Spending four days in the warmth and (occasional) sunshine of Florida with the Johnson fam was definitely good for the soul. Although Brin and I chat every few days and she is so great about sending me pictures and videos of my little buddy Andrew, it pales in comparison to spending time together in person. It was so much fun to see how much Andrew has grown and changed over these last few months and I was so grateful to be able to be at his first birthday party! Brinley put so much time, attention and love into Andrew's party and it was simply perfect. From the adorable whale shaped desserts, to the starfish sandwiches, and the month by month pictures documenting Andrew's first year -Brin thought of everything! All of the adults and kiddos had a wonderful time, and most importantly, Andrew was showered with lots of love and attention as he celebrated his first birthday!
Brin, Andy & Andrew - thank you so much for such a wonderful visit. I am so grateful for these moments together. I love you guys so much and miss you already! ps-tell Puka I miss his nightly snuggles too! ;)
Last week was the first week since mid-September that I didn't have at least one doctor appointment! So crazy. It was nice to have some time to just rest, visit Julie and her kiddos in Ann Arbor, and celebrate two of my besties turning the big 3-0! It was fun to get a little dolled up on Saturday night and go out to celebrate with my friends - it's been awhile! Happy birthday Meg & Nic!
I am so thankful for fun times like these because often the days in between can be difficult for me. I am feeling good physically, but the mental and emotional aspect of living with this disease is a day to day struggle. In the past week, I have heard of three women I knew of (although never met) dying of metastatic breast cancer. The week before that, two women in my online support group passed away. Most of these women were in their thirties. Each and every time I hear something like this, it is a huge blow and usually puts me into a funk for awhile. It just feels surreal sometimes to think about the fact that I am battling a disease that will very likely take my life one day. Some days I just can't believe it. Thankfully, I have the most incredible husband on the planet and he always knows how to help me regain my focus on the positive and all the blessings in our lives. I am also so grateful for my new dear friend, Lorri. She is riding this same crazy roller coaster and we have so much in common - from our amazingly supportive husbands to our thoughts on our lifestyles and nutrition. During our first phone conversation which lasted nearly 3 hours, we basically completed each others sentences. I am beyond grateful to be able to call or text Lorri when I am feeling down or scared, or when I am excited about a great survivor story I heard. It is such a blessing to have a friend to turn to that truly knows exactly what I am going through and what a difficult journey this truly is.
And of course, as always, I continue to thank God every night for all of the prayers and support from all of you. I truly mean it. I will never be able to accurately put into words what it means to me when I meet someone that follows the blog and they tell me they are praying for me. Or when I get an email from a newly diagnosed woman that has been directed to my blog and she says she finds strength and inspiration from it. I just never expected it and I am not sure how to react when people say these things, but I just want to thank everyone that continues to support me and pray for me. Next month will be one full year since I was diagnosed! Can you believe it?! I truly never realized how much strength and hope I would receive from all of you following my journey, so all I can say is thank you for being there for me each and every step of the way for all these months. Please continue to keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers.
I came across this passage today and it made me think of my own journey. It was especially poignant for me today as I thought about the women that we have lost over these last few weeks. It is a constant struggle whether to allow myself to read other women's blogs, or whether to allow myself to become close to other women with late stage disease. I know it puts me in a vulnerable position - as many become very ill and sadly succumb to the disease. But although it hurts, I will continue to reach out to them, just as all of you have reached out to me. Thank you for never giving up on me.
"Write about your own experience. By that experience someone else may be a bit richer some day. Read widely of others’ experiences in thought and action – stretch to others even though it hurts and strains and would be more comfortable to snuggle back into the comforting cotton-wool of blissful ignorance. Hurl yourself at goals above your head and bear the lacerations that come when you slip and make a fool of yourself. Try always as long as you have breath in your body to take the hard way, the Spartan way – and work, work, work to build yourself into a rich continually evolving entity."
- Sylvia Plath
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