Monthly Archives: May 2012

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s my SuperTeam!!!

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Busy Days

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  Since finishing the half-marathon, the Falco family ran their first 5K race…yes our first family run.  It was Race to Solve the Puzzle. Not only did we get in some priceless family time, but we ran in honor of a very special little boy, Jacob. His picture is on our shirts.

The girls did an amazing job and finished in a very admirable time…not that time mattered…I think I was more shocked at their ability and speed than anything.  That is family time I value and look forward to many future races with Team Falco.

The very next weekend was the Free to Breathe 5K. It’s a newer race to Charlotte and appropriately named considering my “condition”.  This was a planned “fun run” (I can say that now that I’ve run a half) with my training team and a few extremely special friends.  As you can see we took the event by storm and had some great fun running for the cause, dressing for the occasion and showing others that cancer doesn’t always bring you down…in fact it lifted all of  us up.    I’ve been riding high since that day…it’s not my “Sue”perman cape, but the super powers our team possess when we are together.

Since the day of my diagnosis our team has come together to support me in a way I never could have imagined.  It makes me shudder to think I almost didn’t join the training group.  I was nervous about running the half along side so many accomplished runners.  Instead of being intimidated, I was inspired.   Now I am just amazed. Their energy, determination, and passion for our sport gets me out of bed every morning and I want to run, walk, bike, and even swim!!!! I want to fight like hell against this cancer.  I am running another half-marathon in November and before that I will finish my first TriAthlon…that’s right…I’m not giving-up or giving-in.  I’m getting stronger…it feels like a superpower.

A funny little shout out for Omega and the team…

“Omega, ‘The Greatest Name In sports’, presents: The Adventures of the Long Distance Heroes. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! (“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s the Long Distance Heroes!”)… Yes, it’s the Heroes … strange visitors from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men and woman!

This is my team and I am so proud to be a part of it.  A big thanks goes out to Paige for the shirts…we were unified with a capital U!  Dominque for the tutus and inspiration to make additional ones so no one was left out.  To the guys on our team…thanks for not taking yourselves to seriously and joining in the fun!!!  Everyone loves a guy man enough to sport some tulle for a good cause.  And last, but not least to the entire team of friends, family and teammates for getting up early and putting your PRs to the side so that we could cross the finish line together…Now if you look at little closer you might notice our team PR…I love Photoshop!!!!

Medical Update

One the medical end of things I am doing well.  I’m actually in my first class seat now getting the “magic juice.”  I have been running, golfing (at the range…mentally smacking a ball around is very therapeutic) and enjoying time with friends. I’ve now had four treatments out of 12.   I do have my first scan on June 7th….Results will be in on the 11th.  I promise to update all of you via the blog.  I would love to personally call each of you, but there are not enough hours in the day.

I miss you all and appreciate every meal, card, call, gift, hug and prayer.  Thanks for keeping me smiling.

Love and Hugs – Sue

I did it!!!! I completed a 1/2 marathon!!!!!

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Just five weeks after being told I had Stage IV Colorectal Cancer I ran right towards the first step in my recovery…proving everyone wrong and showing myself that no matter how dismal the news I was not going to let the disease, diagnosis or anyone’s “assumed outcome” get the best of me.

Just before diagnosis I was eleven miles into my Omega Sports ½ Marathon training program.  The irony of being in the best shape of my life when I was told you are really in Stage IV…is surreal. I waited 43 years to finally face this challenge.  Note to self…don’t wait so long next time.  Anyway I was not about to give up after putting in weeks of training!  I was way to excited about my trip to Nashville.  I knew I could do it!!!

Just two weeks out of Thoracotomy surgery (surgery of the lungs) I ran two miles and then another four after my first chemo treatment. The rest was sheer will power and a chance to show myself, and anyone battling cancer, that statistics and diagnosis isn’t everything…defying the odds is what it’s all about.

Just before I made the commitment to go to Nashville an amazing this happened…Michael Vance wanted to run not one, but two marathons in my honor.  I can honestly say I have never been so humbled or taken back by such an incredible act of kindness.  (OK maybe when John proposed marriage, but never since then).   Michael is a coach and employee for the ever-amazing Omega Sports.   He started raising money for the event and the sheer generosity of others completely exceeded my wildest expectations.  I can’t wait to share with all of you my plans for those funds.   As with any Get Your Rear in Gear related event, 75% of the money will stay in Charlotte to help others and I’ve got something special planned.

OK so back to the race…

My decision to participate came as a shock to all my Omega Nation teammates…Sue was 
still going to run in Nashville?!?  Maybe they’ve just never met anyone as stubborn…Or perhaps not as crazy or fearless…I’m not sure, but they were all stunned.  As quickly as they could process the news, many team members gave up their plans for a PR (personal record for those of you non-runners) and offered to run with me all 13.1 miles.   Are you kidding me?  Again humbled, but even more excited…there was just one problem…Michael.   He would run one marathon while we all rested for our ½ and then he would be on his own for the next 26.1.  I wasn’t having it.  We met up with Michael after his first marathon, complete with his pink and green tutu, and we all ran together for 13.1 miles…which is the way it should be.  The team was all together!

Soooooooo…..how was the race?

OK it’s hard not to enjoy yourself when you are watching your teammate run through the crowds proud as a peacock in his tutu or as I like to call it his Man-Tu.  The kids giggled and the men gave him high fives.  The ladies just blushed!!!  What a joy to watch.  The crowd was amazing.  It was like one big thirteen-mile party.  I personally think the race organizers paid them and gave them free beer so they wouldn’t stop cheering and we wouldn’t stop running. I’ve never seen so many hills in my entire life.  Wowzers!!!!  Oh, and did I mention the heat…yikes!

With Coach Dan, Dawn and Mike at my side I was in good hands.  Dawn kept me on task, hydrated, and mentally in check. Mike was the comic relief and Dan made sure NONE of us missed any of the roadside amusement there was to see.  Cousin Jenny, my “sole” sista’ was right
there with me every step of the way.  It was her first half…sorry to have over shadowed that a bit, Cousin.  She did an amazing job and I am so very proud of her for running her first half.  I am so happy we got to experience this race together.

At mile 11 I got a little crazy and had a sip of ice-cold beer. I can still almost taste it now.  Wow!!!! Life is good!  Celebrate it!!!!  That is exactly what I saw coming off the plane when we landed in Nashville and no words but those could truly match up to this race weekend experience.

Thank you to everyone that ran with me in Nashville, my ever-supportive team in Charlotte, family and friends.  Thanks for never doubting me and for sending your powerful energy and prayers my way…..You all make me smile.

Sue