Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Something happened to me yesterday, something I will never forget, because I truly felt God's presence in my life.  Yesterday started out as a day for me to get a lot of things done.  The kids had school, but I had a day off and I had many things planned to check off my list for the holidays.

Yesterday didn't start out to be a bad or good day in particular.  It was just a day.  First thing, I hit the gym to avoid the lecherous un-attractive (because if they are good looking it makes it ok, right?) older and very creepy men who would likely stare at me in the evening and I had a pretty good workout.  I zipped home and did some stuff for Cause + Event, wrapped holiday gifts for the kids and in general had a pretty ordinary day, yesterday.

I needed to accomplish a lot of "off site" stuff yesterday, including mailing some Cause + Event shirts out, a couple of holiday gifts, a Costco trip and a WinCo adventure.  Yesterday was just a typical day.  I did not even one time think about my impending surgery or the fact that I had cancer last summer.  No, yesterday was a day to just get things done and I was loving it.

After lunch I took off to check more things off my list.  While in Costco I didn't hear my phone ring, it must have been on silent or I hit that vortex where your phone has no reception.  When I got outside I realized there was a missed call and a voicemail.  I didn't recognize the number, so I listened to the message. 

Yesterday my oncologist's office called to let me know that my bone scan had been scheduled for Dec. 10.  There's nothing scary about the bone scan, it isn't because they are looking for cancer or anything like that.  It's routine, to set a baseline to evaluate my bone density going forward as I'll be thrown head first into a surgically induced menopause at the age of 40 on December 17th.

What upset me yesterday is that I had gone most of my day without thinking about cancer.  This friendly little phone call was another reminder, in a long line of exhausting reminders, that for the rest of my life I have to be looking over my shoulder.

As much as I pretend that I'm OK, I'm not OK.  Cancer (no matter how small or minor your experience is) signs you up for a lifetime of tests, poking, prodding and checking.  I never gave it much thought before, that I would only go to the doctor if I were sick or needed my annual lube, oil and filter.  I rarely, if ever, saw the inside of a waiting room, unless I was there with a sick child.

Now, and forever more, I'm subjected to regular tests, scans, questions and visits and it makes me angry.  I didn't sign up for this.  I didn't volunteer.  I don't want this.

So I was feeling really blue, really upset because I just got a cancer bitch-slap reminder in the middle of what was a very lovely and ordinary day yesterday.  I pulled into the WinCo parking lot and decided to park on the north side of the building. I don't know why, I've never parked there before.  I always park in about the same place, but for a reason I can only describe as divine intervention, I parked in that north parking lot yesterday.

I hopped out of my little white kia and opened the trunk for my reusable shopping bags (take that angry napkin waiter!) and a woman in a red BMW pulled up with her window rolled down.  "Excuse me" she said, and I walked over to her expecting to give her directions some place or answer a question of some kind and instead she handed me a newly purchased $20 gift card to WinCo and simply said "Merry Christmas." 

I was stunned, speechless and so thankful.  I am not sure what I said to her at the time, but she told me she had been driving around for five minutes just WAITING for someone to pull in and park in front of her.  That someone was me.

Yesterday at 2:30pm I felt the hand of God on my shoulder telling me that I'm going to be OK, and that there are many people who have many more struggles than I do.  Yesterday, I knew without a doubt that moment, that wonderful woman, was inserted into my life so that I could focus on something other than myself.

I took that $20 gift card and without giving it much thought, spent the next half an hour in the store GLEEFULLY picking out food for the food closet at my church.  Yesterday, I forgot all about my stupid cancer, bone scan and surgery, and focused on something much more important: someone in need.

Yesterday I cried, a lot, in the store as I shopped.  I couldn't believe that someone would give ME, randomly, a $20 gift card to spend.  I have to tell you, $20 doesn't get a lot of food.  I was completely humbled by the experience.  Even in a place like WinCo, $20 doesn't stretch too far.  I left the store feeling so blessed and so fortunate, and so not even thinking about cancer or the aftermath.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, and one that I will never, ever forget.

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