Three Years Later

The first thing I woke up this morning thinking about: three years. It was three years ago today that I was wheeled off to a surgery room for what ended up being a surgery that lasted over four hours. I had a 4 cm by 6 cm cancerous tumor growing undetected despite two previous mammograms. Just placing the port, a device under the skin by my collar bone to administer the chemotherapy, took over an hour and resulted in severe bruising. My surgical oncologist shared later that another port placement surgery she performed just the week before mine took only ten minutes. Three years ago was the first of three surgeries, six rounds of aggressive chemo, 33 radiation treatments. The time has gone fast and slow.

Three years later and my hair is long and just a bit wavy now at the ends, and everything feels near and far at the same time. I opened up the blue plastic box that housed my wig and scarves for the first time last week. A dear friend from church finished two chemo treatments and the medicines were doing their awful but important work which resulted in the need for various head coverings. A wave of memories came over me as I sifted through the contents in the box. In it were cards and notes sent from family and friends. I kept every single one. I found funny cheer me up paraphernalia and books and stacks of cancer information pamphlets. Seeing those things brought back smells and memories and stirred up a host of emotions.

Three years later and I still here. Still grateful. Today I am working on some revisions on my sample writing for my book proposal. Last month an editor contacted me to see if I would be interested in submitting my proposal to their publishing house. I received an email from the editor this week with news that she liked what I have and wanted to present my work to her editorial team. If they like it they will bring in the marketing people. If they sign off then it will be presented to the “pub board.” If it’s still a go at that point a contract will be drawn up. She said that process takes anywhere from six months to a year.

I am thrilled (like dancing in the kitchen and screaming into a pillow thrilled) and encouraged. I’ve needed to go back and reread my journals to jog my memory as I write. Three years ago I wrote about grieving plans of things I looked forward to changing and specifically about the disappointment of not being able to speak at our Epic East Coast conference. Three years later I found myself tearing up throughout the long weekend as I returned to speak at the East Coast conference. I realized that even if I were to give the exact same talk, it would have come from an entirely different place.

Three years later I am still committed to walk through whatever door God opens. Still committed to live out my days with open hands and open life to whatever He would have. Still grateful for the love, support, prayers and encouragement from each of you.