I know some of you are thinking, 'Really, how can your life change in 3 days?'
TRUST ME....IT CAN!!!!
In 3 days, you can go from finding a lump to hearing the words YOU HAVE CANCER!
As most, if not all of you know, I was chosen to be one of 8 survivors to carry a flag into Survivor's Circle during both opening and closing ceremonies.
I didn't realize how profoundly that task would affect me.
I got to opening ceremonies and went to the wall that everyone signs with either a 'remembrance' or an 'in honor of' or just a 'good luck' tag.
Mine simply said, 'Love & Miss you Aunt Steph'.
It was the beginning of my journey into the 3-Day just like saying 'Goodbye' to her last year was the beginning of my year-long journey into treatment.
As I carried my flag on stage, held hands with fellow survivors and looked out into a crowd of my peers, I was overcome with raw emotions that left me in a state of reflection of the life I knew before cancer was a part of it.
I was in awe of the 2400 other walkers who came to this event with the attitude that 'a cancer patient can't quit treatment just because it hurts and I won't quit walking just because it hurts'. The general population needs to take a few lessons on life from these selfless people.
Each painful step was a reflection of the physical pain I endured last year during the trunk procedure, the mastectomy, the fills, exchange procedure, physical therapy, and radiation.
I learned a valuable lesson in that no matter how intense the pain gets, when you pass a cheering section (your support system)...the pain somehow, magically disappears for a little while. You get a reality check in that you are never alone; there is always someone there who understands and will cheer you on when life gets tough.
We touched each arrow we passed along the route as a symbol to say, 'We're one step closer to a world without breast cancer.'
As I walked into Turner Field with my team...I can honestly say, I had the most magnificent, truly kind-hearted, and loving group of friends by my side that anyone could ever hope for.
We carried our flags into Survivors Circle one last time, and as the Victory Flag 'A World Without Breast Cancer' was raised, we looked at each other through tears and Allie shook her head to say, 'We Did It!'
And in that moment, I felt a sense of peace like I haven't felt in the entire past year of my life. I knew I was exactly where God had intended me to be!
You can view the rest of my photo album here: