Monday, August 21, 2006

These Boobs are Made For Walkin'

One of the reasons I'm not leaving for the D.R. until October is because I wanted to participate in The Weekend To End Breast Cancer. It was a 60 kilometer walk through the streets of Vancouver to raise money for breast cancer research. We walked 35 k on Saturday - from the Plaza of Nations to Stanley Park, all the way around the seawall, to English Bay, where Uncle Joe met us for our lunch break...then down Cypress to 10, then 12th, past Trout Lake...I was ready to stop walking after the sea wall! It was a hot day, but luckily we had lots of shade. There were pit stops every 3 k or so, where we refilled our water bottles and had snacks like oranges, bananas, and granola bars. And we had motercycle bikers who put things like pink bras and boas on thier motercycles, and they directed traffic at major intersections so we could cross safely. Cars honked their horns to show thier support. People decorated their trees and lawns with pink ribbons to show thier support. It was amazing.

The last 7k were brutal. You just want to sit down, but everytime you sit it gets harder and harder to stand up. Legs are burning, feet are sore from walking on solid pavement all day long. I was lucky enough not to have any blisters, but I was battling a migraine from the sun and fatigue. We finally reached our camp at Killarney Park. There was music playing and food and showers were definately a welcome sight. Everyone was limping around, you could tell it had been a long day for everyone. We had our showers, ate dinner, and there were some beverages that were snuck in and enjoyed by some of those in our group...Lights out were at 9:30pm but I think everyone was fast asleep by then! I know I was out by 8:30.

Sunday morning we were up by 5am, had some breakfast, packed up our gear and were on the road again at 7am. Not sure what the streets were that we travelled on, I spent alot of time looking at the beautiful houses and trying not to think about how my legs were screaming at me to stop. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept going, past Queen Elizabeth Park, then through the Point Grey neighborhood. There were 7 of us walking together, sometimes we all walked as a group, other times we split into 2's and 3' then we just ended up walking at whatever pace was comfortable, even if it meant walking alone. We went past Granville Island, through Kits Beach, and at this point I was starting to feel that I couldn't go on any further. Every muscle in my legs was tight and something was going on with my knee that was extremely painful. It felt like the bones were rubbing together or something. I stopped at the medic station and had my knee wrapped up with a tenser bandage, and limped my way to the Cambie Street Bridge. Once we crossed the bridge there was a sea of people there cheering on all of the walkers all the way to the Plaza of Nations. They gave us high 5's, they were all smiling and congratulating us.

It was then that I forgot the pain. It is an indescribable feeling to be a part of something like this. The relief of being at the end of this incredibly long walk is greatly overshadowed by the emotions of knowing that I had done more than just walk. I was one of 2105 people who helped raise over 5.5 million dollars to support breast cancer research. To find a cure disease that took my mother's life. And of course I signed up to do it again next year! Click here for pictures

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I've been shot...

in BOTH arms! Yep, I got my vaccinations today. 2 shots in one arm, and the 3rd shot in the other. Tetanus, Hep A & B...and I also got a prescription for malaria and something else.
It was an interesting experience. First I had to fill out a questionnaire about previous vaccinations, allergies and stuff like that. Yeah, like I remember any of them. (The only one I'm sure of was the tetanus shot in grade 9). Next they give me what looks like a shopping list of vaccinations and the prices. Silly me, thinking that this was covered under my medical plan! Check this out; you have to pay to prevent getting certain diseases...but if you don't get vaccinated, and come back from your vacation with...say...typhoid, you don't pay for your medical expenses. I don't get it. Anyways, the nurse told me which ones I need to get, she explained what all the sympotoms of the diseases were, and then she explained the possible side effects of the vaccinations. It was all very thorough.
Not suprisingly, it didn't hurt at all. I guess when comparing it to getting pierced and tattooed, this was a piece of cake. I'm glad I don't have a fear of needles though, otherwise this might not have been so pleasant. They jabbed the needle straight into the muscle! The arm they did 2 shots in is a little stiff now. The nurse told me this would happen, and that if I keep it still, it will end up hurting for a week. So even though it's uncomfortable, I have to keep moving it. It's not bad though, it feels like when-you-have-a-good-workout-at-the-gym-and-you're-sore-the-next-day...I have to go again at the end of the month to get 3 more shots.
I tried not to think about all the animals that suffered in the lab just so I can get these shots, but I can't help it. It's the opposite of the vegan lifestyle I try to live. But sometimes you have to make a choice, even if it's the wrong one.