you.

Not long ago, I was interviewed by Boulder Ultrarunner Wendy Drake for Women’s Adventure magazine. The interview can be found here.

Wendy’s best friend, Marcy, was diagnosed with stage IV Pancreatic Cancer not long after running her first 100 mile race. Wendy helped to care for Marcy in the weeks and months leading up to her passing. As of result of her experience with this devastating illness, Wendy has been working to increase public knowledge of the disease. I appreciate the opportunity to join forces with others who are passionate about eradicating Pancreatic Cancer.

Finally, I need to mention one more special occasion from the week. My lovely daughter, Riley, turned 17. One year ago, when I was planning my surgery, I was trying to time it between Riley’s 16th birthday and Thanksgiving, because I did not want to ruin any important days. There was still an air of sadness hovering over her birthday, because we all knew that I would be in the hospital the following week and there was a whole lot of uncertainty about what would follow. What a difference a year makes. Instead of worrying about whether I would even be around to see this young woman graduate, I am actively looking forward to starting the process of beginning the college search process.


As I approach the one year mark of being cancer free, I am happy to now be shedding some of the fears that have occupied too much of my time and thoughts. I have wondered at times if I would ever be able to move beyond the fear associated with a cancer diagnosis. I think I am finally getting to that point. All I know is that I am feeling more secure, and am moving forward by making plans for the future and setting goals, and it feels really good.

Waking Up Happy

I am really excited about the direction my life seems to be headed in at this time. I have lots of things going on that are keeping me busy in a good way. I have a new writing assignment which I am absolutely thrilled about. I am so pleased that I am physically well enough to be working. It makes me happy to be using my brain and to feel productive.  I have been enjoying fulfilling my duties as co Race Director for the Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series. I was also interviewed for an article this week and am looking forward to seeing the final product when it comes out.

On the physical side of things, I have started a concerted effort to regain the strength I lost over the last year.  I promised myself after the Bear Chase that I would make strength training a priority. I had a setback due to getting my chemotherapy port removed, but I finally was able to take the first steps towards fulfilling that goal this week. Finally, I am happy to be getting my running mileage back up. I was able to run the rolling 13 mile Falcon Trail on the Air Force Academy twice this week. I hit 70 miles this week for the first time since running the Bear Chase 50 mile race.



I approached the Colorado Springs City Council about issuing a proclamation making November Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. They were happy to oblige. It is a symbolic measure, of course, but because Pancreatic Cancer has received so little funding and attention, the symbolism really means something to those of us whose lives have been forever changed by this disease.


The Team Tonia Pancreatic Cancer Awareness shirt continued to travel across the United States. My friend Jodi F. finished her first ever half marathon wearing it. I am so proud of her for running the entire distance!



This week, I also did something that I should have done months ago. I sought a second opinion on my Pancreatic Cancer case. This is no way means that I do not have confidence in my local doctor. It is actually recommended that anyone facing cancer or any major illness get a second opinion. I wanted to go in for a second opinion back when I was first diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, but my insurance company fought me at every turn. I was physically and emotionally drained from my surgery and I honestly just gave up. I have always regretted the fact that I did not get that second opinion, though. I have had lingering fears surrounding my circumstances and I just needed to hear from another medical professional that we are on the right path. I needed reassurance. One thing I have found in talking with other Pancreatic Cancer patients is that we often struggle with fear post diagnosis. There is so much uncertainty that comes with Pancreatic Cancer. Even those of us who were diagnosed at an early stage and are currently showing no evidence of disease worry about what is lurking in our bodies. We all know that the survival rates for Pancreatic Cancer are abysmal. No one can tell us if we will be one of the lucky few long-term survivors. We live with those lingering fears. It is just part of the territory.

I knew that by seeking a second opinion, I would not be eliminating my concerns. I hoped I would get some reassurance about the treatments I have already done and the path the we are taking as we go forward. What I am finding is that there is not a whole lot of evidence to tell the doctors how to optimally treat early stage Pancreatic Cancer. The doctors are doing absolutely the best they can with the information they have, but there have not been enough studies done on early stage Pancreatic Cancer to be able to adopt any real standard of care. Because Pancreatic Cancer is often found so late, most studies have been conducted on patients who are at stage 3 and stage 4. It is difficult to generalize the efficacy of those treatments for patients who are stage 1 or 2.

I came out of my second opinion appointment with some good and helpful information. I feel reassured about what I have chosen to do so far. We also discussed in-depth what this doctor believes my risks are going forward. I will be receiving more information towards the end of this week about what he recommends in terms of follow-up care. I think it was well worth paying out-of-pocket to discuss my case in person with another doctor. While no one can fully give me peace of mind, the visit helped ease some of my fears. I highly recommend seeking a second opinion for any major medical decisions. I wish I had done this months ago, but it is truly better late than never.

With all that has transpired over the past couple of weeks, I feel good about where I am right now. I feel happier, healthier and my confidence is coming back. Before cancer, I used to wake up excited about every day. During treatment, all I could do was focus on day-to-day survival. Now, that excitement is coming back. It feels so good to be moving forward instead of running in place.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month!

