Yesterday, 4 years and 11 months, ago I was diagnosed with cancer.
I was told that I had one year to live if I didn’t do as they told me. big sigh.
I did not forget the day, nor have I been able to go a day and not know what the tally is.
I have dabbled, sharing my story here and there over the almost five years.
For some reason, yesterday, was a tough day. Then I put on a cute & sassy pair of big girl panties, extra jewelry, beautiful lipstick, kick-ass red cowgirl boots, asked Alexa to turn on some music and just like that, the day, as well as my outlook, changed dramatically.
Sometimes I can be a dunderhead and forget to put “it” out there for the universe to handle.
I can sum up the last few years with one sentence.
I chose the road less traveled.
I made the choice to respectfully and quietly decline the offer of chemotherapy and radiation.
(very important side note: those souls who choose chemotherapy & radiation and live, are amazing. When 97.3% of the time, it doesn’t work, those folks walking among us are astonishing. Tip your hat to them for what they have endured. They are living miracles.)
Having cancer is tricky, harsh, brutal, crappy, awful, LOUD, difficult, lonely and surprisingly, takes away your breath, some of your courage and brave people skills.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
The thing about Robert Frost’s quote is that while being true words, he doesn’t mention how dark, scary, lonely, quiet, and not fancy that road is.
On one hand, frightening and unknown, pink ribbons, goodie bags of spirit-lifting lipstick, pink boas, friends rallying around, pins, hats, walk-a-thons, embroidered vests, support groups, a very clear, mapped out route awaits.
The other choice was an equally frightening unknown, however dimly lit path, with Mr. Right and I holding neon yellow high lighter pens for research & studying and gallons of green juice with a couple of folks in your corner. Sort of a bizarre version of a sad, dull, blush colored lipstick, sad face “before” picture you see in fashion magazine layouts.
I get it. It is scary.
In the beginning of the journey, I was heartbroken when “friends” jumped ship. Others politely & quietly moved to the other side, no big break-up, just quietly faded out of the picture. I was crushed when some relatives thought my choices were ridiculous & uninformed and chatted behind my back. I won’t even go into the mean & hateful things some of my doctors & medical staff said to us. Certainly not worth my breath to repeat.
While trying to re-build my broken immune system (yes, every single person with disease has a broken, damaged immune system) for quite some time I stayed away from groups of
germs people. Extremely limiting gatherings, extracurricular groups, church, outings, movie theaters, planes, etc. Lonely during the days until Mr. Right came home from work.
Enter social media and technology. Figuring out a way to make new friends through the world-wide webs.
Holy Toledo, because of this blog, I met a new friend and have what is shaping up to be a forever friendship. I’ve reconnected with friends from elementary school. I even put on my brave lion mask and wrote to folks in an online counted cross stitch group.
A couple of months ago, while sounding rather juvenile, I excitedly told Mr. Right, I met a new friend.
For some unexplained reason, I jumped in with both feet. I felt brave and saucy. I can’t explain the bravery. Maybe an angel was nudging me in that direction?
I forgot how lovely it feels to have someone visit and talk and not feel sorry for you. I forgot how wonderful it feels to relax and just write for fun. I forgot how it feels to be curious about another person and ask questions and listen for answers. I forgot how much fun it is to plot and figure out a surprise gift to give to someone else. I forgot how satisfying it feels to make something for someone who understands handmade presents.
I also forgot how gobsmacked it feels to get an unexpected box of pure HAPPY in the mail! I forgot how flabbergasted I am when someone makes me something. Believe it or not, it left me speechless (for a moment). Cookies and treats and stitchy stuff (HUGE shock, no one has ever bought me stitchy stuff) and paper and ribbon and a hilarious card…. oh Lordy, get out the smelling salts.
I had completely forgotten that when some folks jump ship, it just leaves room for new friends to jump aboard.
I am here to tell you that angels walk among us. When you least expect it and need it most.
Fierce angels wearing bad-ass, fancy, insanely large, Victoria’s’ Secret kind of over the top wings. They bravely wear juicy, saturated intense color lipstick, bake cookies and wear glorious shoes we all drool for.
My fierce angel has glorious dark curly hair, wears amazing lipstick and has red pointy toe shoes with glorious big bows on them that I covet. However, in my mind, even to work, she wears fancy aqua colored wings.
In an effort to help me sleep through the night, I began writing this blog 1,152 posts ago.
This installment will most assuredly help me sleep through tonight. Lots of good, some bad all removed from my shoulders and put here for safe keeping.
Thanks oodles for listening to me, holding my hand, keeping me company, leaving kind & uplifting comments. Such sweetness pushes my swing.
Today, I am mighty grateful that angels do indeed bake cookies. Delicious & beautiful cookies.
Here’s hoping that you are happily and surprisingly gobsmacked by a fierce and amazing angel in your corner. One that bakes cookies. Once you catch your breath and stop feeling light-headed, it is a rather lovely feeling.
In this together, friends,