The feeling is finally starting to set in.
I’m on a plane going back to Florida to reunite with our families after a whirlwind couple of days in NYC for Martin’s champion tour. Yes, you heard that right. Champion tour. My partner, best friend, rock in life is a Monster Energy Cup champion. It doesn’t even sound real yet.
Honestly, I don’t remember much of the last 10 laps of the race. I had my head buried in the back of Joe Garone’s shirt (he’s our team manager). I remember looking up at the monitor and seeing that Busch’s lap times were four-tenths faster than Martin’s and that he was coming fast.
I thought to myself, “Come on Martin, think about everything we’ve been through. Think about my darkest days during treatment when it took everything I had to walk to the end of the driveway and back because I was so drained and tired from the drugs, I could barely get off the couch.
“Think about all the cancer patients like me fighting, especially the children. Think about your team member who passed away, Barney’s heart attack, Cole’s best friend who died suddenly…dig down deeper than you’ve ever dug before and push yourself to that limit you didn’t even know you had.”
It’s true grit and determination. It’s deep in your soul but few even find it. It takes your physical self to an edge you didn’t know you could teeter on. And then I looked up and he was holding him (Busch) off. Barely…but he was two car lengths ahead of him every time I saw him coming out of turn four.
I thought, “If you can just hang in there for a few more laps, we’ve got this. All the heartache and struggles we’ve been through both personally and professionally are finally going to pay off. This is OUR night. We will forget all our troubles and be on top of the world.”
And that’s exactly what happened. Written like a Cinderella story book. There it was. The incredible burnout, the swarm of family members and team guys over the wall to greet him, that moment when he looked over the crowd and locked eyes with me for the first time and it was like no one else was there. Just he and I. In this perfect moment. Not a race car driver. Not a cancer patient. But two people who love each other and have been through so much together. The most rewarding moment in both our lives.
That’s what you live for. Those little moments that no one can ever take away. That’s why you fight through every chemo treatment. Every surgery. Every scan. Because on the other side of all that messy, bad stuff is something truly amazing waiting for you.
No matter where you are in your life… you just have to believe. My good friend Danica once told me, “If you believe it, you shall receive it.” And I truly believed Martin could be our next champion. I’ve seen him at his lowest. I know how hard he’s worked to get back to where he is today. These are the moments we live for.
No, I really don’t want to be known as “the cancer girl” in all the articles and with the media. But if it brings awareness to this horrible disease and helps others fighting at home, then you’re damn right I’m going to own it. I’ll shout it from the roof top every opportunity they give me. Who knows, there could be someone watching at home who needs the inspiration.
We’re all fighting a battle. It’s just on us to remind ourselves daily to be present. To live in the moment. To relish every day.
And of course, to never give up! ?
Love your story and so happy for you and Martin. Really liked the drawing of Gratitude on your e-mail today, hoping it will be on a t-shirt soon. 🙂 Stay Strong; never give up! and thanks for all you do.
If not for having a family room full of guests for the race I’d have cried like a baby. Happy tears, sad, ugly tears. But I remained Sherry strong so to speak. I lost my best friend to cancer on November 6th. She was 55 and truly one of the most amazing, generous women on the planet. She fought hard for eight months ,but a cure was not meant to be.
I’ve been saying for months that MTJ has to win this and win the final race as well. It’s like I was personally vested in it somehow, when in reality I am just a huge racing fan and I recognize the greatness and how deserving MTJ, Sherry and the entire 78 team are of this championship.
An amazing race! Capping off an amazing season that was filled with success at the track but many heartaches and trials personally.
Congratulations to each and every one of you. You more than deserve it. And thanks for the inspiration. Have a blessed off season. I hope you get some more MTJ foundation sweatshirts. I had planned on living in one all winter here in chilly Indiana- but sold out. I knew I should have ordered before we left for Dega but it was darn hot in Alabama in October.
Thank you for sharing your story and for being an inspiration to so many. Your smile lights up the place. Watching you take pictures with your phone after a win. Your reactions to one another . You’re not the cancer girl. You’re the most down to earth , normal girl at the track full of emotion when her man wins. That’s what I see and I love it.
Just a Girl that got into Nascar because her new boyfriend was a fan.
Seven years, a diamond ring ago, and I know more than he does sometimes.
