... or why running for Jenny is working.
Jenny is someone I know through the beginners forum at Runners World online. A lawyer, Civil War buff and incredible runner, Jenny noticed a large lump on the left side of her abdomen one day. Turns out her lymph nodes went a little kerflewey and Lumpy - as she named her mass - and his offspring Lumpy, Jr. needs 16 rounds of chemo to KO their asses and evict them for (hopefully) good.
A bunch of us began running for Jenny, especially when it was hard for her because she felt betrayed by her body as well as the physical complication from Lumpy and Lumpy, Jr. In fact, another forumite began a "Take that Lumpy" challenge for those of us with Nike+ units and Candi posts regular updates at to the total mileage a group of us have run for Jenny.
The other day at the finish line in Hyannis, I was talking to a woman while I waited for Gazelle Boy and told her about running for Jenny. She asked, "So how does it help a woman in Ohio because you ran a 10k today?" I said the moral support, the psychological support of knowing there are people pulling for you and, I truly believe, that it changes things in ways we don't often perceive. I know that if I had just undergone my first round of chemo and knew someone was out there running for me, it would be easier to close my eyes and picture some of my favorite runs while undergoing treatment.
She gave a sort of "whatever" reaction. I know that when my legs began to quiver after 4 miles, one of the things that went through my head was, "If Jenny can withstand chemo, I can finish this race and finish it strong."
Yesterday Jenny posted the following:
"LUMPY IS GONE!
Lumpy measured 12 cm by 14 cm. He took up my ENTIRE left side, from my hip bone up to right under my rib cage, all the way across to my navel. He compressed my kidney, displaced my stomach, pancreas, guts, and liver. He never hurt, but you could feel him because he was very hard.
Today, I poked and prodded, and ..... no Lumpy. The left side of my stomach is nice and soft like the right side.
I am sure all of Lumpy isn't gone yet, but the "visible" part is. And that is definitely a good thing."
Is Lumpy gone because of us running or the first round of treatment? I can't say, but I truly and honestly believe when you have that much positive energy being sent your way, your spirit can't help but smile and say, "thanks, I needed that."