Phase 2 consisted of two of the busiest, most tender weeks of my life. It felt like I was trying to breath and take in as much oxygen as I could before I went back down under water, but in this case I was breathing in life… “normal everyday life”. In the past two weeks we celebrated Kaitlyn’s birthday, got her driver’s license, bought a new car, attended 3 back to school nights, 2 doctors visits, 2 physical therapy appointments, a parent-teacher conference, met with the sweet dance moms who are keeping me informed, and I managed to fit in a special girls’ weekend with Trinity!
The start of school is always a busy time, but I was appreciating every minute of it knowing that I would soon be leaving again for 5 weeks and all the while trying to ensure that my family was going to “be okay” without me. There are only so many lists I can make, rides I can coordinate, and things I can arrange to make me feel like it will all be okay, but much like the lessons I have already learned over the past year, I have to trust that prayer is what will help my family most while I am gone.
I hated to leave on Tuesday, but I had to. As hard as we worked to get myself into a clinical trial, it surprised me that I was actually not looking forward to coming to California. I missed the independence of my life that chemotherapy has robbed from me and I was just getting back into the groove of my life, having ample energy to do my “mom” job and run my kids around. There are times that I look in the mirror at my reflection and I still cannot believe that I have cancer.
But once we got here (my mom and I drove Tuesday and Wednesday), the warm welcome from James and Tina and the energy of this amazing place we will call home for the next few weeks, quickly put me into “healing” mode. And I love spending time with my mom. We laugh a lot and I always look at her as an example of strength being a cancer survivor herself!
My appointment with my doctor went well and everything is on schedule to move forward as planned. I was reminded just how lucky that I am to be here as I asked him what would happen if I did nothing, and he told me I would have about 6 months. It seems so strange given the fact that other than the constant reminder (my lack of hair) that I am a cancer patient, I feel pretty normal.
And speaking of hair, mine is growing back and my head is fuzzy. It reminds me of brand new baby hair so I am constantly rubbing my head. I used to be frustrated by the increasing number of white hairs I was getting, but after having all my hair fall out, I realize that my hair color isn’t really all that important in the big scheme of things. My hair is the last thing I am worried about at this point, but it’s nice to see that it is returning.
I am incredibly grateful for the way God has orchestrated exactly the right place for me to be at the right time. I cannot imagine what would happen if I were being treated at MD Anderson in Houston, or if the slot at Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida had opened up for me. It’s incredible isn’t it? Can you say divine intervention? All along I thought my chances for a slot at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center in Seattle was the best because I was 5th on the list there, yet I have since turned down 2 slots at MD Anderson, a slot at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and a slot at Moffitt. My name hasn’t even come to the top of the list in Seattle yet.
“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness — secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 45:3
I have many praises and want to thank so many people who continue to support us and lift us up in spirit and prayer. A special shout out to “my Shari” who has once again come to my rescue to be “mom” to our girls for a couple of weeks. Thank you Shari!!!
Last weekend we were sad to miss an event that we have been a part of for many years. It’s a golf tournament called Wallyball in Idaho that celebrates our dear friend Wally Gruel. This year they used the Hope 4 Kay t-shirt as the flag on one of the holes and all day I kept getting texts with pictures that just made me smile.
Thank you Anna & Wally (& Steve Hoskins for sponsoring the hole) for such a great tribute and thinking of me during your special day!
Next Wednesday I will being going into the hospital for a week. This is the final home stretch and I thank you all for praying so fervently and ask specifically that you be praying for me to be 100% cancer free a month from now.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Onward and Upward!!!