Love this sport
Thank you for your strength and for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal cancer on May 5th of last year. I also had a radical hysterectomy and debunking surgery followed by chemotherapy. Within 3 months after my last treatment it was back and I started chemo again… Much stronger than the first. That got my tumor markers down low enough so I could start a targeted therapy chemo… Zejula. It is in pill form and I take it daily. The side effects are no where near as bad as IV chemo. I have stayed positive through all of my treatments and I have an amazing support team. Your story has inspired me and keeps me strong. I love watching you and Martin AND Nascar. I was so happy he won!! What an awesome race. Thank you again. Never give up!!
Tori, I hope you best it and we are here fighting for you too! I survived lung cancer but now it’s in my rt breast. We will be strong together!
Thanks to you both for being such an inspiration. You guys are a super couple! ?
I was pacing like a wild cat in a cage those last few laps! MTJ had to win for him, Sherry, me and other cancer or severe ilnesses! He’s a champion in every way! Sherry, you are a champion too! You’ve given me the fight back in me. I beat cancer once, it’s back but I’m fighting. You go girl! It’s so good to see 2 people in Love like yall! I’ve got all the shirts but the rank top. Ran out of money. Lol thanks for all yall do! Thanks for the inspiration and love sent to us! Be happy and know we are all here fighting for you with all we’ve got! XOXO
I was shaking during those last 10 laps & praying to my late husband to help Martin win the race, I cried like a baby & yelled & screamed when he won. I was watching with my Sister’s family & they were shocked at how crazy I was. They are not race fans. But, watching with my Sister brought out exta emotions because she has been battling Primary Peritoneal Cancer for over 5 years & may be towards the end of her fight. Additionally, I was texting a friend who I met in one of my Breast Cancer support groups (My sister, my niece, my brother ; myself are all BRCA1+) throughout the race. I have been watching races with her weekly since July but we couldn’t watch this one together because I was in CT, The sad thing is my friend is now on hospice care & Homestead may be the last race that we will experience together?
The bottom line is you & Martin have done more for me as a race fan & a breast/ovarian advocate than you will ever know. I look forward to watching the two of you at the banquet with my friend Michelle on Thursday night! By the way, Martin did a great job on The Today Show! Thanks again for all that both of you do & enjoy this very special time!
Thank You Sherry for your grit and determination!
Stay Strong, Praying for You & Martin
Love your whole story!! Enjoyed watching Martin and reading what you both have been threw. Keep inspiring us all and enjoy every minute. Congrats to you both!! ❤
I don’t think I have ever cried so much during a race..LOL I wanted MTJ to win so bad! You two and the whole team deserve this ! Thank you so much for all you do for folks fighting that crappy disease.. Stay Strong !! You are in my prayers daily
You sure are “Sherry Strong”. We couldn’t be happier for you and Martin. We were on pins and needles watching the end of the race. Yelling and screaming at the TV…”Go Martin, Go You Can Do It”. Bless you all and enjoy this wonderful time in your lives! Can’t wait to watch the awards banquet! I always routed for Dale Jr and had to make a choice for new driver to watch and since Martin and Dale hunt in our area, I’m stickin with someone special Martin Truex Jr. Got my yard flag flying! Congratulations Martin and Sherry. Thanks for letting all of us follow your journey. Prayers going up for you both.
You are truly an inspiration. I’m so glad I found your blog. And I am so happy Martin won the championship. My husband and I were on pins and needles during those last few laps! Congrats to him. Both of your journeys have not been easy but you have persevered. Thank You!!
Sherry you are such an inspiration, we need alot more people like you and Martin. I watch NASCAR every year and never really had a favorite driver. 2 years ago A man that my boyfriend and I went to school with that you know with NASCAR (Matt Humphrey, he drove you both in the golf cart) well he got us in for a VIP experience at Phoenix International Raceway. Martin was the only driver that would give me an autograph. He was very kind ( sucks i didn’t get a picture with him), I was in shock that he would sign my book lol but anyway at that moment I finally had a driver to root for. I wear my Martin Truex Jr shirts with pride. I read alot about the foundations that you both do.
You both have had alot of ups and downs this year and together you fight. You’re not individuals, you’re a team. Not only A Champion in NASCAR but also in the background.
Good job on all you do and God bless both of you.
