I am going to die! Now, everyone knows. It is no longer a secret. You are going to die, too! Sometimes, I feel like that is what people are asking me when they say “how are you doing?” I can’t tell you how many times I have had someone ask me that question and my answer isn’t enough. They keep going until I say “well, the original prognosis was 4-6 years.” This is received with some comment about “hang in there” or “well, you’re in our prayers.” To those people I say, “stop asking how I am if you just want me to be dying!” I have no intention of going anywhere until the Lord is done with me, so, kiss off.
I apologize for starting a blog entry out this way but I am seriously annoyed by this. Josue and I have been a couple places in the past week where people have responded to us in this way and I think these people stink (look Mom, I didn’t say they suck, even though I really wanted to). On the other hand, I ran into a lady that graduated from Minico (Go Spartans!) a year before Lance. She walked right up to my bald headed self and said, “well, it looks like you’re going through something. What’s up?” I told her I had cancer, to which she responded “umm, that sucks. How are you living? ” It was the best question ever! She was interested in how I am living and not how I am dying. In case you’re wondering, I think about dying everyday. It’s hard not to when your mouth taste like you swallowed a cow turd, leaving even water to be repulsive. It’s hard not to when you freaking have cancer.
For those of you that are not aware, I started in a Master’s Program at ISU. What kind of an idiot signs up to get a counseling degree when they have cancer? The idiot that hadn’t planned on cancer. I am in sessions, as a client four days a week. That’s insane. Everyone I practice with wants me to talk about cancer because it makes their sessions easy. They always want me to talk about the fear of dying and how emotional it is to have a terminal illness. Then, I get grief from the professors when I’m not “vulnerable enough” about death. To which I respond “Dude (yep, I use dude), I’m not nearly afraid of death as I am life. So why aren’t these students asking me about what’s really hard?” Let me tell you, it would be a heck of a lot easier to just let go, but what good would it do? Would it help my relationship with anyone? Would it get me closer to my eternal goals to leave this life now? Need I really answer these questions, come on, really.
Since my last entry, I’d like to highlight some pretty awesome things that I have lived through, because, if you can’t tell, I haven’t died through any of them. My feet got too painful to run the GT Relay. Luckily, Lance called in a ringer. My cousin, Tanya, is something pretty spectacular. She didn’t just join the team, she led them. Literally, she started us out on our first leg and finished at the front of the pack. None of us knew what to expect from her so we waited at the starting line for awhile, mostly so Lance could Go-Pro everything, before heading off to get Tanya. When we finally caught up, she was nearly done and we were all blown away. She was a real joy to have in the car. I didn’t really know her much before this event. Let me tell you, that girl was raised right. She is a real example to me. I was humbled by her insight to raising kids, being a spouse, and setting goals.
Speaking of good people, this year’s Team Dragon Ash had quite a few changes. Reflecting back on the adventure, I’d say it was the best team yet. I’d like to post some shout outs to a few. Jorge is amazing. He does what is hard because he genuinely believes it gives him connection to life as it is intended to be lived. Katie goes past what she believes she can because when she sees a need, she fills it. Lance is ridiculous and should never be given a Go-Pro. Then, there is Amanda. She goes beyond what she knows she should because she was made with the intention of climbing every mountain, figurative or real, that is set in front of her.
While it is true that I started school, so did Maximo. To make the event even more rememberable, I forgot to pick him on the first day. I was in school and without my phone. Once again, my Elle’s Angels came through. They figured out how to contact Josue, in Mexico, and get the school to release Maximo to them. All the while, they were communicating in their best Spanish (Rachelle’s really is something to behold) with my mother-in-law. How do you forget your kids on his first day of school? I have no idea but I managed it.
We got tickets from EIRMC (yep, my insurance pays them more than $50,000 every 21 days and all we got were tickets) to the Chuckar’s baseball game. So, naturally we saved them and went on Breast Cancer Awareness night. Ann and Dain joined us. We got free shirts and a bunch of swag. I got put on the big screen…that was cool. My kids got broken bats from the players. I got a foul ball from a little boy sitting in front of us that he and his brother both signed for me. I won’t lie, my favorite part was the pulled-pork nachos. Who knew nachos could be so good? It was so much fun. My mother-in-law went. It was her first American Baseball Game. She had no idea what was going on but she loved the clapping and cheering and mascot. Oh yeah, and she loved the ice cream in a little, plastic ball cap.
We are settling into routine. My chemotherapy was changed to Friday to accommodate my schooling. Marina is back to dancing a few days a week. Maximo loves school. Josue is busy. Ana is living with us (turns out she is the best mother-in-law ever). The neighborhood kids can’t play during the week which makes me sad to not see the three littlest guys as often. The transition out of summer has happened. I like routine. It’s safe. It’s familiar. What I really like is the idea that a year ago I would have never thought I could do this and now I wouldn’t want to miss out on it.