So March has brought with it two unexpected things, but I'll start with the positive. Katie's Crew is growing larger every day and I have FIVE family members running in my honor for Team Challenge at the Napa Valley Half Marathon in July!! Cheryl Boccard, Mary Boccard, Jo-Ann Orelli-Lange, Donna Orelli-Bellantone and Regina Orelli: you guys are my heroes. Together, they will get us 66 miles and more than $18,000 closer to a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Every donation, and especially every member that joins Katie's Crew, not only gives me the hope I so need that I will someday be able to live a "normal" life, but gives this same hope to the 1.4 million other Americans and their families who are also suffering. And that is a very cool thing.
I have also been asked to serve as the Team Challenge Honored Hero for the Napa Valley and Portland, ME Half Marathons this season and I am extremely honored to serve this position again. I have very much enjoyed kicking off this season with a few speaking engagements, getting my story out there and hoping that it will inspire others to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from IBD.
The other thing that March has brought with it is a recurrence of my nasty peritoneal inclusion cyst. I'm not quite sure what to say on this front. Maybe I'd like to say that I have never won a scratch-off, raffle or prize in my life, but I seem to be winning the wrong kind of lottery all the time. The cyst's extremely quick recurrence has been life-altering, to say the least. Knowing that I have to live with this new chronic issue has introduced major question marks into many aspects of my life, from confronting the very real possibility that my health will be too much of a hurdle in regard to my current path to a degree in medicine to questioning the viability of my independence as a mother. While I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by the strongest support system known to man, I would like more than anything else to be able to independently care for my daughter and myself. Staying positive has never been a very difficult task for me, but this time around it feels daunting. Eh, C'est la vie.
I suppose only time will tell what I will or will not be able to do in this very precious life, and there is one thing I can tell you for sure. This is the best medicine on the planet (and without this, I have no idea where I would find those deep breaths and big smiles that I so desperately need):