Next Saturday, Oct 23 CrossFit Intrepid will hold our Barbells for Boobs fundraising workout. The workout is “Grace” or 30 Clean and Jerks for time and the charity is Mammograms in Action. Check out the video above to learn how the money raised will be used to support women, especially those with no insurance or extremely high deductibles, will receive money for mammograms.
Breast cancer hit very close to home for one of our favorite Intrepids, Stephanie. She was kind enough to share her story and thoughts on the Barbells for Boobs event.
October is breast cancer awareness month and ironically around this time of year in 2006 is when my aunt (I call her EE) was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember being in shock and disbelief. Cancer just didn’t seem possible. She looked healthy and seemed just fine. The months that followed were filled with many tough decisions about how to move forward and the type of treatments to undergo. My aunt was fortunate enough to get in to the City of Hope for her cancer treatment. She decided on traditional therapy, which consisted of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
The most difficult time was when she was undergoing chemotherapy. The doctors informed her about the possible side effects of chemo, but I don’t think any of us were mentally prepared for what was to come. At the time, I was starting my third year of schooling for Chinese Medicine. I felt a sense of responsibility because I was studying medicine and took it upon myself to do whatever I could to help. I thought to myself, if I can’t even help someone so close to me what was the point of practicing medicine. So, during the course of her chemo I made it a point to be by her side as much as I could. At first, she acted so strong and held together. As the treatments progressed the side effects magnified. She had constant nausea, pain so deep it went to her bones and hair loss. All I could do was follow her around like a puppy dog and watch her suffer. I felt utterly helpless and useless. One day she disappeared into her room. I went to check on her and she was in tears kneeled down in front of her bed in desperation because of the pain. Seeing her broke my heart, I wanted so badly to be able to take her pain away and to ease her discomfort, but I couldn’t. I just gave her a big hug and stayed with her.
Later she told me what me being there meant to her. When I was there at her place she felt she had to be strong for me so she acted strong, but that day when I saw her break down was when she finally let her guard down to let me be strong for her. This is what she said that I told her in the moment I saw her kneeling at her bed, “It’s ok EE, you don’t have to be strong all the time.” She let it all go at that moment and it actually made her feel better. Being there with her during that time taught me so much about suffering, strength and letting go.
Recently, in conversation she told me that even though her diagnosis was in 2006 it was actually 2004 that she noticed a lump in her breast. It was also in 2004 that her doctor suggested she get a mammogram. My aunt didn’t really give a second thought to getting a mammogram because her doctor didn’t really express the importance or explain why she would need one. She also told me that she didn’t really know much about cancer let alone breast cancer. She felt fine and the lump didn’t bother her. It wasn’t until the lump grew painful in 2006 that she mentioned it to her doctor. At that point they did a biopsy and confirmed that it was cancer. I remember distinctly when she showed us the lump in her breast. It was not small. I always wondered how she missed it and hadn’t detected it earlier. She tells me now that if she had been more informed and had taken care of the lump in 2004 she wouldn’t have had to go through chemotherapy. When she finally took action it was beyond early detection and conservative treatment. I would not even want to imagine what would have happened if she had waited any longer.
Thankfully, my aunt has been cancer free now for 3 years. To this day I am still amazed by her strength and tenacity. She devotes her time and energy to staying healthy, educating people about the importance of mammograms and empowering those who have received the diagnosis of cancer.
Hopefully events like Barbells for Boobs will continue to bring more awareness to breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
If you’d like to help raise money please go to the Barbells for Boobs website to sign up for $35 or make a contribution of another amount. If nothing else, please just show up and show your support for raising awareness of breast cancer.
1 Round of Cindy (5 Pullups, 10 Pushups, 15 Squats)
50 Double Unders
2 Rounds of Cindy
40 Double Unders
3 Rounds of Cindy
30 Double Unders
4 Rounds of Cindy
20 Double Unders
5 Rounds of Cindy
10 Double Unders
*original workout posted by CrossFit Gotham*