Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Celebrating Stephanies forever when I have trouble believing in my own

This morning I know I need to write about the wedding weekend but all I can think about is what happened yesterday on my plane ride from Guatemala to Houston.

I boarded the flight and found my seat next to the window. I rested my head soon after boarding, struggling to get comfortable. The previous evening I did not sleep well and I could tell the adrenaline from the weekend had worn off. I was exhausted.

A couple sitting next to me on the plane, asked why I was visiting Guatemala? I quickly shared my short version of the story. Stunned at the news of my diagnosis they said, "Well you seem to be handling everything well. You look really great." I smiled, said thank you. We spoke for a few moments and I placed in my headphones in, hoping to politely excuse myself for a nap. Soon after I fell asleep. 

I woke up just before landing in Houston, finding myself with a to do list that seemed a mile long. I was anxious for the future and the pending appointments that needed to be made. Somehow wishing I could return back to where my cell phone did not work and cancer did not seem on the forefront of my brain. 

Upon landing in Houston, I quickly turned on my phone. I needed to reach the fertility doctor before they closed and as I powered on my phone I found my tears began to fall. I spoke to my parents, asking if they had arranged anything with my doctors and as I awaited my dads response I began to cry harder...... 

My brain began painting the picture of my current reality, my mom and dad still in Colorado and me sitting on the Tarmac in Houston one hour before doctors offices closed in Denver. Tomorrow the four week clock starts to complete egg harvesting and the first week of January I will begin chemotherapy. Not to mention my mom and dad leave tomorrow. I looked out the window, hoping nobody would see my tears. As I stared outside, the couple to my left said, "Well we wish you the very best with everything. It was nice to meet you." Turning my head I looked at this stranger and my obvious tears were visible for them to see. His wife, leaning in asked if I had people in Colorado to help with everything.  I, barely able to answer,  said "Yes I do. Just so many moving parts, you know?". (of course how could they know.... they do not).

I wiped my tears before they fell to my chest and tried to pull myself together. Embarrassed and scared I desperately wanted the plane to deboard so I could find the nearest bathroom to lock myself in. Before meeting up with other guests of the wedding that were as well on my plane, I found that bathroom and cleaned up my tears. A few of the others asked if I was able to rest on the plane but nobody made mention of my puffy eyes or my aching heart. I thought to myself "you hid that well, Kristina, good job."

I share this story because today I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. How it is that without any warning I am so overcome with emotion that I cannot seem to stop crying..... This weekend was beautiful, magical really and something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It gave me forty eight hours to forget about cancer. To be surrounded by some of my oldest, best friends and to pretend for a while that I am well. 

Saturday, the day of the wedding us girls woke up and I had the joy of surprising other wedding guests. Stephanie's father looked at me as though he saw a ghost. He later apologised saying that he knew it was me, but he didn't know how it could be me, so who was it? 

We spent the day getting ready, gamecasting the Louisville vs. Kentucky football game, drinking mimosas and getting primped for the 5:30 pm wedding.

You will notice that I am the only one in the wedding that chose to wear my hair down. I wanted to feel my hair rest on my shoulder for the last time before it falls out. I wanted to look like me, as best I could. So much of me feels different, out of control, hurting, aching and just different, so it was important to me that on her day and in photos, I was the me that I have always been.

The wedding day was beautiful and full of so much joy. We danced, we laughed and most importantly spent time together. On Sunday, I woke up and joined my high school friends at the market before they had to catch their flight. The rest of the day I explored the city rested in the sun before attending the evening farewell event. Sunday evening was extra special because most of our friends had departed and Stephanie and I were able to spend one on one time together. We visited our favorite wine bar, laughed, cried and ate wedding cake.

I am so glad I got to celebrate her forever. Her wedding. Her future because, "I am not so sure of forevers now. Nothing feels certain". (Geralyn Lucas). I could not agree with this more....

Today I am home in my bed. My parents are on their way to my house and I have two appointments this afternoon. First the diagnostic work for the fertility preservation and then my weekly plastic surgeon saline fill. 

As tears continue to fall. As I try and embrace what this month and Christmas is all about with fear and trembling, your continued prayers are appreciated. This is the hardest path I have yet to walk and I am learning to be a good actress. 

So forgive me or others that you cross paths with that begin to cry next to you..... know that all that they really want to know is that their tears are warranted. That is ok to cry. The persistent "You're going to be fine" is often the worst thing to hear in times like this. Sometimes I want others to acknowledge that they are scared and sad for me too, then it doesn't make me feel so alone.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone. Below are some of my favorite wedding pictures:

Trying on my dress in Denver, with my passport.

Wedding day, the four of us. 

Brittany and I with the ruins in the background.

Waiting to take photos.

All of us with Arturo!

Me and the groom!

My second parents and I outside of the wedding.

Christie Lee and I walking to the market Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon exploring old ruins.

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