How Did We Meet?

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How We Met

Perhaps fate.  Or faith.  At the very least some higher power that knew we needed each other.  In 2017, I had survived my first diagnosis, treatment and several reoccurrences.  I was currently cancer free and had returned to part time work as a physical therapist.  A job I loved.  Unfortunately, I was exhausted ALL  of the time.  I loved being back to work and I sort of felt like I was getting back into my pre-cancer groove.  Working, managing three kids (with my mom helping a ton) and Eric still traveling for work.   I was not vocal about the naps I took in the parking lot after the twenty-minute commute to work, or sleeping during my lunch break, and again in my driveway before I walked back in the door.  I was pretending that I could go back to “normal” even though I was falling asleep before dinner.  It was a cycle that I caught myself in a couple of times before.  I felt as though I needed to return to work in order to return to who I felt like I was supposed to be.  Being a mom is amazing, I just never considered myself a stay-at-home mom.  I identified myself and my success as a working mom who could handle it all.  It took me a LONG time and a couple more tumors to realize that my priorities were going to have to shift if I was going to continue to battle cancer reoccurrences successfully.

 

I received a forwarded email in February 2017.  A friend of Taylor’s had sent an email out to all lawyer contacts she knew.  Luckily for us, I had a friend who forwarded the email to me.  She didn’t know if I was open to sharing my journey (of course I was), but Taylor was struggling with her diagnosis and she thought it might be beneficial for me to reach out.  Turns out I was the lucky one.  I had needed to feel like I was contributing to someone or something substantial for awhile, but I was struggling to figure out what that “something” was.  I received the email early in the morning and was at the hospital where Taylor was receiving inpatient chemo by afternoon.  I walked into a hospital door not knowing anything about this beautiful person but hoping I could somehow lift both our spirits up.  Taylor was sitting in the hospital bed with a huge smile on her face.  She was bald, had lost too much weight and exhausted.  Most importantly, she was terrified of dying and leaving her kids.  I saw a lot of myself in her.  She is a lawyer and completely type A.  She coped best when she felt in control.  Her treatment plan had been scheduled aggressively by her physicians and she was going to make it through every horrific phase.  She was not going to be deterred.   Her research had taken her to eating only things that were green or in a clean smoothie.  I told her that a cheeseburger might do her well right about then.  I left that day hoping we would meet up again someday, but completely unsure if that would happen.

 

Around that time I had been working with friends to start a metastatic group for younger individuals.  Taylor joined and one day Emalee came.  I am still not quite sure how that all worked out.  Emalee is a lawyer who fought off a brain tumor named Gretchen.  She had the same determined spunk that Taylor and I had.  We found the three of us meeting outside of group fairly frequently.  Our cancer diagnoses were different, but we had SO much in common.  The anxiety, brain fog, and huge changes in our personal lives when the diagnoses were made.  We were all terrified on the inside, but on most days putting up a wonderful face of bravery.  Somehow, we became family.  We have our differences, and we are all in different places of our lives, but that is what makes us work.  It is also, what I believe will make this blog work.  Grab a coffee and a candy bar (we don’t judge your greens here) and join us.  Our goal is to have different perspectives to bring your table.  We’ve had different journeys with one BIG common goal … to survive, but also to LIVE while we are surviving.  Thank you for joining us!

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