I have been fans of both of you for a very long time now and that weekend the homestead weekend my husband surprised me on a much much much long awaited vacation we drove down to the race and we had pit passes and sat in the third row near the start finish line and being such a fan of both of you and see you and Martin win and everything it means to you all and I know what it meant to me was just like one of the biggest thrills of a lifetime you all inspire me every day looking forward to an exciting 2018
I’m so glad I found your site. Being a fan of Martin’s, and, a three time survivor of Cancer myself, it just seem perfect to follow you both. The journey I went through fighting the big C was both the worst, and, the best thing that could have happened to me. I know that sounds strange, but, I think you know what I’m talking about Sherry. The worst part was having your body pushed to limits you didn’t know excited. Having to watch the heartache in the faces of your family and friends because they knew there was nothing they could do to take the pain away. For me, that was the hardest part. I hated seeing them suffer. I was OK with what I was dealing with, I knew what to expect, I knew how hard it was going to be, but, watching my family suffer, that was the worst. I’m positive I would not be here today had it not been for my Husband. There was a couple times I hit bottom, but, he was not about to let me stay there long. We got through all three times with love, and, a whole LOT of LAUGHS. I was told there is NO way I should have made it through the first Cancer, then the second Cancer, the odds were less than 10%. Needless to say, when they found a different Cancer the third time around, they didn’t even talk about odds. Well, I MADE IT, I beat the odds every step of the way. I NEVER GAVE UP, I NEVER STOPPED FIGHTING. I had no idea I was SHERRYSTRONG way back when, but, I WAS. Thanks so much for sharing your story, giving inspiration, and, letting us be a part of your journey. Congrats to you and to Martin, you are both Champions.
So very Happy for you and Martin. I was holding my breath for the last 10 laps and yelling at the tv. Enjoy every moment. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and healthy NewYear!
SHERRY, thank you for being so strong. you are my inspiration. I have been watched since Aug,2015. That’s when the first spots showed up on a ct scan. then Feb of this year I got the news that one spot had grown. It had to come out. I was so scared. But then I thought of you and everything was going to be ok. THANK YOU SO MUCH. CONGRADS TO YOU and MARTIN. What a wonderful season y’all had. May 2018 be just as wonderful. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO Y’ALL.
I am so proud of you and Martin, keep up the good work. I am so glad Martin won.
Congratulations Martin and Sherry for your steadfast involvement with Pediatric and Ovarian Cancer. My best friend has Ovarian Stage 3 and single but blessed by the love and support of her family and girlfriends. We were both international flight attendants for almost 40 years. One minute you have the world at your fingertips and the next life takes a detour. We have a God that always wins as Martin Truex won not only the race but a rare gem like you. We just might drive down to your Lavender Boutique as her hope is to have a place of her own. Charlie had been to so many doctors at teaching hospitals to her personal gynecologist. Finally, May 2014 she packed her bag not for a flying trip but to the local emergency room for a slight fever and fatigue. Yes, she knew before the doctors her body was crying for help. They did blood work and a scan and it glowed, “Ovarian Cancer.” you finally caught me!!! Yesterday as we shopped she showed me her battle wounds as she just had her spleen removed and begged the doctor to aspirate a fluid filled sac and he said it was nothing. Charlie insisted after her second occurrence. We are not doctors but the fluid revealed cancer cells and now radiation. I do apologize for going on but the awareness to let women know a yearly pap test and blood work show NOTHING. Thank you for bringing all this as GILDA would say,”It’s always something.”
Sherry I think a lot of us were right there with you those last 20 laps or so. I know I could FEEL the emotions of needing this for the both of you on a personal level, the intensity of needing this for the team. I know I never prayed so hard for someone i have never met. Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us. You and Martin mean the world to me and I am so grateful to see youre able to celebrate this with him and the team ?
Congrats to you both! I have to tell you my niece is currently going through chemo for breast cancer…and I thought there is nothing more uplifting, inspirational and positive as your story! I just sent her the link to your page, and I know it will help. Thanks so much for building awareness, it’s so needed.
My mother survived ovarian cancer and I was born at 6 mos….it’s a miracle that I even survived that August morning in 1970. But, I did! Unfortunately, my mother passed from colon carncer in 2006. She was very much like you. She helped her friend everyday that had the same disease Hut in far worse shape than her, she was a Guardian At Lietm (helping children in the foster system etc), she worked for 3 years while batting, led support groups and never ever asked “why me?” She put everyone else first, just like you. As a avid NASCAR fan, you are the one person I would love to meet!!! Stay ??.
I was diagned stage 3 c ovarian in July 2013. Had 2 surgeries that year. Since diagnosis the longest time with no chemo has been 4 months. You are so inspiring , thanks for your site and your public honesty. Everyone knows about breast cancer. We need to get more awareness for ovarian cancer. My grandmother & aunt died from ovarian cancer. My former gyno told me not to worry, they were on my Dad’s side of family. We can’t be ashamed about discussing this disease. Stay strong. My hubby has met Martin. He wears his autographed shirt when we watch the races.Congrats. Thank God for both of you, your strength and love.