This morning, the last day of the year 2014. I slept in. I had intended to go to cross fit at 6 am, but I hit snooze. It was below 0 this morning and my bed was cozy. Some mornings I find myself in pain. I am sleeping on my side again and I assume at night I sometimes put to much pressure on my expanders. So many times I don’t listen to what my body needs. I have not for so many years. I am always pushing it, never stopping and if the past few months have taught me anything, it is to slow down a bit. Slow down so much to live in the present of the preciousness of life. If we are always rushing we will miss it. So this morning I listened to the warmth of the covers, the ice covered windows, the darkness and laid in my bed a bit longer….
Cancer slowed things down.
My constant list making, my life planning, my expectations met me that day in September when I heard the words CANCER through the phone. My life seemed to pause. My heart shattered. I remember sitting in the car with my mom that day crying. We sat in my car that day for hours. unsure what to do, where to drive, what to do. When my mom picked me up we sat in my work parking lot for forty five minutes or more…. I messaged friends who had asked if I received my test results. That seems so silly to me now. I text messaged some of the people dearest to me, to tell them that I had cancer. I am not sure I could have gotten on the phone if I tried. I could not utter the words. My mom and I frozen in time.
I remember when we left my office and we drove to get pedicures. We drank a glass of wine, and sat in shock. Nothing mattered anymore. We had no place to go, no where to be. The reality that awaited me over the next months was a mystery. The path unknown. My dad was booking his flight while my mom and I sat in a nail salon. Over the next forty eight hours I met with three doctors in Colorado and laid at the bed of my parents and cried.
This morning I took a shower and looked down at my chest. I rubbed my scar lines and the places where the drains went in at my side. I looked in the mirror as I carefully curled my hair. Two weeks from now my first round of treatment begins. This body that is strong and has healed beautifully is getting ready for a new challenge and my fears are very real.
This time last year I was getting ready for a ski trip to Steamboat Springs. This trip was the start of a year of traveling, airports, adventure and connecting with people from so many parts of my life. I took three trips to Southern California, Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Texas, Clearwater Florida, two trips to Kentucky and just last month was in Guatemala. My heart is full of memories, laughter, and so many celebrations.
More than the places I saw, the only thing that I look back and see are those of you that drew near to me when I needed it the very most. All of you that have showed up, sent messages, written cards, wiped my tears, made me laugh and gone above and beyond to make sure I knew that I was cared for, that I mattered and that my story mattered.
I have so much to be grateful for. In the coming new year I will become an aunt and a breast cancer survivor. I have a job that I enjoy and so many good people in my life that pour into it. More than that I have hope that this story, my story does indeed matter and my ever changing heart will continue to learn, grow, let go and move towards grace.
As I prepare for the new year, treatment, reconstruction surgery and lots of healing….. I ask you to keep drawing near. Not just to me, but to those that matter in your life.
Move towards others. They need you. I need you.
My only hope for this year is to have courage. Simply courage for today and by Gods grace each day granted beyond that….
I am heading to the mountains today to spend New Years quietly soaking up that I have today…. and looking forward to the next year…