Saturday morning April 14 I will be attending my very first 5K run/walk event. I chose this one because it is to benefit the Hospice and Palliative Care Center here in the Winston-Salem, NC area.
Some of you know that we lost my mother-in-law to metastatic kidney cancer last summer (June 8, 2011). Looking back, she probably went undiagnosed for a good year, but when she began to seriously lose weight around Halloween and Thanksgiving 2010, we got her to the doctors and she was finally admitted to the hospital the week before Christmas where they made the ultimate diagnosis: kidney cancer that had spread to her lungs and brain.
Being that she was 83 and already quite frail, her doctors felt that hospice care was the best option - any aggressive treatments would only delay, not cure, and if they didn't outright kill her, her quality of life would be considerably worse with the treatment than without it.
She did amazingly well for a few months - we had to really work to get her to eat, and she began sleeping 16+ hours in a day, but she held on to her personality even as her memory really started to slip. She finally ran out of energy in May, we transitioned to a hospital bed at home, and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. On that final day, it became clear she was going to pass - I had been working from her kitchen table for about two weeks, and I called the Man to get him to her house as fast as he could so that he could say his last goodbyes.
I'm not a religious person at all - rather agnostic, though I believe it's possible that a higher form of being "kicked things off" with the big bang. However, I spent several hours that afternoon reading to her from her bible. I have no idea if she heard any of it - but I read her some of the Song of Solomon and many of the Psalms. I know if nothing else, it gave some comfort to my brother and sister in law.
About 10 minutes after the Man arrived, she quietly slipped away - as if she were waiting for him to get there. It was devastating for him; he lost his father in April of 1997, and now his mother was gone.
The nurses and staff of the Hospice and Palliative Care Center were amazing. Our nurse had been there daily for the last few weeks, she called the funeral home, arranged for narcotics disposal, and pick-up of all the medical equipment. These people do emotionally draining work - and do it with kindness and compassion. The last few months of her life would not have been near as comfortable and peaceful without them, and for that I am truly thankful.
My participation in this 5k run/walk has two purposes: The primary purpose is to support this wonderful organization, but secondly it is another step in my road to fitness. I ran when I was in school - and loved it. I'm not yet at the stage where I could jog that distance, but I can certainly walk it. Several other members of my wls program's support group will also be walking the course, so I'll have good motivation and support that morning.
Would you please consider sponsoring my participation? I've set a personal fundraising goal of $200 - even a $5 or $10 donation will go a long way toward that goal.
If you can, here is the link to my personal participation page . I thank you in advance for your support, financial or simply "You can do it!"