Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Marathon

Mettle (mtl) n. - Courage and fortitude; spirit

I've mentioned before that when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I told my running BFF that if I survived, I would run a marathon. It's been almost three years since I told her that and I am lucky if I can make it around the block. I LOVE running and I miss it so much that if I think about it at all, tears flow.

People see me when I have energy. They see me when I'm at my best. They don't see the agonizing moments at home when I don't have enough energy to make it through the day. They don't see the constant disappointment that we feel when I can't go on bike rides or hang out on family night and play games. Sometimes I'm too tired to even sit and have dinner with my family. It is beyond frustrating. Exercise takes a back seat.

I have another running BFF. Yes, I know it is illogical to have more than one BFF, but when you run with people...you become BFFs. It's unavoidable. Danielle's husband is in the Air Force and they moved to Korea two years ago. Since then, she ran NINE marathons in NINE different countries! She is amazing and I love living her adventures vicariously.

She was here this past weekend for a quick visit. Before we parted she showed me one of her medals. It was the medal she earned running a marathon in Laos. She told me about the things she had to overcome to earn that medal.

Then she presented it to me.

I can't run a marathon (yet!), but I ran a race of my own and she wanted to honor my race.

I know how much work and sacrifice goes into training for a marathon. I can only imagine both the agony and the sense of pride in finishing one. And I know how much those medals mean.

I also know how much work and sacrifice it takes to battle cancer. It is difficult and often times feels like a never-ending marathon. It takes endurance...an endurance I never knew I had. To get a medal for that - a marathon medal earned by one of my friends - means more to me than words could ever express. It's overwhelming.

"Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around the world give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle. Our worldwide network of physicians and volunteers then awards these medals attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. It is in honor of this mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges that they are awarded a medal."


  1. Oh Steph,
    You are such an inspiring "runner". God prepared your heart of endurance in a fun and physical way before allowing the "race of cancer". I just have to think that He is so proud of your love and steadfastness for Him. You are an incredible witness. Your love and faith in Him is deep.
    I'm cheering you on for a medal that is well deserved!

    P.S. I have dreams (regularly) of mountain bike riding! I have no fear in my dreams. I am as swift as an eagle. I climb and jump things that I would never do in real life. When I wake up and tell Greg, he is jealous of how detailed my dreams are and how awesome they are.
    For now, I'm learning to be satisfied by dreams. :)

    Love you sister!

  2. My precious little sister in the Lord, when it comes to being a brave, intelligent,
    family loving person, I take my hat off to you. This is my first time replying directly
    to you. Sis Shirley, your mother and I have often emailed about you with pride in
    you and your accomplishments, while hating the pain, the suffering, the longing
    for a full recovery physically you are having to endure.

    I admire you more than any other person I could name and I hope it is OK, for you are part mine, in that I have read all you have written and prayed, stood in for you in prayer requests at church, I hope you will not mind my claiming you as part of my Christian Sister Family. I love the way you handle your children with such wonderful love. I love the way your heart goes out to others, when you are enduring such problems of your own. You are one of God's special
    stars and I was so delighted when you and your baby's photos were chosen a
    while back and used to encourage others to support Breast Cancer.

    With all the above being true, and only covering a few things, I want you to know
    you are still in my prayers and will continue to be, I still believe that God is going
    to restore your energy so you can be all you want to be and right now cannot
    which has to be so very hurtful to you. Another thing that has impressed me is
    your total honesty to each and every situation, sharing your thoughts, your dreams,
    your Lord, no one could have done it better, I thank you for that, it has made it a lot
    easier to know how to pray.

    You do not know me, but I feel like I know you and you have made that possible.
    I love you so much, and some day in heaven, I want lots of hugs from you Sweet
    Lady. God has Blessed me through you, May HE Bless you now and give you
    the desires of YOUR HEART, I ask this in the precious name of Jesus Our Lord.

    Blessings, prayers and love, your Sister in the Lord,

    Margie white (from Florida)

  3. Oh, Stephanie. I'm so glad I could do even a little tiny bit to acknowledge you, and all you are, and all you have been, and all you will become. Someday you will have more energy. Meanwhile, I wish I could supply you with more of mine. So glad I could see you last week! I love you! ~ Danielle