2017 Ovarian Cancer Awareness Teal Walk Recap

Yesterday, I ran the Teal Walk/Run with my friends.

Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer

Last year, I did it with my mom, and I was so so proud of her — for dominating ovarian cancer, for finishing this walk just 3 months after finishing treatment that zapped all of her energy.

Last year, we said we’d do it every year, and I plan on doing it every year I can for the rest of my life. For her, for me, to do anything I can to raise money and awareness.

My amazing friends signed up with me, and we made a team: Team Carol.

Team Carol Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer

We made t-shirts and, yup, we made our own tutus. (By we, I mean Meg and Kelly did, while I attempted to not mess the shirts up too badly. I still have teal spray paint on my fingers, though, so the jury is out.)

I left my apartment at 7:45 for a 9am start, and after two subways, two canceled Lyfts and an unmarked cab, I finally made it to Prospect Park at 8:53. (Love you, MTA…NOT.)

I was overwhelmed by both the logistics and the love as I went to meet my friends to begin. As we walked to the start, I began tearing up as the race signs reminded me of last year’s walk and being so full of happiness and pride for my mom. “Well, crying at the beginning of the race is a new one,” I said to Ashley.

The six of us ran, breaking into groups of two and three, and I stuck with Kelly and Leah. This was technically a timed race, but I obviously wasn’t there to race. I’ve been running and been attempting to still do some NYCM training, but my training has been irregular at best (which is why I haven’t written about it.)

We ran the 3.1 in about 30 minutes, and I just enjoyed chatting with my friends. We stayed to wait for the other ladies to finish and cheered them in.

Last year, I watched the official on-stage program with my mom, and my friends and I stayed to do the same. I began tearing up immediately at the beginning of the program as the emcee said “I know you are all probably here because ovarian cancer has touched you some how.” They did a cheer about fighting the war to find a cure, and tears started streaming down my face as I felt so sad and frustrated that any cure is too late for my mom. (Though, after seeing the hell my mom went through, all I want is for a cure for this disease to be found, if it can help one family to not have to go through what my family did. This is why I write about this. This is why I talk about this.)

Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer 

OK, fine, no matter what the cause, I’ve never found a photo booth I didn’t like.

I grabed Meg and Ashley to start walking around with me, as I was having a hard time listening to the program. Ashley had to leave, and Meg and I continued to walk around. We heard the survivor ceremony begin, and Meg held my hand as I began sobbing and asking her why my mom couldn’t be there, telling her how I had told my mom last year that she would be up on there on that survivor stage for a very, very long time. 

It breaks my heart that she wasn’t. That when the doctor told her on diagnosis that 10-year survival rates are on the rise, and that worried her. My grandma lived until she was 95, and we all thought that this cancer thing would be a huge bump in the road for us and for her, but that she’d ultimately conquer it and be so much more than a statistic. She was always above average, wouldn’t her survival be too? I keep wondering if that’s something that everyone else thinks and says when their loved one gets diagnosed. If that’s an example of the magical thinking.

Meg held my hand and hugged me as I cried and she corralled our friends to move on to brunch. [I have so many special and amazing friends, but she’s truly been my rock throughout all of this.]

Teal Walk Ovarian Cancer

My friend Shannon couldn’t make it, but her husband and daughter came, and it filled my heart to spend time with this cute little love.

Runner & Stone

Also, she gave us a legit excuse to color at brunch. “What? We have a kid with us!”

It was an emotional morning, but capping it off with brunch and coloring was the perfect end to the day. 

I’m lucky to have had 34 amazing years with my mom, and I’m so so lucky to have amazing friends here to help me pick up the pieces of my life and continue to celebrate and honor my special mom. 

Special thanks to Abbie, Ashley, Meg, Kelly, Leah, J-Po, Shannon, Tim and sweet little Audrey for yesterday <3 

Also, I’m writing an article on ovarian cancer for work — let me know what questions you’d like to ask! 

6 comments on “2017 Ovarian Cancer Awareness Teal Walk Recap

  1. Tracy

    I have to say this…you are a rockstar for facing that walk so soon after your mom passed. I remember trying to get the courage to walk in the Komen 5K after my mom died from breast cancer and I couldn’t. We walked a few times since then, but reading your post made me just sign up for the walk this year. Thank you for that.

    Your mom was with you the entire time and I know in my heart just like any other mom she is smiling down on you.

  2. Allie

    I feel for you! I know how much it hurts to want a cure so badly, knowing that cure is too late for the one you wanted it for most. Facing all of this is tremendous and hopefully will make you feel a tiny bit of comfort in the community of ovarian cancer survivors and fighters out there. Just showing up to this event was huge and I think super brave of you. xoxo

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      You know, one of my friends, when I signed up, said how brave it was, and I didn’t think twice about it at the time — I had promised my mom that I’d do it every year and I’m going to keep up that promise. She fought through so much, the least I could do is go do my favorite thing…for her. It was really hard to see all those survivors and one of them not be her, but I imagine that will get at least a tiny bit easier, or at least less raw.

  3. Annie

    It fills my heart to watch you channel your grief into something so helpful and productive. Not everyone is strong enough to do that. I will continue to send prayers/good vibes/thoughts of sunshine your way…you deserve it!

  4. Heather

    Thanks for being candid about your journey through grief after your mom’s passing. My Dad passed away in April and I’m definitely relating to a lot of your writing. The book recommendations in the previous post were helpful. I’m convinced my Dad’s sprit is visiting my 2 year old at night because her monitor starting acting weird just after his passing. I really never comment on blogs, but just wanted to let you know that there are people you’re reaching.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      I am so sorry you are also going through this but I am happy that this is helping you on some level. I’m writing as much for myself as I am for others. What’s Your Grief is also a good site and podcast — this grief and defense mechanisms episode, in particular is TOO GOOD. There’s especially a part about intellectualizing it/attempting to learn as much about grief as possible that really hit home for me…


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.