|Tracy & Trudy Seattle 3 Day 2010|
So this year, on Saturday evening we had to walk Trudy from the shower trucks where she took out her contacts, back to our tents. She can't see a thing, so when we got in our tent and I realized there was an enormous mosquito flying around the top of our tent - she couldn't see it. I tried standing up in the 2 man tent - on an air mattress - then chased the mosquito - with the only thing I could find to squish it with...my sock. Thank God Trudy was blind and couldn't see this all go down...although I was nearly bouncing her off the air mattress and screaming as this mosquito was trying to fly in my face. She just laid there giggling at me. This is why we need boys on our team - to kill the bugs!
The rain started just as we went to bed, and it rained all night. I knew we were going to wake up in a big mud puddle. My alarm clock was set for 5 a.m., all the bugs were out and all that my post chemo/ overwalked body wanted to do was sleep. About 4 a.m. I heard some commotion outside. My first thought was - man, these people are overachievers - getting up at 4 a.m. to pack up their tents and get out on the route first. Then I realized people were yelling and there seemed to be some sense of urgency coming from these peoples voices. It was that moment I heard my teammate Samantha say, "Holy Crap the sprinklers are coming on...we have 10 minutes to get out of here". WHAT? The fine folks at Marymoor Park forgot to turn the sprinkler system off. Apparently starting at about 3:15am the first set of sprinklers started going off at one end of the camp. Quickly the 3 Day crew realized that they were going to go off across the park about every 15 minutes. We had 10 minutes before our sprinklers were going to go off.
I quickly sat up - grabbed a flashlight...and this is how our conversation went:
Trudy: You should probably know that I'm naked in my sleeping bag.
Tracy: You should probably know that the sprinklers are going off and we need to move our tent NOW.
Trudy: Are you $HITTING ME?
The next 30 minutes was utter chaos. First, Trudy needed to put on some clothes. I high tailed it out of the tent. Mind you, after walking and then sleeping on the ground 2 nights in a row, trying to high tail it anywhere is next to impossible. Trudy helped shove me out the door of the tent - flip flops were the only reasonably easy shoe to put on. Crew members were yelling to us that we didn't have time to tear down our tents...we needed to drag them across the park to a sprinkler free area.
Remember - Trudy is now clothed, but can't see. My right arm and hand, because of my lymphedema was all tingly and I could barely feel it. We decide to grab the sides of the tent and try to drag it as best we could. I'm virtually no help at this point - accept to give Trudy directions and to try not to run over or into anyone else. We finally get to the Gear Truck area...now we need to pack up and try to find everything we need for the day. I am still in the sweatpants I slept in and my Team Tracy sweatshirt...my feet are completely covered in grass and mud, and everything - and I mean EVERYTHING was soaking wet. Just as we were repacking our bags, rolling up our sleeping bags - a sprinkler goes off in the middle of the gear truck area. This apparent "sprinkler free" zone...was not sprinkler free. People were diving into their tents trying not to get hit by the sprinklers...luggage waiting to be loaded on the truck was getting drenched...crew members were running across the park with a table from the dining tent to throw over the sprinkler.
I'm not sure I've EVER woke up having to move that quickly, in that much pain and being that cold and wet. All I could imagine was my doctor looking at me and saying "THIS is why I didn't want you doing the 3 Day - 3 Days after your last chemo treatment". Oops!
We dragged our belongings with us into the dining tent - trying to make sure we had everything we needed. The medical tent had to be set up in the dining tent, the place literally looked like a refugee camp or some kind of pink version of the MASH 4077. The rain kept coming down and crew members were handing out rain ponchos. I am still in the clothes I slept in...so I decided to just wear my sweatpants I had slept in, except they were soaking wet at the bottoms...so the only reasonable thing to do would be to cut them off at the bottom. My teammate Eleni grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting...when she was done I stood up and look at the bottoms, all jagged and uneven. Our team decided I looked like a pirate. Nevermind, I didn't care at this point.
We loaded onto school busses which were going to take us to the University of Washington to the start of the Day 3 route. I was lucky enough to sit next to a young lady who was from Neah Bay and was walking for her Senior project. She asked me some really awesome, thoughtful questions about cancer and the 3 day walk. I was lucky enough to see her when I walked into Holding at the end of the day and she asked if she could take a picture with me and use it in her slide show for her Senior Project. I told her I would be honored. So, we all trotted off the bus...feeling like we had already been through a war that morning...but ready to take on the last 20 miles.
If cancer and chemo weren't going to stop me - nor was some rain and sprinklers!
THANK YOU TRUDY, not for just being an awesome tentmate - but for being by my side and a friend through this whole process. I know you would do anything for me - including drag our tent across a field by yourself! LOVE YOU!
|Tracy & Trudy Seattle 3 Day 2011|