Monthly Archives: August 2015

As the summer begins to slowly fade away, I love how the sun wakes up a bit later each morning and the evenings are cooler. I am looking forward to fall. While this summer has been filled up with adventures in the mountains, bike riding, running, hiking, good food and many wedding celebrations, I look forward to the slow down that the fall brings. This was the first Saturday morning I woke up in my house and had coffee in quite some time. I have missed this quiet spot.

In the past few weeks as I look back on the summer, I am taking a look at how I invested my time, how I rested and am beginning to take some new things into consideration as I prepare for this new season. Today marks two weeks off of tamoxifen. If I am honest it is hard to tell if my side affects have subsided at all. It is difficult to pin point exactly what is a result of the medicine and what is the reality that is “I had cancer”. This day much like the last eight months, I find myself still in chemically induced menopause. I have hot flashes a little less frequent but my body shows no sign of my ovarian function returning. I must be honest this is one of the hardest realities. Every common side affect associated with menopause is very much a reality I am dealing with. Depression, anxiety, weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats… the list continues.

Yesterday I found myself at church, sitting alone in my same spot. It seems each Sunday morning a song is sung that speaks of God being a great healer. Of one day being made whole again. These songs bring me to tears in an instant. I wonder over the truth that one day I will be well. That my body will be complete again. That my body will no longer be the result of surgeries and that it will be scar free. I pray over the words in these songs as I let my tears fall during the service. I am beginning to trust this tender place that God has me in, as I process all that has been. I know someday soon I will miss the intimacy that this time brought. That I will long for the days when I was without control and left to be on my knees.

What moment have you found yourself in that your only choice was to surrender? How did God meet you in those moments?

Somehow cancer became the only story I know how to tell anymore. It is as though every compliment to my hair I have to provide the disclaimer that this is my chemo hair coming back. Then every time I am tired, or forget something I blame the chemotherapy. Or when I find myself stepping away from others I know far well that is the cancer too.

This month, September 30 will mark my one year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer. I am dedicating this month to writing more, reading more, listening more, talking less, doing less and soaking up the sweet memories of one year ago.

May this day find you soaking up life joys, surrendering in your brokenness to see what is going on around you. Perhaps instead of changing your circumstances you can move more into your story to live with more intention and gratitude.

Have a wonderful day.

Love Kristina

The words I can never find….

I find it hard to explain what it feels like from my point of view. What the world looks like now? How my heart is softer, my spirit changed, my mind ever so quick to wander and the gentleness that is life today. The most common question I am asked is, How are you doing?

In order to answer I must ask you, Do you want the truth, the half truth or do you want to hear what is easy to comprehend?

I could tell you I am well. Which is partial truth. My body is doing remarkably well. I am currently training for a half marathon, working out just as I was before my surgery with minor modifications to accommodate my chest. My summer has been filled up, as it typically is. I rest a lot during the week, leaving the weekends for adventuring. Most evenings I find myself at home cooking dinner, watching TV or reading a book. This is the me time all alone. I treasure this so very much. Just one week ago I was in Cabo San Lucas for the week with three of my best friends. We got a lot of sun, a lot of dancing in and a lot of poolside drinks.

As for the rest of the truth. I pour myself into work every day. Show up. Work hard and try my best to leave everything else at the door step. My spirit, forgets all that the past year has been. It often forgets how much has happened. I have learned that I fail miserably at granting grace onto myself. I am hard on myself … especially hard. Turns out that despite still recovering from cancer treatment and diagnosis I have set the bar even higher. I have learned that I expect myself to bounce back and then some. Not to mention I had full intentions to live life well but with great joy, yet I find this so hard to do.

What you do not want to hear is that my cancer story is a living part of my every day. Whether it be an explanation for my short hair cut, my still broken finger nails, and sudden tears. I am still in chemically induced menopause and long for the day that I have a normal menstrual cycle again. Monday I made the decision to no longer take Tamoxifen, for a variety of reasons but feel it is the best decision for me at this time. (will share more sometime).

But more than those things, the real truth is that my story written long ago, God always knew I would have cancer. He knew I would be broken. He knew I would have trouble recognizing the person on the other side of mirror. He knew that my years of body shaming and self image hatred would rear up again as I recovered from cancer. He knew I would start telling myself that I no longer wanted children to hopefully lessen the blow should I never be able to have them. He knew that I would inspire others, yet be brought to tears because I don’t actually believe that I am touching others hearts or that my story means something. He knew I would be lost in the post cancer world. He knew I would miss the comfort and the routine that was treatments, appointments and a schedule. He knew that in this very moment I would doubt whether “remission” was actually a thing or rather a fancy word that doctors use to say until your cancer returns. He knew this. I know because he has met me in each of these places in the last few months.

I appreciate your prayers, kind words, cards, and thoughts. I will try and write more. In just one month I will celebrate my “cancerversary day” or whatever you want to call it. The day I was diagnosed. I also have a few announcements, some things I will be participating in that I would love for you to join if you can!

Hope this finds you well today.

Love Kristina

See below a couple of pictures from Mexico.