After learning about my cancer diagnosis, I called my husband, then my mom, then told Stephanie at work. She's our HR Manager. I told our new owner, Jim, and then went home. I won't say I held it together because I didn't. I can't explain how it felt, but those have been through it understand. You can read the initial story here.
I wanted to tell about the amazing things that I received after the diagnosis and the cards I received. I have been absolutely blown away at the support and it's made me rethink so many things in life. Here are two sets of flowers I received from my friends Nita and Lori.
Notice the pink shawl in the picture above? That was from the First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, MO and part of their Crafts for a Cause Series. They made the shawl and prayed over it for me. Here's the beautiful card they sent me.
There is something special about a handmade gift. I've spent a lot of years making quilts and enjoy giving them away. I've had some of my quilt friends make me some beautiful baby quilts when I had Kasey. These are the most special gifts ever. It's not easy for someone to make something and it really means that they care. If you get homemade gifts, be sure and appreciate the time and effort and love spent making them.
Here's another great homemade gift I received, the cutest card, just to say they were thinking of me!
Here's a few of the other sweet cards I received. I am keeping all of them!
Harold and Jeannie are my relatives that live up North. They are the sweetest people ever. One of my favorite memories of them is when Harold worked for Ozark Fisheries. It's a huge goldfish and koy fish supplier outside of Lebanon. My mom and I went down there and there were goldfish in a little creek behind the hatcheries. We scooped up a 5 gallon bucket of goldfish and put them in our pond at home. (I believe this to be a true story, I was probably only 6-7 years old? but I don't think we took them out of the main fish ponds, it was from the creek.) The goldfish grew in our pond for a lot of years and we loved them. In the spring, they would swim near the top and they were just beautiful At some point, the turtles or catfish ate them all up and we don't have goldfish in the pond anymore.
This is a card from my work place family. It's such a blessing to have some great employers and friends that care.
This is a card that came from my Longaberger rep, I loved buying Longaberger Baskets from her for many years and having parties. Once I got married and had Kasey, the baskets weren't high on my priority list for things I needed. I still love them though, they are so well made and beautiful.
I was really worried about how Kasey would react to all this cancer scare. I told Kasey everything about my cancer and what he should expect. He has been such a help to me. At school, they do a thing everyday called Roses and Thorns, it's about telling good things that happened to you that day (Roses) and then bad things that happened (Thorns). Kasey told his class about my cancer. He's usually a very private person, but I am glad he told them because I think that is a healthy sign that he understands. My mom and I ask him questions all the time to see if he has any concerns. I always answer him truthfully.
I met him at school for lunch one day the first week. I love that he wants me to meet him for lunch at school. I know there will be some day in my future where Mom is no longer cool, but at least it turns around again once kids get older.
A couple of other amazing things that happened to me:
My coworkers had a prayer session at lunch for me one day. Here's the versus that Bonnie read to me. After they prayed, everyone hugged me and told me how they were concerned for me and praying for me. It was unbelievable. I can't even express how that made me feel. That's one reason that I want to document my journey, so I can look back on these things and feel comfort from them.
I know several people and churches have put me on their prayer lists.
I received text messages from old friends that I haven't heard from in a while to tell me that they were thinking of me and praying for me.
I received a text message from a friend that their nephew worked at Tulsa Cancer Center and loved it there. He said I made the right decision to go there. That made me feel really good to know that information. When I was at the hospital for my port surgery, his nephew wasn't there. But I'm sure I will see him another time.
My friends Becki and Mike brought over dinner for us one evening from the Lunch Lady, it was so nice to have a meal ready to eat! She has checked up on me every week or so.
Rick at work, came down to my office, he hugged me and prayed for me.
I talked to several people who had been through cancer treatments:
- Johnnie, went through cancer surgery last year, but no chemo, we talked a lot on making the right decision for where to get treatment.
- Jennifer, from Lebanon, suffered lymphoma cancer, called me the first day I heard, she was very supportive.
- Anna, lives in California, a friend of a friend, she has been through the breast cancer, chemo, surgery, reconstruction.
- Lori, a family friend, she has been through this most recently, was very supportive.
- Kerstin, a Tulsa hospital survivor, talking about how happy she is with Tulsa and the support she has received there.
Nicky has been over every weekend bringing us lunch and spending the afternoon just hanging out and playing games. She has sent me the sweetest text messages every couple of days just checking on me.
I am sure there are so many more that I am forgetting.
My mom and dad are a given, of course, whatever I need, they will be there, no questions asked. That's family.
I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family in my life. They are a true blessing.