Yesterday was the day of love. Today is too. Michelle, my friend and business partner, found out she has breast cancer and I love her more than ever.
When I look at all of us, I see runners, wives, partners, moms, business owners, fitness gurus, artists and creators of amazing things. On top of all that, we’re women. And we’re smart. When Michelle and I hit a roadblock in our lives we always say, “Well, we’re not getting any dumber. There’s that.” It’s true. And it’s a good thing women know how to stick together. We’re awesome at that! That’s why we love sharing all the running goodness that goes on here at RMR as well as what’s up in our own lives. So, as her and I move forward with all the running and playing and learning we want to offer with RMR, we’ll be counting on each other, and all of you, for support, ideas, laughs, virtual hugs and sticking together. Michelle shares her recent story below…
Thanks for the love.
I land in Eugene mid January to sunny skies, so excited for the next chapter of my life to begin. Who says it rains all the time over the hill in Oregon? It is beautiful and in the high 40’s, such a change from the dry arid landscape of Arizona. We are thrilled to be together, Laura and I. A dream talked about over many lunches, beers and years, a husband and demographics aside now. We are chomping at the bit with so many ideas and directions to go with the business. We joke (sort of) about turning a whole wall in her dining room into a white board to launch our ideas.
As I settle in and am getting used to my surroundings I notice that the process of finding a home to call my own is challenging me. They are available and then suddenly gone to another, or too small, too big, or just right, but not mine. A previous trip to Eugene had given me the same results. After a couple of days the sun is still shining but it feels off and strained. I can’t feel the flow and I can’t put my finger on it. I try not to let my mind worry about it too much and just give in to the pace of things and trust whatever this uneasiness is will show itself eventually.
I go off to find my way around town, my trusty GPS in hand looking for a listing for rent that doesn’t seem to exist as I drive and drive not finding the address. I stop and grab a treat at Dutch Bros. They are so friendly here. Maybe Eugene will be all right after all. And then my phone rings and I notice the number is my doctor’s office in Tucson. I pick up surprised to hear my doc’s voice and her words stop me and grip my heart. “Michelle, I’m really sorry but you have breast cancer. My head starts to swim, I feel like I am in a tunnel and she sounds so far away. “You will need surgery… and radiation… possibly chemo”… her voice fading in and out….more details that don’t register and I hang up stunned. This can’t be happening, not to me. The tears and fear start rolling and all I can think of is to get to Laura and tell her so we can try to figure this thing out. I feel guilty and sad as I am ready to be here, but Oregon is not quite ready for me. Three days after I arrive in Eugene, Laura puts me back on the plane, headed for Tucson.
Fast-forward 3 weeks. I am still in Arizona, seeing surgeons, getting second opinions and further biopsies before surgery at the end of February. So many decisions to make with my health, with Laura and RMR. The healing time it will take and follow up care are putting speed bumps along our RMR dream highway. We need to put some things on hold till I can get my strength back post surgery and get back up to Oregon.
As disappointed as we are, the silver lining has already begun to show itself. Our decisions in how we are managing our personal lives with our loved ones and our RMR dreams feel slower, filled with intention and care. A softness surrounds our process coaxing us to feel our way as we move through our decisions with RMR. This can only be good for us as we grow this business on its path. The whiteboard promising us it will still be there when we’re ready. And for me, I can’t wait to call Oregon home once again.