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. November holds an additional significance for me because I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on November 18, 2013. I am just a couple of weeks away from my one year anniversary. By making it one year, I will have survived longer than 75% of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. November holds an additional significance for me because I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on November 18, 2013. I am just a couple of weeks away from my one year anniversary. By making it one year, I will have survived longer than 75% of people who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

I bought this shirt to run in:
On the back, it says, “Aiming for the 6%”, which is the overall five year survival rate.  It honestly still feels surreal to think that I had Pancreatic Cancer. A lot of this last year feels surreal. But, I have the scars and the pathology report that can quickly bring me back to the reality of it all.
Last Sunday evening there was an event in Denver called the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Purple Light. This is an event that honors survivors and remembers those who have been lost to Pancreatic Cancer. We met on the capital steps at 5 pm. I got to meet people I had been in communication with via facebook.

Here I am with Karl, who is in charge of media relations in the Denver area. Karl lost his wife to Pancreatic Cancer.
This is Beth, who is in charge of putting together the Purple Stride. Beth was 5 years old when she lost her mother to Pancreatic Cancer. Her mother was only 37 years old when she passed. Beth is frustrated because the survival statistics have barely changed in the time since she lost her mother.
Just prior to the ceremony beginning, we gathered for a survivor’s photo. As you can see, there are only ten of us. We didn’t really know one another, but it was a happy occasion to see, talk with and hug others who were part of this very small club. (Photo credit to Beth Corlett)
People sitting on the steps to honor their loved ones.
I have been lucky enough over the past couple of weeks to get to spend time with others who have been impacted by Pancreatic Cancer. First I spent an afternoon with Elli from Project Purple.
Then I got to spend an evening in Denver at the Purple Light event. I cannot express strongly enough how powerful of an experience it is to meet and talk with others who have a connection to this cancer. We all understand what a devastating diagnosis it is, whether we are survivors or family members who have lost a loved one to the disease.  It is the club that none of us asked to join or wants to belong to, but since we are here, we have a strong bond that unites us against a common enemy.
I hope that November brings as much support and recognition to Pancreatic Cancer that other cancers have received. Too many lives have been lost. Too many families have been torn apart. Too many survivors continue to struggle with guilt for being one of the very few who are fortunate enough to make it. We need more funding, more research dollars and more public support to battle this illness. I will be making a couple of announcements in the coming weeks about things I will be doing to make a difference for the future of Pancreatic Cancer. I am very energized and excited about some upcoming projects that are in the works. Stay tuned and wear your purple!


I am betting that most of my readers lost a lot of sleep this week wondering if I signed up for the 100 or not. So, to end the suspense I will just say, no, I did not sign up.  The day after I wrote that blog post, I woke up early in the morning and decided I would look at other races. I cruised some of the ultrarunning calendars and came across another race that sounded beautiful and challenging. I got excited about this particular race in a way that I had not been feeling about the other race. The way I felt drawn to this race made me wonder if the other event just wasn’t “the one”. Maybe it wasn’t the distance I was uncertain about; maybe it was just that particular race. I almost registered right then and there for possibility #2, but I decided to give it a couple of days. There was no sense of urgency with this second race so I had time to ponder it a bit. I was very intrigued by the possibility of this other race, but thinking about the training involved just seemed daunting. Am I really up for the mileage and time commitment? What I decided is that I just needed to stop thinking about racing for at least a couple of weeks. I forbid myself from “race shopping”. I didn’t want to think about it or talk about it. I just wanted to give it time, to give myself time, to figure out what felt right.

I have never had this issue before. Every time I have signed up for a race, I have been both a little afraid and a lot excited. Right now I feel so uncertain about so many things. I have been through a lot this year, and I am worn out mentally and physically. Running was really hard again this week. I got my port out on Tuesday and have struggled the entire rest of the week with breathing and feeling like my legs are heavy and dead. Is it the anesthesia? Or is it that I am recovering still from running 50 miles four weeks ago? Or is it the trauma of surgery and chemo? Is it just the fact that I cannot seem to get a decent night of sleep? It is likely a combination of everything. I just know that Friday and Saturday, on what should have been very easy runs, I gasped for air and had to walk. Yesterday, I wondered aloud to Steve if maybe I shouldn’t have done chemotherapy. If I hadn’t, it would have been more of a gamble for recurrence, but maybe I wouldn’t feel so crappy right now. I hate to second guess decisions I made months ago, but I can’t help but wonder a little bit how things would look for me right now if I had chosen a different path. For now, I need more time to let my mind, body and soul recover. I am sure I will be racing something come next year, but first and foremost, I want to feel good again. Maybe Race #1 wasn’t “the one”. Maybe Race #2 is…or maybe it is not. Maybe I am just not ready to make a commitment. 

Finally, I want to give a shout out to a special lady I had the pleasure of meeting last weekend. Elli contacted me through my blog several months ago. Elli lost her beloved mother to pancreatic cancer. Elli runs races to raise money for Project Purple. Project Purple is a charity that raises money both for research as well as to help PC patients and their families defray some of the costs associated with this devastating cancer diagnosis. Elli was in Denver last weekend, so we met up for a couple of hours. It was such a gift to meet up with this lovely woman who understands all too well the destruction that comes along with a PC diagnosis. Once again, I am reminded how much good has come out of this crappy diagnosis. I have met some really fabulous people along the way.

You can find out more about Project Purple here: