|L to R: Stacey Russell (Deputy Executive Director) Patricia Thomson|
(Executive Director), Kacy Lowe (Director of Development, Michael Iyescas
(School & Youth Manager), Tiffany Valeri (Light The Night Manager)
For the first time in the history of the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), five staff members are teaming up to participate in the Dallas Marathon - Relay for Team In Training (TNT). They are already fundraising and training for their leg of the race but are facing their own individual challenges. Today Patricia Thomson, North Texas Chapter's Executive Director, talks about her main concern: injury.
"Well here I am wondering - how did I get myself signed up for the Dallas Marathon Relay coming in December? I wonder because at this time last year I was suffering. I was suffering from severe back pain and becoming more and more debilitated as time wore on. It culminated on January 2nd with an ambulance ride to the emergency room. It was then that I was diagnosed with a herniated disk that had been pressing on my sciatic nerve resulting in surgery three days later.
Fast forward to now. I am still trying to overcome the residual numbness in my right leg and foot from nerve damage. In addition, I still have a great deal of pain but very isolated to the surgical spot. I have been walking since two days after surgery and actually got up to 3-5 miles a day. I had made it back to working out at the Y this past May. But then being the impatient person that I am, I pushed myself harder each time and ended up aggravating my healing process. It set me back another month, and then another month. I have now been working on a series of back stretching and core strengthening exercises. It is still painful to get through but I think I am beginning to see a slight improvement. I actually walked 3 miles this past weekend, and even with a great deal of pain and soreness the next day, it seems to have subsided a bit which is saying a lot.
So, I am determined to WALK my part of the relay and not feel bad about not running. I should be grateful for the little wins and not always look for the big, over the top wins. As my Dad used to say "slow and easy wins the race". I will keep this in mind and stay patient and steady as I move towards a full recovery.
In the end, all of this pain and disappointment will be overcome by the true outcome. A world without blood cancer. That is what gets me up in the morning. That is why I do this. I do it for the survivors who fought their way to recovery, overcoming all kinds of obstacles. I do it for those who moved on to bigger and better things. You will all be in my heart as I cross the finish line."
Inspired by Patricia's story? There is still time to create your own relay team for the Dallas Marathon. Learn more at www.teamintraining.org/ntx