Last February while in New York City just before the surgery to remove her lung, Emily was nervous about the effect it would have on her ability to do normal daily tasks. To ease her mind, Miles came up with Lung Day. Lung Day consisted of numerous challenges – dancing in Central Park, climbing a flight of stairs, and screaming “NED!” from atop of the Empire State Building. The idea was that each subsequent year they would have Lung Day so Emily could compare how she was doing, and be reminded of just how far she had come.
The original plan this year was to return to New York for a one-year follow up appointment with Dr. Flores and have Lung Day in the city; however, terrible winter weather on the East Coast put a halt to that. Fortunately, Dr. Flores gave a glowing review of Emily’s latest scans and assured her that she needn’t make the trip all the way to NYC…but Miles wasn’t satisfied…
Last month, on the anniversary of her first Lung Day, Miles and EmTay surprised EmBen with breakfast in bed. The startled yet excited EmBen was instructed to eat quickly as her first Lung Day challenge would start in 15 minutes.
Challenge #1: One Mile Walk
Emily took a one mile stroll with the dogs around the neighborhood. No breaks. No rests.
Challenge #2: Blow Up Balloon
With one of Emily’s favorite new songs playing in the background, she expanded that one lung and blew up a balloon with surprising ease. No dizziness. No exhaustion. She is now qualified to work the local circus.
Challenge #3: Tour De France
Emily was given a yellow top and a bike helmet (aka Steelers football helmet). Channeling the Livestrong, cancer-beating Lance Armstrong, she rode the bike like a champion for 30 minutes.
Challenge #4: Scream to the Heavens
After two exhausting workouts, Miles and EmTay did what any doctor would recommend – they sent Emily up a ladder. Climbing onto the roof, Emily reached the ridge and screamed “I’m NED!” This was a particular favorite for her as last year she would only scream “NED.” To be able to put a simple “I’m” in front of the word this time held much significance and was a source of pride and gratitude.
Intermission: Some of Emily’s closest friends and supporters arrived at the house to partake in the second half of Lung Day and root Emily on as she continued to attack the challenges set forth.
Challenge #5: Lap Swim
Now that her full cheering squad had arrived, Emily was given the biggest challenge yet: swim one lap in the pool. Under the guise of safety, Miles dressed Emily in ridiculous children’s swim gear he had purchased: arm floaties (unnecessary) as well as an inner tube (doubly unnecessary). Fully outfitted, you would have thought Emily had had surgery to add rocks to her belly rather than having an organ removed. Enjoy the laugh, and marvel at how far Emily has come!
Challenge #6: Dance to the Music
Although her post-surgery dance moves typically involve a lot of arm flailing with minimal lower body action, Emily is not scared to bust a move. As always, dancing brings the biggest smile to her face.
Challenge #7: Blow Out Candles
Surrounded by family and friends, Emily made a small speech about her happiness for all of the love surrounding her and Miles, and gratitude to be able to celebrate this day. Then she exhaled like an angry Zeus and blew out every candle on the amazing Lung Day cake that Webmaster Annie had made.
It was a wonderful, joyous day of celebration! And most importantly, Emily successfully completed Lung Day after only one year post surgery. She has rendered moot all of those concerns and worries of living a normal life.