2014-07-04 12.02.36As many of you know in late 2013 I decided to become a sponsor of my hometown marathon. My fitness goal was to PR in my age group. Things haven’t worked out as I’d planned.

In February, mom reported a metallic taste in her mouth. In spite of numerous tests, hometown doctors were unable to identify the cause. On April 15th doctors in New York’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center diagnosed advanced stage clear cell renal carcinoma. There are no cures, and in America, there is no routine screening for kidney cancer.

By the time of the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon on May 18, mom’s mobility had been reduced to use of a walker. We did participate in the race as sponsors, and one of her caregivers even fielded a team of runners wearing the green and gold Enduring Wealth technical tee shirts we had produced.

Barely a month later, mom was hospitalized for more than three days making her eligible for up to 20 days in a Medicare-covered nursing home. Dad opted for the government-funded “care” in a new facility. We soon realized that was a mistake.

Mom’s Medicare ordeal is over, and she is now in a private-pay facility with an acceptable standard of care. On her first day there she asked for food for the first time in weeks. If mom can continue to consume calories, it is possible I will see her again this side of eternity.

Losing a parent is common & normal experience. The related stresses can easily destroy family relationships, while the costs can bankrupt the financially unprepared. It’ll also take a toll on our fitness routines. My training volume has plummeted, and my racing calendar is empty for the foreseeable future.