February 20, 2012

I questioned myself on whether I should write about my abdominal mass. I really did. Is this something I really wanted to put out there, share on social media? At first I just wrote it all down and saved it, not intending to share it. Just intending to act like everything was normal.

But it wasn’t normal. And I am not a good actor. I am a writer and I share things. Somewhere someone might be going through the same thing and if I write it down someone might at least know they are not alone. I am not one person here and another in real life. I’m just not one of those people who can’t not be real.

It’s a lonely place to be to be truthful, even though there is an entire world around you. You smile at the well wishes and you nod in understanding and hope with everyone that it is in fact an alien baby (what will we name it?). But at the end of the day it’s you. In the arms of whom you love, yes, but still feeling the big black hole of that unanswered question that you began the day with.

If someone else knows that I feel this way too then it’s worth sharing the story. Whatever it is we are going through we are alone but yet we are not.

One day at a time never became so true and so important.

My husband keeps things real. My son keeps things light. My mother and father keep things in perspective. My doctor (s) keep me realistic, My Coach keeps me in the present moment,  and my friends keep me laughing. Then there are the people who pop up with the kindest words and the shoulders to lean on. The ones you don’t expect. Like my friend / colleague Doug. My friend Lynn who treated my concussion in Lake Placid and asked me to spell WORLD backwards. Those are the chocolate chips on top. You put it out there not asking for it or needing it but appreciating the genuine love and friendship around you. That you don’t always take the time to remember is even there.

So lesson number one through all of this is man….. I am eternally grateful for every single person I have in my life. Many I never realized were there.

Sunday morning I got to share a wonderful long run with Greg. I ran without pace and without heart rate just the effort and the feel. I ran a route I have not run in ages, yet it used to be my old standby. Halfway through the run I wondered why I hadn’t been running out here, when I did I became so strong. It’s relentless with hills and beautiful and beautifully painful all at the same time.We ran longer than necessary yet not a minute shorter than needed. We didn’t say much if anything at all but man it was just good to run.

Lesson number two….. run more often with friends and run in beautiful places where I am reminded that there is a great big world out here.

When I got home I made pancakes and eggs and the three of us had a good old fashioned Sunday breakfast. I took a nap on the couch while Curt built a fire in the wood stove. There is nothing like the smell of a wood burning stove. I recently started streamlining my schedule to be home, because home is where I love to be. When I have had to weather storms in my life I am so wickedly lucky that Curt freaking Eggers is the one I weather them with. This man is the sail in my sailboat. The wind beneath my wings and eleven years ago when we said those vows to each other, hell we meant them.

Lesson number three…… home with these guys is where my heart is.

Let’s remember that things like this found in this manner are more often than not benign. It would be really rare if this was a big horrible malignant tumor. Yet these are the situations and experiences that clarify everything very quickly and cause you to realize that you can get caught up in the bullshit of life, or you can get caught up in life. We should not need a brush with anything to snap us into that reality. Suddenly those few people in the world you don’t seem to align with….. don’t matter at all anymore.

Lesson number four  … leave the crap on  the ground.

I felt such freedom in my training just because I looked up and not at the watch, and just to see I recorded everything I did. When I hit everything just as I would have if I were looking….. I came to the understanding that I really do know myself as an athlete. I really can feel it deep within me again. The thought of the remote and small possibility of losing my season hit me hard. For the reason of……. I love to race. I love the taste of the salt water, the feel of the wind on the bike and the sight of a finish line after giving the distance my all. I love that feeling that competition brings to me. I can’t describe that feeling but I feel it when the gun goes off and I feel it when I am in the thick of it. It’s where I find myself every time, I mean find myself. I won’t give that up for anything. I won’t give up that opportunity for anything. Call it love of the game, call it what you will. I won’t let that slip through my hands and once and for all I will just simply remove all the barriers I thought that I even needed to work through. Simple. Start, go, finish. With my heart and my head and the preparation I have underneath me.

Lesson number five……… never allow my passions to be halted.

Believe it or not, whatever this all turns out to be I am glad it happened. I needed a good slap in the face. I needed a good wake up call. I needed a good grab me by the shoulders and shake me and shake me hard. If it turns out to be Alien baby then we need not only a good name but I need a good agent as the press will soon be descending upon my residence and I will need a good deal to be published in tabloids!

Let me straight, in my heart and soul I don’t believe this to be anything horrible. I don’t call that denial I call that realism. I *may* have had a slight panic on Friday to poor Jesse, and a few others (rolling my own eyes here. Get your head on straight Eggers), But they are the ones who snap me back in line and do it quick. We don’t worry about anything until we have something to worry about. I will let you know the moment I know.

There is power in community and there is even greater power in love.

Lesson number six….. soak up the power of love.

Now should you ever experience a scare, unwanted alien pregnancy, whatever it might be….. please know I am here for you. We lean on each other, we get through.

Lesson number seven: don’t be afraid to lean.

Lesson number eight needs no explanation: your parents are always right.




  1. Thinking about you, Mary – in a very hopeful way. You’re a strong, strong chica. Alien babys have nothing on you! Hugs to you.

  2. Mary, thank you for sharing. You have helped someone else whether you realize it or not.

  3. Ah, Michael (Mary!), you summed up what’s important. You are in my thoughts – as you often are…

  4. wisdom.

  5. Mary you will get thru this but nobody said it was fun, building experience my A$$. It sucks. I’ve been there and I’ve had the sleepless nights when everything is what you studied in school and then you see the sun rise or the snow fall and it’s another great day! I’m glad you shared. It’s gonna be ok!

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