Okay, so I am actually starting a bit before Day 1. All day on Thursday I anxiously awaited the arrival of Keri and her friend Allison, the New York Princesses. I have known Keri for over 15 years. Her husband Wayne was Andy's college roommate. They used to play baseball together; actually, Wayne was Andy's catcher when he pitched. Unfortunately, because of the distance, we don't get to see each other often, so I was very excited to be spending these 3 days with her. Meeting her friend Allison was just an added bonus. I first heard of her when Keri called me shortly after Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time she was only 33--so young. Years later, Allison was ready to take on her second journey of a lifetime.
Around 5PM, their minivan pulled up. I could tell right away that Allison was not feeling well. She had a fever, chills, and a sore throat. Uh oh, this could prove to be a challenging few days. After a pasta dinner, it was time for bed. After all, we needed to be at Cheryl's at 3:45AM! Yikes!
|Some of our most faithful fans at 4AM!|
Arriving at Opening was typical of any other year. There were a few sprinkles and we were excited to see friends we had been missing since last year. Our first task was to find Tina. Barbara had blown up and laminated a picture of Tina kissing Emma that we could all wear around our necks so that Tina would be with us the entire walk. Up until that morning, we were unsure if Tina would be joining us at all. Well, seeing Tina was indescribable. After all, she is why we were there. Emma was why we were there. Finding a cure for breast cancer will lead to a cure for all cancers.
|The TWP surrounding Emma's ICU nurses, the most special ladies around!|
|Sharyn honoring Bridget|
|Some of Team TuTas|
The rest of the ceremony was a complete blur. Every one of us had the "ugly cry" working. It was just a sobbing mess. I have never felt what I felt that morning. Leaving Tina behind as we walked off was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It sounds crazy, but it felt like leaving a soldier behind. We were the last ones to leave Opening--honestly, there was no one behind us. It didn't matter though, we just needed that time together.
|Cheryl, Patty, Ben, me, and Maurine at lunch|
After lunch we continued together for the next several miles through Newton and into Waltham. The sky began to darken, and we knew it wouldn't be a Boston 3-Day without the rain. Just as it started to sprinkle, I received a text from Connie, saying that our tent was set up! Awesome! Up ahead there was a Dunkin' Donuts and several members from our team stopped. There were about 3 miles left, and I was on autopilot as so many of are when we reach that close to camp. I trudged on ahead, by myself, hoping to catch up to Keri and Allison. These two girls were amazing. They kept up such a quick pace all while Allison was sick. I eventually caught up to them, but Allison too, was on autopilot and pushed on ahead. Keri and I chatted and walked up the long hill by Bentley University, knowing that Gann Academy, our camp, was right around the corner. As we turned into camp, the rain stopped. Somebody was looking out for us.
As I lay in bed that night, I was having difficulty falling asleep. It was almost 11PM, I was exhausted, and I could not fall asleep. My heart was racing. I often have heart palpatations that I take meds for, but these were more frequent than usual. My stomach began to bother me. I knew I drank enough because I was using the bathroom frequently, but my mouth felt like cotton. I felt dehydrated. I kept drinking more Nuun (the new sponsor of the 3-Day instead of Gatorade) but it didn't seem to help. Should I go to medical? No, I can take care of this myself. 45 minutes later I was still no better. Maybe I should go to medical? No, I am still okay. Another 30 minutes and still no improvement. Yes, I should go to medical.