As I was rounding mile 14 and closing in on the finish line it hit me… I’m one of the lucky ones. Why? Because I get the chance to really understand the importance of breathing.
Sometimes I see this battle with melanoma as a blessing. I remember lying in the MRI machine, clutching my 18 month old son’s lovey, praying for more time, more breaths. I never want to take a single day or breath for granted again. I got my wish. My son is now 4 years old and I have a second son who is almost 2. Each breath is a gift and that is a rare knowledge that survivors feel to their core.
With my heart beat racing I just kept breathing to enjoy and succeed at the goal I had set for myself. To make my lungs work for me. To pull that precious – cancer killing – oxygen in an out of my living body. Crossing the finish line for a second time at the 25K Fifth Third River Bank Run, I knew I had pushed harder and set a new P.R., but this year my thoughts were less about running to survive and more about just enjoying my survival.
The act of breathing… air in, air out… life in, illness out …. happiness in, sadness out…. strength in, fear out… air in, air out.
Simple and yet so powerful.