January, I’m NOT your biggest fan — you were once a start to a new year, and now you represent a THICK, HARD line in the sand. A line that marks “before” and “after”. Before and after??? Yes, “before” ovarian cancer, and “after” ovarian cancer — it’s full of dates, surgeries, hospital stay after hospital stay, and getting a phone call that will forever change my life.
Yesterday, January 11th, I woke up in a funk, honestly felt like sitting in a corner and having a good cry, but I couldn’t figure out why. In my head, I geared myself up for today being the anniversary of my surgery to remove my cantaloupe sized “cyst” on my right ovary and my 1/2 that sized cyst on my left ovary. It wasn’t until 7pm that I realized it was the 11th – I honestly think subconsciously I knew, I was merely trying to forget. By Thursdays I have a tendency to be running low on fuel from the week, but yesterday morning I was having to peel myself out of bed to use my leg pump before I went to work – in enough time to be done before the kids wake up so I can get them breakfast and such before school.
At the time of this surgery, I was pissed because it was an inconvenience, but I think deep down I knew it was something more, something was off – no way could a “cyst” land me in the ER because I could hardly stand up or walk without feeling like I was in labor (have 2 children, know what it feels like!). As I was being wheeled into surgery, I was supposed to have been boarding a plane with Olivia and Jaxson to go snow skiing, for their first time. This is my first scar on my lower abdomen, the one you don’t see unless my bikini bottom is down too low – it’s basically a c-section incision.
Right before picking up Olivia from school I got a text from Lori, she’d sent a snapshot of a FedEx tracking sheet. I looked at it, saw it said “in-transit”, but also saw the 11th, so I again, thought it was for tomorrow (I worked a whole day – I’m hoping I didn’t put the date on anything, because it will have said the 10th). I was bummed, it was something I really wanted to be able to have, but I thought it was coming while I was gone. We got home and I had a list of things I wanted to get done because we’re leaving town to head to the house down south (p.s. may want to pay attention to instagram stories again this weekend, I just found out I get to meet another one of my survivor friends a little earlier then we’d planned!!), so I didn’t even check the mail or the front door. A little after 7pm, I did and that’s when it hit me, IT WAS JANUARY 11th and my package was at FedEx. How did I go the entire day thinking it was the 10th?!?
Why do I mention the package?? Because it was my “God Wink”…it was what I needed yesterday. Lori, is Lori Heuring. Lori owns Ivy Diamond Cole, I’d reached out to her last year prior to starting chemo to ask her if she wouldn’t mind making me a set of rings with Olivia and Jaxson’s names on them – I LOVED the rings and they turned out perfect, but chemo left my hands a little bigger (that’s the only thing bigger, thanks!) and I couldn’t wear them any longer. I’d reached out to her to ask if she wouldn’t mind re-sizing them if I sent them to her, and I also needed her to make me one more, one that said “survivor” – she jumped all over it! When she sent me the text I said “wait, I haven’t given you my card, let me know when I can call you”…no response. Needless to say, I knew what was in the package and we got there just in time – I needed that ring on January 11th.
A note accompanied the three little boxes – three little boxes that changed my day. The note read the resizing was on the house and my “small but mighty” survivor ring was her gift to me – needless to say, I was crying in the FedEx parking lot, trying to explain to the kids that everything was fine.
Lori, you will never know what this single word means to me – it’s my reminder of how far I’ve come over the past year, that I’m still here. Yesterday, I needed that little reminder. Your kind words and generous gift will never be forgotten, you were my “God Wink” when I needed it most – thank you, Lori!
I’m really not sure how this month is going to go for me — so far, it’s been touch and go. Some days are fine, other days I find myself going through the entire year prior, all over again, and still wondering why – I want a do-over, even though I know this isn’t something I could have ever changed or prevented. Next week is my 1 year anniversary to being diagnosed. The last week of the month I have a checkup/blood work/ultrasound – it’s the first time since July that I’ve made it the scheduled 3 months I’m supposed to go without having to be poked our prodded. My head is all over the place, but I’m trying to refocus my thoughts, and my tiny “survivor” ring did just that.
Who do you think I’m meeting up with this weekend??? I literally just found out today she was staying less than 2 miles from me – shoot, I thought she was going to Mexico! Stay tuned, I’ll see her at some point on Saturday or Sunday. try