Monday, February 2, 2015

Two Strangers

Friday evening, I headed to Breckenridge with some dear friends to get a way for the night. Eat yummy food, play games, and spend time together. That evening we climbed in an SUV to head in town for dinner. The snow covered the slopes and the town was beautiful. It was still lit up with Christmas lights. It looked magical.

Mountain towns seem to hold secrets that only they know. They have such a mystery that I have fallen in love with after living in Colorado for so many years.....

Upon walking in to the restaurant I removed my beanie hat. So much better I thought. My head is very sensitive and is often irritated by the touch of fabric. So not wearing anything often feels best. My nearly bald head just covered in baby hairs was exposed for others to see. The onlookers glanced, a few smiled.... I carried on. Over laughter and conversation we had dinner. For that moment I tried to forget. Be there in the moment.

I can do this I thought. Be present and not think of the reality that is ahead.

As I have often spoken of, that is what I fight for. To be present in what is today. Not to worry about what the coming days bring. But yet my little gentle heart forgets sometimes... and I am reminded. I drift to a far off place that only I know how to get to. A place that reminds me of what this journey has been. Of what lies ahead. If I really get carried away I remind myself of my fears. I let my fears overshadow the present..... A wonderfully powerful thing the mind is.

I am learning to embrace these little mind drifts I have, but am having a hard time letting them be OK.

While amongst friends I drifted to that distant place and someone asked, "Are you OK? What is going on."

I nodded. Then said, "Everything was fine."

I lied.

The truth I just couldn't bare to share. But the fact of the matter is, these people have been with me. They know. They understand. They have showed up, loved on me and don't expect me to "be fine". For that I am so grateful. To be given the space to not have everything together. A safe place to share my emotions and my heart in this journey, have been some of the greatest blessings I have been given. (so many of you have given me that).

Sometimes everything really is just fine, but other times it is not. That is just the way it goes.

A friend (I am calling her that now) someone whom I have mutual connections with from Louisville was was just diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She has a family. A husband. A new baby. Today she went in for her first round of chemotherapy. We have messaged back and forth a few times, because I simply just wanted her to know I was thinking of her. That I wish I could go with her and hold her hand during chemo. Because although are diagnosis are different. I kind of know. I know what it is like to yearn to see God working in the midst of heartbreak. Or what is like to have fear that is so real it feels like it will suffocate you. Or to be bombarded by individuals who tell you everything will be fine. That God is with you. Because while that someday may come when we both may very well be fine, our present reality is hard. It hurts, and loving God in this, is hard, but oh so worth it. And oh so good.

It is a very strange  to be connected by this cancer "club" that I never wanted to be in. That someone I do not know ,but a sister in Christ, I can ache with her. That we can say things and just know.

Another friend of mine from Colorado, flew home Sunday to be with his sister in Michigan. His sister paralyzed from radiation done to remove cancer found in her spine, has now discovered that the cancer has moved to her brain. She has a family. She has a husband who is also battling cancer. They have two young kids.

My thoughts today are for these two women and their families.

All three of us have very different diagnosis. Three different treatment plans and outcomes....

But my prognosis is good. Really good. I am cancer free now (as far as the doctors know). My chemo is insurance. Insurance for it to not return. For these two women their chemo and radiation is their chance at life. I am not angry, but it does make me wonder why. My heart hurts for them.

I think it is a bit easier to choose joy when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you get answers. When doctors tell you that it will be over soon. That is what I get to hear. That is what my doctors tell me. It will be over soon. I will get life beyond this......

So when my moments come, and I drift away to that place that only I know how to get to, I pray I can find myself back in the midst of the hope that I have. That I will get to live beyond this. If anything not just for me, but for so many that may never get to know life past cancer.

I pray that I can find God's goodness in the hard, in this. And while our three stories are being written with cancer weaved into it.... I can believe that God is still really good.

If you could take some of your time praying for me and pray for Jenna and Shelby I would be so grateful. Both of these women that I have become connected to, are in desperate need of your prayers....

I am working until Wednesday this week and my mom flies in that evening to be with me. Tomorrow I go to acupuncture and I have already boosted my water intake in preparation for chemo dehydration.

Hope this finds you well. My weekend even with my mind drifts, was still really special. I even went on a dark night run at the park on Saturday... it was wonderful. I also got to see my best friend from college Sam and her family. 

Monday came a bit too soon. Will write soon.... 

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