Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4

A couple weeks ago, when I was pseudo-preparing my workshop talk(s), I spent some time trolling through my blog, confirming dates and looking up data. I found some seriously awesome stuff.

I hope that doesn't sound too full of myself. (Who's kidding who? Anyone who's read half a dozen posts here knows that it's all pretty much about me.) But seriously, these posts are AWESOME. From posts of gratitude about specific prayers having been answered, to photographic evidence of tumors past, there's some pretty fun stuff archived here, folks.

I thought it would be fun to do a post that did nothing more than link back to some of the oldies but goodies. (Click on the dates and they'll take you to the original posts.) I hope you all enjoy this little trip down memory even a little bit as much as I did.

Pictures:

June 21, 2012 - A comparison/contrast of Tumor Tummy 2010 and 2012

June 12, 2012 - Showcases the growth of my new little friend from June 2 to June 10

July 14, 2010 - Before and afters of my first surgery

June 22, 2011 - Anniversary photo shoot with 22.5 pounds of watermelon

June 22, 2011 - "Pregnant" pic with Jo in 2010, with follow-up of me in the same outfit, 12 months later

Direct Answers to Prayer:

July 9, 2012 - The Miracle of the Poop

June 12, 2012 - The Miracle of the Medical Release

June 20, 2012 - The Miracle of Family Getting Together (Best Medicine Ever)

Fundraisers:

June 16, 2012 - The First and Original Fundraiser of 2012, aka: the day my blog went viral. I wrote a post that was literally read around the world... and the help came pouring in.

July 4, 2012 - The Navajo Taco Fundraiser. A handful of friends of in my hometown gathered together and cooked up a storm... A storm that brought in enough money to replace a full month's income

August 1, 2012 - The Car Wash Fundraiser. A few of my local girlfriends spent a couple hours washing cars in a McDonald's parking lot. Between their hard work, the generosity of both friends and strangers - and one sweet homeless man who emptied his pockets - my rent was paid in August.

September 27, 2012 - People do not suck. The email to Dr. G releasing stats and info from the three fundraisers done over the summer.

Aha Moments and Testimony:

March 3, 2012 - Sometimes peace can sneak right up on a person.

February 13, 2012 - There is a plan. There has to be one. I will accept no other reality.

Because some people are silly enough to think I am always strong and/or brave, I give you some posts about seriously hard days:

February 6, 2012 - Dr. W had told me that there was a special blend of chemo that he thought would work. Many sleepless nights ensued. ... Until I met Dr. H, who advised that surgery was still the game plan. (I heart medically-induced whip lash.)

February 8, 2012 - The day I learned (the hard way) to NEVER leave the house without a bottle of Ativan at my disposal.

May 20, 2012 - One of those (luckily, few and far between) days when the sick and the tired caught up with me.

Gratitude:

August 29, 2012 - A Thank You Note to all the world

June 14, 2012 - It was like EVERYTHING in the world was going right, the week before my last surgery.

July 17, 2011 - My body blows my freaking mind.

February 14, 2010 - Valentine's Day 2010. ... I am pleased to report that the cancer hasn't done much in the way of changing most of the items/people on this list.

December 31, 2010 - New Year's Eve, 2010. Little did I know then that the summer of 2010 was just a warm-up phase. I meant every word that I wrote that night, most especially these:

I am grateful for the clarity that being sick brought me. That which has always been precious to me (family, friends, the gospel - life) has become truly treasured.


I've been writing at this blogspot for four and a half years. Almost half of that time, there have been posts pertaining to - or specifically about - the cancer popping up among random testimonials, book reviews, science project reports and love letters to my celeb crushes. In the last ten months I have written almost exclusively about what it has been like to be sick, to go through surgeries and treatments, about my friends and my family and all of the amazing things that have done for me.

The primary reason I went back through my blog was to verify data and confirm dates prior to speaking about it publicly. (I know that the cancer was in my abdomen, but I swear, sometimes, I think it was in my head. By which I mean: my brain is fried.) What I found as I searched through the past two years surprised me. Were there pics of distorted abdomens and freaky CT images? Yes, there sure were. Reports of hard days, and frustration with both my body and the health care system? Absolutely.

But there was also an overwhelming theme of gratitude.

I surprised myself with what I had written, almost two years ago. To go back to the 12/31/10 post:

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for where I have been, because I survived it. I am grateful for wherever it is that I am going, because now I know that I am strong enough to go there.

Little did I know, in December 2010, where I was going. (To that same end, little do I know now, where I'll be in 2014.) But I have been strong enough to come this far, and I will be strong enough to keep going, wherever it is that I am supposed to go. Because if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that I will be made equal to whatever it is I have to go up against.

I'm so grateful for the written record that this little blog has been. I'm so grateful for the pictures and the stories and the opportunity this little corner of the www has given me to share my life with those of you who aren't physically here to do this with me. In my home, I am just me. When I write, and when you all read what is written, I have the strength of many.

Thank you for having cared enough to read what I have written, for laughing with me, for crying with me - for loving me. I could not have possibly done it without you.