I am working really hard at finding peace in my body, mind and spirit. I can’t say I made it through the day without crying and feeling overwhelmed. But, I can say that I laughed and that felt really good.
I started my day with yoga and quiet time on my own to prepare for what the day might hold. Then, I walked with my dear friend DJ on a route we used to run after dropping off our kiddos at school. (and I will run again!) It felt so good to be out in the fresh air and feel my blood pumping. Then we bellied up to the “Life Bar” for a wheatgrass shot and a couple smoothies. I’ve never been much of a shot girl (I much prefer a nice glass of cabernet or a micro brew beer) – can’t say wheatgrass is much better than Jager,,, but I’m told it is super good for you. So, bottoms up! I’ve enjoyed talking with the folks at the Life Bar about all the ideas behind eating a raw and whole food diet. I’m not saying it’s the “magic pill” that will make my cancer disappear. But, I am a person of action and I recognize I need to be doing something to make my body stronger and healthier to fight off these damn cancer cells.
DJ dropped me off at the Hope Scarves office and I spent several hours packing up suitcases and getting Amy and Erica ready for the C4YW (Conference for young women) in Orlando this weekend. Hope Scarves debuted our organization at this conference 2 years ago (our website literally went live as we handed out our brochures to young women). It was really hard for me to send my little “baby” off without me. But, I am also so excited that the organization has grown this much in two years and that we have two amazing women on staff to represent the mission and my dreams. I am not going to miss next year! Maybe Hope Scarves can even be a workshop or I can be a speaker! (hint, hint people of influence) Then, I mailed this weeks scarves. 13 scarves headed across the country to women facing different types of cancer, struggling to find hope within their diagnosis. My hope is that when they get their hope scarf they feel the encouragement and determination of those that have walked this path before them and they feel hopeful. Even if it is for just a moment. Hope is an amazing gift.
Just as I was heading home, exhausted but proud of my big day. I got a call from U of L James Graham Brown Cancer Center that they had reviewed my case at the tumor board and Dr. Riley had room in her schedule to see me today if I could come in. So, of course I went, anxious to get input from another doctor highly regarded in the breast cancer world. Turns out Dr. Beth Riley and I know each other – our kids go to the same school. We share many mutual friends. She was kind, sensitive and straight forward with her approach to my diagnosis. Of course, she didn’t really offer any different information than the other doctors. How my tumor will react to treatment is uncertain. But, she agreed I need to hang on for science. There are more drugs coming out to fight metastatic disease and hormone therapy has a lot of promise to look at targeting treatment to each individual person. She thinks I should have my ovaries removed and also consider a hysterectomy. The hard part is we just don’t know what my tumor or other cancer cells will do. But, we can hope. She absolutely agreed with me on that. For that, I am thankful. Someday I hope I can speak to a group of med students and share this experience. Just let them know how powerful their words can be and how deeply a little compassion goes when you look at a patient as a whole person- body, mind and spirit.
So, now I sit here reflecting on this day. Thinking about how my cancer hasn’t changed from a couple days ago, but how much stronger I feel. How much more capable I am to fight. It still hurts to look at my children and husband and think about the future. It is still hard to listen to friend’s talk about their family ski trips over Presidents Day weekend when our life is so off track. But, I have today. So do you.
Each day is a gift. Embrace it with your body, mind and spirit.