I’m trying to be great this month. After all, it’s my 21st Cancerversory and I have BIG plans for October! My primary goal is to run a Susan G. Komen 5K each Saturday in October. Today was my Terre Haute, Indiana morning. I’d driven most of the night from Birmingham to arrive on time and to celebrate with my sister, Bisa.
But the 2007 Lincoln MKX did not want me to be great. The battery light was on earlier last week but then vanished and never came back on. Then it reappeared around 11:30 p.m. last night as I drove through Louisville, Kentucky. Then it vanished. I arrived in Indianapolis at 1:00 a.m. to sleep for a few hours at the former roommates home and I hopped out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to drive to Terre Haute, about 90 minutes away.
Everything seemed to be fine until the battery light came on. Then off. Then on. Then off.
And then several new lights appeared: BRAKE, ABS, #DANGERWILLROBINSON and I was seized with a panic. I pulled over to a rest stop to turn off the car. The brakes were working as I slowed down. I stopped, checked the regular brakes and the emergency brake and each were working. I cranked the car and the lights disappeared. I drove around the parking lot to see if this strange event would happen again and, nothing. The car ran like a champ.
So I hopped back on I70 and about ten minutes later the brake lights started flashing with a new event: the radio went dead and the air conditioner stopped working. Uh oh.
I looked for another place to pull over but it was dark and it looked like I was in the middle of corn fields. Then the lights disappeared and the air and radio came back on.
For about 5 minutes.
Then the lights flashed, the radio and air conditioning went out and this time another something new: ALL OF THE DASH LIGHTS WENT OUT AND THE SPEEDOMETER NEEDLE FELL TO ZERO even though I was still driving. As in pedal to the metal driving.
Then everything righted itself.
For about 15 minutes.
But then ALL OF THE LIGHTS (INCLUDING THE INTERIOR AND TURNING LIGHTS) STARTED FLASHING, the car started jerking and I managed to pull over. It’s 6:30 a.m. and I’m on the side of I70 in the dark in the middle of corn fields.
I missed Race for the Cure. My roadside assistance company had an old phone number on file and the towing company canceled my tow because they couldn’t reach me. They say they’ve sent a new truck but I am four hours into this wait and no one has appeared.
So, I sit here in my Lincoln lemon on the side of I70 and thought about my morning and how sometimes situations interrupt our greatness and how we often have to journey alone.
Bisa and I had planned to walk this Komen together. It was her very first one and my first one of October. But today she had to walk alone.
The cancer journey is often lonely. You may be surrounded by supportive people who love you, believe in you and are lifting you to the Light but YOU are the one taking chemotherapy and thinking maybe you don’t want to take it anymore. YOU are the one looking like a modern day Basquiat with your radiation markers. YOU are the one experiencing weird food cravings and hot flashes.
But we can still be great in the face of everything that is going wrong! Bisa picked up my packet, live streamed some of the event I hope to one day soon get towed to the Terre Haute dealership. Yes, I missed the race BUT Bisa didn’t. She finally participated in her first Komen and we’ll see each other at some point today.
So I’m great because I suggested Bisa do this Komen with me and Bisa is great because she did it without me. GO BISA! And even though I’m typing this from the side of I70 surrounded by corn fields I am in Terre Haute with Bisa in spirit.
BUT WHERE IS MY TOW TRUCK SAFECO ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE?????
Yes, cancer treatments and their after effects suck and life can turn out to be pretty crappy BUT finding a sliver of something to celebrate can improve our attitude and outlook.
What will you celebrate today?