I've dropped a full pant size to a 34-inch waist. I'm wearing medium shirts for the first time since the Bush Sr. administration. And if I want a donut, I can still eat one.
About 15 years ago, after more than 25 years as a runner, I awoke one morning to incredible back pain -- as in, I couldn't get out of bed. Because I was in the habit of running, it never occurred to me to stop.
Duffy's story offers a perfect example of a profound, but often overlooked truth about human toughness: Even the most physically punishing feats of endurance are less about the body than about the mind.
After stepping outside of the spooky and narrow world of the Cancer Culture, I was able to recognize that there was an essential element missing from most of the conversations that took place with my doctors. Me.
Running the marathon with Dan felt like a celebration of optimism, of grit and resilience. He thanked me for serving as his guide, but I experienced the event as his gift to me.
From the lingering chords of the starting line's "New York..." to the crowds lining every street, there's really nothing quite like the New York City Marathon.
I worried I was going it alone at the New York City Marathon. I was wrong. I had the help of more people than I can possibly thank. From the stranger who gave me pre-race Chapstick, to the volunteer who let me lean sweaty and unstable against him post-race, I was not alone.
I set out on marathon Sunday with one goal. But that goal morphed into a different one on the course: to show the world that this post-50 woman has the power to be and do whatever she wants.
I first received the call that ESPN was interested in having me in their annual "The Body Issue" from my publicist one Wednesday afternoon in July. I knew right away what issue my publicist was talking about.
At any point, in any situation, in any story in your life, you have the capacity and the choice to actually discover what is underneath the language of thought. What is unaffected, unmoved, unbound by the telling of any story?
Looking back over the past 10 years, I can safely say, that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Having breast cancer was a life-changing event. And for this, I would like to thank my cancer.
Sure, the walk is hard. Losing someone else to cancer? Harder.
I still remember, like a too-vivid bad dream, exactly how I felt when I first heard the words breast cancer in relation to me and my breast.
I lived through something that almost killed me, enduring indescribable layers of pain and fear and loss. Some of us got out alive, and some of us didn't. I am simply one of the lucky ones.
I had no grand plan for surviving cancer with a positive mindset -- I wasn't even sure I would survive it -- but I do have a few guesses about what helped me cope with hope, and not despair.