Kikkan Randall’s cancer year – Part 5

With family in mind, Kikkan Randall fights cancer for the life she had planned after racing

Part 5, October: Randall wasn’t the only one whose life changed once she was diagnosed with cancer. Her family changed, too.  By Marc Lester.

Fifth of six parts

Kikkan Randall, groggy and sick, passed her Olympic gold medal through the airport security scanner as she returned to her family in British Columbia in October. Winning it seven months earlier seemed a lifetime ago.

Randall had been slow to fall asleep the night before, suspended by medicine-induced hot flashes and recurring, unpleasant thoughts. At a coffee stand before boarding her plane, she was brief with a fan. Her stomach tumbled.

This was Randall’s harshest chemotherapy aftermath yet. Seated on the plane, she covered her mouth with a mask, folded her body forward on her tray table, and closed her eyes. Reading lights reflected off her bald head.

In Penticton, her toddler was also miserable. Breck, 2, was in the grip of an ugly cold. Randall’s husband, Jeff Ellis, had planned for a walk outside their hillside home in southcentral British Columbia, but Breck wasn’t having it. He was nearly inconsolable when they loaded him into the minivan for a soothing fall drive instead.

This is a family constantly recalibrating.

Randall held her son’s hand as Ellis drove the minivan across the bucolic countryside of vineyards and orchards. They moved here weeks after Randall’s final race, but six months later, preoccupied with her cancer, there were still many roads unexplored and experiences on hold.

For the complete article click HERE.