My Life In Photos And Some Words, Too

by Sarah

My last post stirred up a lot of folks. I received concerned phone calls and messages. People were wondering if my mental state had taken a turn for the ditch and for some, that was their first notification of what was going on with me. It took me a little by surprise. My mental state is about the same as it has been since the first few days, after acceptance and I did our awkward, forced, clumsy dance. These are the thoughts that have been with me the whole time. They aren’t new, I just poked them out on my phone one morning while waiting for one of my appointments. Yes, Death is on my mind. Sometimes in the back of it, sometimes in the front, sometimes following me like a tethered ballon, bonking into me when I hit the brakes without warning. It doesn’t stop me. It motivates me. Hopefully it shoves me in good directions. Hopefully I let it.  There’s a lot of fun to be had, a lot of kindness to share, a lot of new things to learn, understand and a lot of corners to take at speed. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I figure out what I’m grateful for, what’s going to be good for me and those around me and then try to let that guide my thoughts and actions. Some days are easier than others. Being surrounded by good folks makes it such a better existence and I’m fortunate to have a great supply of them. I hope I don’t burn any of them out.  It’s not always going to be this easy.

What’s next, treatment-wise?  Status quo until I go back to Mayo in November to see both teams of doctors, medical oncology and orthopedic surgical oncology, and have fresh scans to see what’s going on inside me.  Decisions to be made at that point for what my treatment, and my life, look like going forward.  For now.

I haven’t felt like writing much, sharing much.  I can be a loner and will periodically shut everyone out but at the prodding of some concerned, well-meaning folks, I’ve decided to compromise and provide a view of my life in pictures for the last few weeks.  I have many messages to which I have not replied.  Sometimes I don’t know what to say and sometimes the emotions they bring up are more than I want to deal with all the time.  I choose to compartmentalize in an effort to maintain my sanity, my happiness. Again, at times life comes at me like a tidal wave and I can only process it through a straw.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing from you but don’t take it personally if It takes me a while to respond.  Thank you for understanding and thank you for your ongoing love and support.

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Sarahs and Jills.  Friends for decades.

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Rocking Middle East lounge wear to pick up our third musketeer from Abu Dhabi.

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Our mothers still worry when we get together.  I have no idea what Dr. K is doing with her hand.

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Dr. K saw this rainbow over the prison and it reminded her of me.  I thought it fitting, too.

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My 8 week post-surgery photo.  I love that my friends don’t hesitate when I say “give me your camera, I need to go to the bathroom and take a picture”.

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I’m not sure if it was his day to watch me or my day to watch him.

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Sitting on Jones’ lap whether she likes it or not.

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Cornered!

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Look at me showing off my leg over my top tube!  Just like a normal person!

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I walked into this room but my family seems to remain unchanged.

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Riding my bike below the dam.

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Riding my bike on top of the dam.

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Sometimes I just stop and look at the gifts around me.

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Marina.  No need for any gas, thanks.

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Patio!

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Getting shot, again, and in my own house!  I pulled my pants down but she insisted on giving it to me in my arm.  What fun is that?  I WILL wear her down.

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So many rules.  How can I be expected to remember all of them?

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Getting coffee and noticed this above her head. Uh, what?

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Beauty, love, strength and fun, personified.  I call them friends.

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Yeah, I can still rock the hula hoop with rods in my femur and hip.

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Fire, stars and friends to cuddle with.

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She didn’t even push me down!  This time…

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A friend left this card, along with a care package, for me at my last infusion at the cancer center.  I couldn’t stop laughing ESPECIALLY when I realized how wrong it felt to be laughing hysterically in a room full of somber cancer patients waiting to receive chemotherapy.  I’ll let you guess what the inside says.

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Friends, food, fire and stars.  Simple, beautiful, grateful.