The hunt

Mar 23

This morning I woke to the normal hustle and bustle of my girls.  Brad went to a March Madness event last night, and thus I got up with Thing 1 and Thing 2 this morning, a rare happening on the weekend.  (My hubs, aka SuperDad, always lets me sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays while he does the early shift solo.  I know, I count my blessings every day that he. picked. me.) Maren is awake first almost all the time.  Sometimes she comes in and snuggles with me (us, if Brad is still home).  More often, she draws or plays in her room.  (Current obsession = Legos!)  Often she will read books in bed.  (How do I have a child who is old enough to read! whole! books! independently!)  She loves her mornings and her independence.  I have never been a morning person, so I am happy that she self-entertains (for the most part) in those wee hours. Greta wakes and hollers, “Mom!  Where?!  Are?!  You?!” in an I-mean-business tone.  Occasionally I am spared “Mommy” shrieking, and it is replaced with her favorite adult of the day: Daddy, Phenom, or someone else who saw her the previous day. Maren requested that she and Greta wear one of their few matching outfits, and since they were clean, I dug them out of the bottom of the laundry basket, shook off the wrinkles, and I let them.  Finding matching outfits in a 7 (7!) and a 2T/3T is a challenge, but they both ADORE matching each other so it is worth the hunt. This morning Brad woke in time for the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  (And Maren and Greta were accidentally in matching dresses!  Score!)  We live in a neighborhood of about a bajillion kids (love it!) and by 10am this morning there 1,500 eggs scattered all over the green space.  (1,500 eggs is enough for 125 children to “find” a dozen.)  As you can imagine, the idea of “hiding” 1,500 eggs in an area the size of two soccer fields is laughable, but as the event is designed for the smallest kiddos, it works. I love springtime because everyone comes out after a long winter of hibernation.  It...

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Mar 22

Today I rallied back from the flu to resume normal operations.  I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Awesome today.  It was remarkable to look at the same (but different) advertisements for wigs and mastectomy products in her waiting room.  Unlike last year, it was not hard to put on the gown; I’ve donned lots of those in the past year.  The receptionist, one of the people I credit with saving my life, said, “I saw your name on the list and I was excited to see you!” I grinned at her, as I had been wondering whether she would remember me given that hundreds of breast-troubled women move through that office every week.  I said, “I’m terrific, and you are still one of my favorite people on the planet.  You showed me compassion when I needed it most.” She said, “Well, you look great.  How are you?” (I was surprised she just hadn’t looked at my chart to find out.  Perhaps there is something to the whole HIPPA rigamarole.) “I started chemo eleven days after I first spoke with you last year; the same day I heard the C word for the first time.  And today is my 200th day of No Evidence of Disease.  I.  Am.  Fabulous.” What if that sweet receptionist had not squeezed me in that fateful day last year? What if Dr. Awesome had not done the biopsy instead of scheduling an operating room at the hospital on a later date (as is the normal procedure for biopsies)? What if the cancer had grown for another day or 5 days or 15 or 25? What would my status be now? I don’t really think about these what ifs… I mostly sink down in gratitude that I. am. cancer. free. Those words never get old. Freeeeeeeee! Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.  –Psalm 142:6-7 *PS. I am real-life-swamped.  I owe lots of people lots of communication and it is coming (hopefully soon).  Know that I am thinking of you and continue to be overwhelmed with the LOVE that continues to be poured out.  Love...

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Tile on the cheek

Mar 21

I got hit with the flu this week, and I’m finally starting to feel better. As I was laying on the bathroom floor last night, with my cheek pressed to the cool tile, I remembered the last time I was laying on my bathroom floor. It was nearly exactly two years ago.  I was (very) pregnant with Greta, and I had been seeing a podiatrist to get rid of the plantar’s warts on the bottom of my foot.  The podiatrist gave me a bottle of cream, and told me to apply it to the warts on the bottom of my foot for thirty minutes, then wash it off, and go to sleep.  Oh, and he did mention that I should wash it off thoroughly, otherwise I might end up with holes in my sheets from the acid.  Yowsa. So, I applied the acid cream to the bottom of my foot and after 15 minutes, I was done.  It was burning, so I hopped (yes, hopped, at 8 months pregnant) to the bathroom to wash it off.  The pain in my foot increased dramatically when I lowered my foot to the ground (rather than having it elevated above my heart).  After I washed the acid off, I lay on the bathroom floor with my foot propped up on the counter waiting for the pain to subside.  I’m pretty sure that’s about when Brad walked in.  Since the acid keeps working after it is washed off, the pain increased for several hours before peaking.  I remember laying on that bathroom floor and wishing that the stress of all this foot pain would send me into labor so that I could go to the hospital and get an epidural for. my. foot.  It hurt sooo badly; childbirth sounded good in comparison.  The next day, my foot was so swollen and sore after this acid debacle that we retrieved crutches from the storage area in our basement, and I spent two days on crutches.  Crutching at 8 months pregnant with no abdominal strength whatsoever was not. fun.  I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I was miserable. I still laugh when I remember wishing for an epidural for my foot and being...

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One year

Mar 19

  ‘Twas on this day last year that I walked into my OB/GYN to get a lump in my breast checked, and, six hours later, found out I had hairy-scary-bad breast cancer.  I started chemo eleven days later; things happened fast this time last year. Today I celebrate my 197th day of NED.  Oh.  My.  Word.  It is so sweet to be cancer-free. Tonight I find myself at a loss for words, which is so ironic as it is these typed words that have allowed me to Do This Cancer Thing all year long. Tonight I pray prayers of deep thanksgiving.  Grateful for NED, grateful for all of the love that filled me up and continues to runneth over.  Beauty from ashes, people.  Beauty from ashes. Thank you for your kind thoughts, your gifts, your prayers, your laughter and your tears.  Thank you strangers, thank you old friends, thank you new friends, thank you family.  Thank you for linking arms with me and walking out this life. Life. Is....

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A gift of love

Mar 13

Two people surprised me with some love this week. I know.  Why am I still surprised?  But I am. The first came from a Stranger Friend.  As in, I have never met this person, ever.  We are not Facebook friends or acquaintances or friend-of-a-friends.  From across the country, this Stranger Friend clicked her way to the “help” button and gave money “for the gym.” My friend who manages the “help stuff” told me about it, and I was baffled.  I said, “I don’t feel like I should accept it.  I’m not in the heat of the cancer battle any more.  I’m not worthy of such gift-i-ness.” My helper friend pretty much shrugged and said, “Well, it’s already done.  Accept it.” I walked away feeling l.o.v.e.d. and also wowed at the generosity of this Stranger Friend. So I’ve been thinking about what to say to this Stranger Friend for the past few days, and I haven’t said anything yet because she is so awesome, and I am so, well, I’m just me.  Think about how you would feel if someone you never met gave you money you weren’t expecting for something like a gym membership.  “Thank you” seems inadequate, and “can you please explain yourself” seems interrogative.  (I just want to understand the love!)  I do know that someone selfless and generous enough to give money to a stranger is someone that I want to hang out with! While I’ve been muddling around in my brain all week about what do say about this Stranger Love, my Real Life Friend popped over today and handed me a little key card.  Real Life Friend waltzed herself into the gym and told them she wanted to pay for my membership for three months.  So they signed her (me) right up, and she was sort of mad at them because they wouldn’t let her gift it to me anonymously.  (She’s disappointed, but I’m so glad to know who it was!)  Real Life Friend left me with a little key card, but also with very real tears as I accepted her selfless gift. And I know it was all just meant to be because the money that Stranger Friend gave me is the exact...

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