Cancer sucks! And we all know someone that has battled it, that is battling it, or that will battle it! Today's post is from my wife on her dear friend and the amazing journey she has endured, but also through actions has taught us some lessons on life and adversity! We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed this post! Take a read!
Six months ago I was at home cooking dinner when my phone rang. As soon as I looked at my phone, I knew it wasn’t a good call. It was a dear friend calling but this wasn’t a normal time for her to call and she is a texter, not a caller….my heart sank as I picked up the phone and said, “What’s wrong??”. It was quiet on the other end as she pulled herself together enough to tell me through sobs that she had just found out that she has breast cancer. I knew her husband was out of town so I asked her when she would be at her house and told her I would meet her there. As I drove, my mind was swirling – what was the right thing to say when I got there? Why is this happening? How in the world will I bring any comfort to her – my world has been in shambles for the past year and somehow I am supposed to help her keep it together right now? When will the hits just quit coming? I was so broken for her. And, selfishly, I was broken for me – she is one of my best friends, she is an aunt to my kids, why in the world would someone I love so much be facing cancer – the world felt very unfair in that moment! That night we sat on her patio and tried to make sense of the news – we cried, we laughed, we sat in silence, we talked about the next steps, we digested the unthinkable news and when I walked away, I knew in my heart that cancer had picked the wrong lady – it had just picked a fight with one of the strongest, bravest and most stubborn people I have ever had the honor of knowing and it didn’t stand a chance.
Immediately she began her journey of doctor visits, tests and getting a plan in place. I began praying – praying for comfort, praying for healing, and praying for strength as she headed into battle. You never know when someone sets out on the toughest journey of their life, what that will look like for them and knowing you must cheer from the side is so painful. If only we could carry the burden for them, that would make it so much easier. But this friend didn’t need me to carry the burden for her. I saw her rise up in front of this giant and dig her heels in. I saw her lean into a faith that I didn’t even know she had. I saw her laugh on the days that I know she wanted to cry. I saw her cry and then wipe her tears and prepare to do it all over again. I saw her push through chemo, blood tests and doctors visits with a grace and fierce spirit that would amaze the strongest of people. I watched her BATTLE – day in and day out – she BATTLED. And do you know what the most remarkable thing was? I don’t remember a single moment of her feeling sorry for herself or complaining about her situation. She talked about the brutalities of chemo after her treatments, but it was never in regard to herself – it was always asking for prayers for the other people that were at treatment when she was. Every time I would ask her how she felt she would respond, “I am ok – a little tired – but I am ok”. I watched her become a selfless warrior in the face of a battle that she never asked for and she sure as heck didn’t deserve but that didn’t matter – she had set her mind up that she would WIN!
A couple of days ago, I had the honor of being there as she rang the bell after her last chemo treatment. It has taken me a few days to write this because I haven’t been able to find the words to explain that moment…I still don’t think I have them. I was SO DAMN PROUD OF HER! The kind of proud that makes you want to break into tears and shout from the rooftop! The kind of proud that humbles you to your core and makes you so thankful that you were part of an amazing moment! The kind of proud that makes you want to stop and soak in the miracle that you just witnessed! Six months ago, she found out that she was facing an aggressive form of cancer and was staring at a mountain that I have no doubt looked unclimbable from her point of view (our family knows that view) but she saddled up and went to work – step by step and day by day – she conquered her goliath! I cried most of the way home as I thought about her and her journey – how in the world did I get so lucky to have a front row seat to witness that?
My friend still faces a surgery ahead of her, but I know she will face it with the grit she has every part of her journey up to this point. There is not a doubt in my mind that she will tackle it head on and come out even stronger on the other side. In a couple of weeks, she will be closing this chapter of her life – what a glorious day that will be!
Unfortunately, this won’t be the last mountain that will be faced by the people that I love, but I pray that as the hits in life keep coming, everyone can take a page out of my friends play book – stay positive, lean into your faith, wipe your tears and keep moving forward and BATTLE! What an honor it has been to watch your story unfold, my friend – I am thankful for you and the life lessons you have taught me over the past 6 months, you are an inspiration!