Friday, June 20, 2014

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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.  

I rest.




















29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Francis! I think so- yes :)

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  2. Finally progress! And good news! I'm so happy for you! As always, you are in my prayers!

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    1. Genny- that is such a good way of putting it- progress and good news. So thankful for your prayers!

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  3. so delighted to see your story and words in print! I see NO mess behind you though!!
    So thankful your wound is finally healing!!

    Have a great weekend!! Sending you hugs and more prayers!!
    xo

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    1. Tiffany- you're too sweet :) Its feeling like summer finally and I am hoping a trip to the lake is in order. I will think of you when my feet hit the sand! Hugs, prayers and much love to you!

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  4. What a wonderful article, Vicky! It captures and shares so much of who you are and what you represent. Congratulations!

    Have a restful, happy weekend.

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    1. Thank you Bonnie- I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!

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  5. It was so thrilling and satisfying to read about your doctor visit!! And ... you look beautiful and the article is great. The open doors that you have walked through, your open heart to share story - these are blessings for so so many - not to mention a blessing to you and yours. God is good!!!

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    1. P.S. share *your* story. ;-)

      Never type before coffee!

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  6. Vicky, every time I even think of you or see your name....the only thing I really see is your smile and the phrase...."choose joy." You have been just like that since we were little. You bring wisdom and joy to so many!

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    1. Kim- it was so great to see you pop up here! How fun! I pray you are doing well and and I happen to fully believe that I can say "ditto" to everything you so kindly said about me :)

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  7. I'm grinning ear to ear reading your post. So happy for your good news and great article in the magazine. You deserve all the happiness in the world!!

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    1. Katie- you're too kind, thank you! Blessings to you!

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  8. Your kitchen/picture doesn't look messy at all! It looks like a super cozy place to spend some time basking in the sunshine. So glad to hear those nasty drains are out and you can rest a little better these days.

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    1. Thanks Melissa- seriously, though, the kitchen would drive you insane- truly!

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  9. So happy for you, Vicky.
    Love...giving and receiving....is your gift to your family and your friends.
    I am so blessed to call you friend.
    Hoping that you are having a beautiful day.....on this, the longest day of the year.
    Love you,
    Jackie

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    1. Jackie- I show up here and read your thoughtful- well said- words and I think I am the lucky one to call YOU friend. Love you!

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  10. Oh my sweet friend, Vicky...
    How soul- restoring it is to read your words of wisdom...
    "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."

    Words straight from God's heart to your heart to my heart. You couldn't have known how
    important it was for me to read these words this morning. Especially the "other than." It is a choice to live with hands open wide and you do so with such gratitude and graciousness!

    I LOVED this post... the good news about your drain being out, the confidence of Dr. A,
    your beautiful photograph that shows how lovely you are inside and out, and your "mess." OK, I admit I chucked at what seemed like a "mess" to you. I agree with Melissa...it doesn't look messy at all, just lived in and cozy. :) :)

    Enjoy this day, dear friend. Thanks for your special comment on my blog. You are dear to my heart! I will keep praying, always praying.
    Love you to the moon and back again,
    Linda


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    1. So blessed by you Linda- utterly blessed!
      Love you dear one~

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  11. Vicky, this is so indicative of my life. So I got that issue and brought it on a trip out of town and read the Cullen story and loved every bit of it, especially the parts where you entered in. I was so proud of you for your awesome comments. And then I put the magazine down and it's currently at home while I'm in KY, and I had no idea until now that you are in it too, as a feature! That definitely will be an issue I will keep! I can't wait to get back home after this adventure and read it, slowly, from top to bottom. I can't believe I missed it the first time. I'm so glad you let us know so I could cherish it. Praise be to God for the miracles happening in your life. Love, your friend Roxane P.S. Thanks for holding my adventure in your prayers. You were among the very first to know of my hopes for this moment. :)

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    1. Ha! Roxane- so many have said this exact thing to me :) Even I was so excited to see the Cullens and read their story I had to read it first! Loving the snippets of your journey coming through fb- will come check your blog soon!

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  12. I don't see the mess you speak of. I just see a beautiful person, with a beautiful soul, fighting to stay with her family. Amazing story, amazing you.
    Think of you often.

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    1. Touched by your words Hilary- thank you! Think of you often as well~

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  13. Wonderful article Vicky, and yes, rest is your best friend right now.

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    1. Thanks Lisa- am really taking that advice and resting away :)

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  14. Replies
    1. Yes- that is a great way of putting it Vic!

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  15. Inspiring as always dear Vicky!!! And the Cullen's article was awesome too. I learned so much about them and appreciate all they are doing. And by the way, I could just feel that drain coming out! Now I need to catch up and read some more of your entries :) Bless you dear lady :)

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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