| MY STORY
As an average runner, I would run 2-3 marathons/year and ran in the 3:30s in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. I qualified for The
Boston Marathon in 1996 with a time of 3:25 and in 2004 with a time of 3:35. In January 2007, a tune up marathon
suggested I was ready to attempt to qualify for Boston again. However, four weeks later, I noticed an alarming change in
my stamina. I could not complete 3 miles without walking.
Following 6 months of cardiovascular, respiratory and GI exams, the doctors had no clue for the fatigue. Then, at my
yearly checkup that September, my physician discovered enlarged lymph nodes and a high white blood count. I was
referred to the Mitchell Cancer institute (Mobile, AL). Further blood tests, a bone marrow biopsy and second opinion (MD
Anderson, Houston, TX) confirmed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Chemotherapy was in my future.
Fast forward to February 2011 when I began the first of six session of chemotherapy. I still wake up sweating from
nightmares about those treatments. The sessions were every 21 days and I scheduled a marathon on the weekend before
the next treatment.
What I have attempted to do with this website is share photos of some of the wonderful sights from my travels. Favorite
marathons to date: Boston, Choteau, Montana – afterwards, hiked in Glacier National Park; Sedona, Arizona – afterwards,
drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon which was snowed in and stayed at El Tovar on the rim; South Dakota – the
marathon started in Crazy Horse Monument Park and near Mount Rushmore, Hoover Dam, Utah National Parks (Zion, snow
covered Bryce, Arches and Canyonland, rain forest of Washington, and Glacier National Park.
Hopefully I will inspire others with cancer to not give up, to continue dreaming, and to live each day as if it is the last.
“People have a choice of two ways to live their lives. They can live as if there are no miracles. Or they can live as if every
day is a miracle” (Albert Einstein). The following is a story about a lady who chose the latter.
Hi Dr. Fields, I thought about this as soon as I got off of the elevator earlier... I just wanted to tell you thanks from a friend. I
have a friend who had metastatic breast cancer. After being in remission for a few years, she found out at Christmas time
that she had relapsed and it was metastatic. She was given a terrible prognosis and was really down. I forwarded her one
of your e-mails and she checked out your website. She managed to get up enough resolve to choose to live anyway. She
passed away this past weekend but she was driving her own car earlier that same day. She had refused to be on hospice
care and had even convinced her docs to let her participate in a trial at MD Anderson. She was supposed to leave next
weekend to participate. She asked me a while back to tell you thank you. Her husband asked me again to thank you on
Saturday. She will be missed terribly but because she was inspired by your website and by Nemours, her daughter won't
grow up remembering her mom as sick and stuck in bed. She'll remember that her mom was planning her birthday party
and always smiling, instead. So thank you from the ----- family and thank you from me. -----