It's June 7, 2021, and today I start a six-and-a-half-week journey of walking five miles roundtrip to my daily radiation appointments. I'm grateful I'm still able to walk after what my body has been through over the last six months: surgery to remove the cancerous lump in my left breast and three months of chemotherapy to be sure nothing was left behind. This final stretch of daily radiation doses feels grueling to me in a whole new way: surgery and chemo might have tried to wreak havoc on my body, but having to go to the hospital every day feels mentally exhausting and a constant reminder that my once-healthy 42-year-old body is now in a fight for life.
I'm determined not to let radiation and cancer take over my summer, especially the first summer coming out of a year of pandemic-induced isolation. I got the idea of creating Walk with Me after reading about how one cancer patient used to ask friends and family to join her for her chemo treatments. Chemo for me was a regular workday. I'd take the elevator to the 8th floor of Mass General, settle into my seat with a view of the Charles River, get hooked up to the infusion bag, and then pop open my laptop and start answering emails or grading student essays.
For all these radiation appointments, though, I needed to mix it up -- and big time. I like the idea of being outside, enjoying walking through the neighborhood and across the Longfellow Bridge from Cambridge to Boston with one of the most beautiful views of the river and city. More than that, I'm so excited that friends and family from all parts of my life have agreed to go along with my scheming and have volunteered to join me on my treks. I
These shoes were made for walking, so that's what we'll do.