April 10, 2013

Francie: Definition of Determination

Part three of three in a series

If you missed my first two posts, Running as Grace and No One Knows You Better, I can catch you up to speed: Girl trains for third Ironman, has breast cancer surgery three weeks before race, scratches race, running is (again) her saving grace. You can read the full story in The Competitor in Me II: Conquer Fear.

The week following my last radiation therapy, I had a follow up appointment with the radiation care team. Katy the RN went through her list of questions, to make sure that I was able to be released from their care. I enjoyed this nurse. It was a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to hear about her progress with learning to swim, but I was on my way and she would do absolutely fine without me.

“Do you feel any fatigue?”

“No. I feel good.” I smiled. The shoe never did fall on me.
“Hmm. That’s good. You know, two out of three people experience fatigue.”

I did know that statistic. In fact, I had heard it so many times from this place that I think I may develop fatigue on account of hearing about it so much.
“I really thought I’d be one of them, but I lucked out.”

“Are you still working out?”


“Yes.”

“Great!”

“My theory is to keep moving. Now that this is over, I can build up again.”
“You know, you are quite…exceptional.”

I didn’t think so. “Um…” I squirmed…
“Really, you worked so diligently and it has paid off. You really are exceptional.”

“I don’t feel it, but thanks.”
“You should be proud of your efforts. This was hard. You took good care of yourself and sailed through it. How did you do it?”

I paused. I had no idea what I was doing! Well, yes I did. I’ve been a runner since I was 15. I knew exactly what I was doing.
“Katy, every day was a battle with fear, even just to drive to this place.”

“I can only imagine. What worked for you?”
“If I think about how I would prepare someone else to sail through it, I would tell them it takes two things: prayer and determination. And a few great supporters. So, three things.” I found myself smiling. Yes, I was smiling about how I handled breast cancer. What a moment this was!

“Your determination is beyond most people’s determination.”
“This may sound sassy, but I mean it honestly: maybe most people don’t have the definition right.”

Do you have your definition of determination right? I’m not saying everyone can continue running through a major illness, but when you are 100 percent determined, and excuses are few and far between, things will fall into place for you.

1 comment:

Allen said...

Francie, your experience reminds me of comments made to me when I was in the hospital in 2004. My wife and I were in a serious auto accident, and I came very close to death. After three weeks in the ICU, I went to a different hospital for 10 days of therapy. Each time a new nurse came into my room, she said, "So, you're the runner I've heard about."

Thanks for sharing with us and helping all of us have more determination to live a full life!