Two years ago... this week, life changed for me forever.
You may think I am back to normal-ish looking from the outside. I'm not.
Unless you have "done cancer*, it is never over. Sure, the hair is back, no ill feelings with current treatment drug, and of course still alive.
But I have:
It makes me cry "pissed off tears' thinking about how much this diagnosis changed life . . . and I am one of those that caught it fairly early yet it took the whole 9 yards - surgery, chemo and radiation.
So please, as we near the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, get to know your boobs. If it has been awhile, call your doctor and have them check your boobs or schedule a mammogram if necessary.
FIRST OF ALL: the next Just A Chill Ride-50K (JACR) is moving back to it's original weekend and will be OCTOBER 1, 2022.
This was originally posted in the JACR Facebook event for 2021.
"As I sit here waiting for my shoes to dry after sitting in the rain watching my beloved Chiefs have a rough game. I may have dropped as many F-bombs as the team dropped plays.
ANYWAY . . . I am so appreciative to those that came out to the event Saturday, October 9th. We had many new faces and several familiar. Better yet, no 911 calls were made! Thank you (riders) so much for coming and supporting Pink Gravel's event. Without your participation and interest this would still be only an idea in my head. I did not ride this year but focused on making sure the riders were taken care of.
THANKS to the Pink Gravel Crew consisting of:
*Jon, my husband, for riding and being the wonderful social bee he is. Jon did a great job going with my float mode yet kindly interjects to keep me on task.
*My Mom and my coworker, Deb, for being troopers for the 2nd time and helped with no certain idea what I have left them to set up and do. I kept telling them I'd leave a note, but the only note left was telling them not to set anything on the trunk of Jon's old Mercedes.
*Melissa Hopkin for offering to come with her husband to help. I am learning you don't turn down good help. Mel went and set up shop at the 2nd regrouping location which allowed me to check on my lunch ladies before heading to join her.
*Matt Hopkin for providing us with kick ass CP tubs that contain various supplies and Hammer products. Matt has provided these to us for several events this year. Thank you!!!
*I will also thank my kids - the OG members of the Pink Gravel Crew - for being honest with Jon and I in asking for a weekend off from gravel events. (I know, right?!?!)
While Pink Gravel does not look or ask for sponsors, we get a lot of help from the previous gravel events that Pink Gravel rides in or helps with. Thanks to the following for giving Pink Gravel your SAG leftovers to be used by us at other events we work and our own... (Cliff bars, Floyd's of Leadville, Hammer, Gu, and more)
* Pony Express 120 Gravel Dash - for being the first event to really push Pink Gravel out there. The Hoffman's have been great friends to us. The PXGD is a great grassroots event that offers a variety of gravel experiences. If you haven't done it, do. Held in September.
* Solstice Gravel Grinder - for being one of the very first events I personally worked SAG at before Pink Gravel existed. Joe has been another great friend and supporter of ours. Check out Joe's race 2022 Solstice Gravel Grinder in June.
* Haddam Hounds Hundy - A challenging event that my husband has rode and I just go to support. It is put on by our dear friend Todd. He may not know this, but he is my inspiration behind starting the Chill ride out of my little hometown of Dwight. The HHH event is held in August.
* Lazy Horse Brewing & Winery - the last 2 years we have been given some brew to share and turns out the Pink Gravel lunch ladies really like it. Look for their ultimate chill ride in May Lazy Horse Gravel Grind 2022 .
* Bleeding Kansas Gravelduro - I have personally worked SAG for this event all 4 years of its existence, the last two as Pink Gravel. This is a different take on gravel races. I love working with Marcia as she knows she can count on me to be there. This event is also held in September.
* Special shout out to the Unbound Gravel woman's camp for donating a variety of GU products during Pink Gravels stint at the Bleeding Kansas. It was unexpected and appreciated. Strong group of women right there and all inspiring. I am proud to say I have completed two 100mile routes at Unbound (formerly DK) precancer, hoping to get one more UB100miler post cancer. This is a huge June event held in Emporia, Ks.
As you can see, we have a wonderful group supporting us and working with us.
Thank you and love you all! See you around and see ya at the next chill ride on Oct. 1, 2022!"
The following is from a collection of posts from Katie's page:
"My girls told me about this organization a while back....when I looked into it I thought "wow that's neat....I'd like to find a way to help" But in true me fashion I put it in the back of my mind not knowing just what to do. Well, by golly now I've found my way!!! . . . "
"I struggled with what to share and not share at this point. But, here it is....this is a small part of why I wanted to partner with Pink Gravel. Yesterday I left out a very important detail... the founder of Pink Gravel just happens to be my children's stepmom. (Yes, you read that right, she's my ex-husband's wife) Two years ago, if you had told me that Ms Amy would start an organization that I would feel the desire to help with, I would have told you "yeah...nice thought...but doubt that will EVER happen"
Well, things have a way of happening in ways we would never expect. Just a few short days after the stepmother of my children got her cancer diagnosis, my own mom was diagnosed with cancer as well.
These events have changed my life and heart forever. So much more could be said about these experiences over the last two years but for now I'll just say CANCER SUCKS!!
Cancer patients are warriors!! I feel the family and friends are the army standing by their side. But not all people have the support they need before, during and after cancer. Pink Gravel was created in part to help with that and many other things.
I believe what Ms Amy is doing through Pink Gravel will impact the lives of many and I'm grateful she has agreed to allow me to play a small part in her efforts.
. . .
ONE FINAL THOUGHT (I saw this in church today and felt the need to share)
One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through..... and it will be someone else's SURVIVAL GUIDE"
Katie's pink gravel punkins available for purchase
Sold as a pair for $20.
The Pink Gravel Punkin is 2.5" h x 3.5" d
Mini orange Punkin is 1.5" h x 2" d
* sizes are approximate as each is handmade and height does NOT include stem
Please remember this is being done to help raise money for the PINK GRAVEL FUND.
For each set purchased PINK GRAVEL will receive $10!!!
Katie's goal is to sell 50 sets.
CLICK HERE TO PLACE AN ORDER
Fun fact...Each PINK GRAVEL Punkin set takes Katie approximately 4 - 5 hours to crochet and sew.
Thank you Katie for your time, energy and support of PINK GRAVEL.
I am just a 40 something married lady with kids who likes to ride gravel when life lets me. Just so happens I was called into the Cancer Club on October 31, 2019. Fought my fight with surgery, chemo, radiation, friends, family and lots of dark humor. I find sharing my experience helps me. Maybe it can help you.