It was sometime last spring when Sanford reached out to me to see if I would share my radiation treatment story with one of their writers. The email outlined that my doctors would be included in the story, and that they would use it for their internal computer system and maybe some print work.
And then somewhere along the way, the whole thing went a little wonky. Not in a bad way, it just never truly was what they had initially outlined it to be.
For instance, when the photographer came. They had set out to photograph me at my computer. So I fanatically cleaned all around my living room. Forgoing the clutter left by my mother's things still stacked in boxes and piles left all over the counters and floor of my kitchen.
So I was surprised when asked to move to the kitchen, until I saw the light streaming through the window. Plus, the photographer, assured me they would crop out the background, and zoom in on me, not the clutter. You can start laughing now- silly me.
The photographer was kind, professional, and treated me so well. I was duly impressed. He even gifted me with all of the photos and I felt blessed by the whole process. Then he passed along his work to the marketing department.
But if cancer has taught me anything, its to never be surprised when you open yourself up.
My hands, opening wide, have learned to grab hold of it all- the light, the heavy, the less than, and the more than… and sometimes the other than…
The truth is, the mess in the background behind me in the photo? Is real. No photoshop took place, no cropping it out. My mess. Its truly what my house looks like most of the time. And I barely blink at it. Friends have even offered to come and help me and I decline for now.
What I do love is that the quality of the picture is good and my friend Michelle's artwork is brilliantly displayed in the portrait of Crosby she created.
The second surprise, was that the writer's questions, weren't about radiation, but my whole cancer journey. Somehow, Dr. Panwalkar became involved and said the nicest things about me. And Dr. Foster, who has successfully treated my brain, twice, my back once, and my lungs once, was also quoted. The story is actually very nicely done.
The third surprise? The "print" story was being submitted to Area Woman magazine. Rick had just been contacted by them to submit pictures of Cully's Kids for a story on our friends Matt and Bridget Cullen. And that led to them asking me to share my thoughts about Matt and Bridget. Its a small world.
So many coincidences.
So my story in Area Woman magazine is here.
The Embrace, Sanford Cancer Survivorship Program is featuring my story on Facebook today.
Area Woman is a free publication that can be found at the grocery store and many local businesses.
Below, is a snapshot of the actual story in the magazine.
Plus how cool is it, that two of my most favorite people, grace the cover of the very same edition of the magazine?
Their story is one that would make a great book! But if you want just an idea of their truly great story, just follow this link… Matt and Bridget Cullen: Cully's Kids story.
We're heading into the 10th and final Cully's Kids weekend next week, and are both humbled and honored to be a small part of it each year.
So I met with Dr. Antoniuk yesterday. I had barely gotten into my gown and she was knocking on the door. She opened the front and instantly started smiling. "Oh, this is doing well."
She then asked about my drain output. "10 cc's each day."
"Thats what I hoped for. Perfect."
And she says the words before I can fully grasp her next move.
"So lets get rid of that drain!"
And in one quick movement, she quickly snips and then firmly pulls and the whole drain tubing snakes out of my chest wall. Its painful, and yet so quick it hardly has time to register.
She bandages up the hole left behind and says in a few days when it closes, I can go back to showering.
She'd like to see me in two weeks, when she feels the tapes and glues will start peeling off the incision and she'll finish removing them at that time.
I'm grinning, ear to ear.
I'm sore and tired for most of the day. Finally able to truly rest in a comfortable position.