Until March 2012, the most defining thing about me was my red hair. Then I got cancer at age 32, as a young wife and mama. I do believe that I am a walking-around miracle: I have No Evidence of Disease (NED), which is the medical term for cancer-free.
I spent most of 2012 in cancer treatment, while also mothering Maren (4.5 yrs.) and Greta (10 mos.) There’s nothing quite like getting unhooked from chemo so that I can rush home to pick up my children from childcare, and commence with the dinner-bath-bed chaos that is life with small children. Cancer helped me to love my chaos more than I already did (and I did love it before, too).
My life has included an idyllic childhood, a sensational family, love (oh, the love), opportunities galore, adventure, and genuine happiness. Oh, and cancer, but I don’t let that overshadow the good stuff.
Once upon a time, I was a high school history teacher. Fun times. Seriously. I loved it.
Brad and I married in 2003 in one of those met-and-married-within-a-year love stories. He is my knight and he shields me from whatever ugliness I cannot fend off for myself. I love him to the moon and back.
I am a woman of faith and thank God daily for the blessings in my life. Cancer strengthened my faith and I point to God as my healer.
Today my girls are six and two. Aside from my weekly pilgrimage to the oncology office, I’m a normal suburban housewife and mama. My hobbies are writing and running. I have a tiny but important part-time job that pays for the childcare required for my medical appointments (toddlers in the Chemo Room are a bad idea). I spend my days doing the best I can, and I’m fiercely committed to being a joy-seeker.
Daily, I fling my arms wide in the revelry of my No Evidence of Disease status in gleeful anticipation of this little life of mine.
I am free.
about the blog:
I became a writer on the same day that I was diagnosed with hairy-scary cancer. After having that devastating weight thrust upon me, I needed a place to process and to come to terms with the Big C. And me. Because, you know, C and I were in it together at that point. I can’t imagine having cancer and not writing about it; I can’t imagine I ever would have started writing without cancer as the flashpoint.
First, I wrote only for myself, to record this momentus season in my life, and to get to a place of peace.
Forty-eight hours, fifty phone calls, and six hundred emails later, I realized that I could not, would not, tell the same story to e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in my life. I made the blog public and began pointing friends and family there so they could stay updated. I tried to write in an authentic voice so that each of those caring souls would feel like they had talked to me, and knew how I was really doing.
I wrote then, and write now, for my daughters. I want them to know me. If they were the only ones in the world to have read these words, that would be enough.
Throughout my cancer journey, the comments and community that I gathered through the blog became a tidal wave of love. Often, I still find myself spinning below the surface as I am crushed by the awesome kindness of people. Thank you, people.
I write when I have time, and I choose the subject matter. Therefore it’s random, but it is real. I could spend time telling you about my failures, woes, and weaknesses, of which there are many, but I don’t want to. I want to write about what gives me hope and joy. Welcome. I want to know you, too.