(Yes, I know it’s long, but I promise it will be worth your time)
…that surgery and scar on my belly.
…that uncertainty, wondering and wanting.
…that search for the expert and regular trip to New York City.
…that feeling of just not wanting to exist, but to live.
…that desire to have children and not being confident it will happen.
…how to say, fuck it, and keep going when people tell you to slow down.
…wanting to be normal, but also not wanting to be normal.
…the art of balancing cancer treatment and dream chasing.
…wanting to be anxious for something other than cancer.
…the wait for more research and treatment options.
…getting through and not giving up.
Yes, I know I’m not Gabe or a runner of her caliber. Actually, I wouldn’t even call myself a runner anymore. I don’t personally know Gabe. I don’t know exactly what she is going through.
But, I do know there is so much I can relate to in her story. And I know there are many out there who can relate. I applaud her openness when it would be so easy to go quietly into treatment. Instead she chose to share and I feel a little less alone and grateful for the stereotype she is shattering.
I also know if you passed her (or I) on the street, you might (incorrectly) assume we are healthy because we are young and fit. Then, once our truth was revealed, you might (incorrectly) assume we should be at home with a scarf covering a bald head, cup of tea in hand, while staring out a window.
Cancer’s teachings are infinite and this documentary of Gabe’s race reinforces a truth I know all to well. Things are not always as they appear.
Gabe Grunewald is a professional runner and an adenoid cystic carcinoma survivor. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram her website.
And if you needed more evidence that things are not always as they appear:
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