Friday, April 11, 2014


I actually surprised myself by saying yes to this one.  Would I do a story about having Sterotactic Radiosuregry to my brain for Sanford Health?

I'm sure I sucked in my breath, slowly released it, and heard my somewhat distant voice say, "sure, I'd be honored to share that story."

My heart was racing as I emailed my consent to be contacted by someone in the Marketing Department of Sanford Health.  

I'm about to reopen that chapter of my story, soon.  Maybe thats why my stomach lurches a bit as I think about it.  

The quarterly brain MRI is scheduled, as is my visit with Dr. Foster two days later.  It'll be a year ago June, I had my last treatment.  The one in which I put on the white goalie type mask, have my head screwed to the table and have high doses of targeted radiation shot into the cancerous spots in my brain.  Its the second time I've done it, and lived to tell about it.  Its pure gift to me, a miracle of sorts- that I've done twice, and yet I can never fully wrap my "brain" around.  

Its a story that could help others realize that if I can get through it, they can too.  That even though you're afraid, you saddle up and ride anyway.  Because what you stand to lose if you choose otherwise, is too unbearable too muster when you stare into the eyes of your children.  Maybe, I could say the right things to help put someone else at ease?  

They were starting by sending out their photographer to shoot photos of me at my desk, blogging.

So I worked all weekend.  I cleaned, sorted, and organized.  I re-visited, re-read and re-lived the story through my blog.  I found myself biting my lip, clenching my toes, and shivering at times.  I was relieved to put it down and move on again. 

I got up shortly after 5 Tuesday morning, putting the finishing touches together.  I wanted all of the things that speak to me, to be surrounding me.  

The photographer was such a kind man.  It was fun to see him create vignettes, that I felt, truly were about who I was.  They felt natural, and not very far from what you might see me doing on a daily basis- they just weren't of me blogging.  He took a few of me at my desk,  and then we moved to my couch.  And then to my kitchen… and well… when Sanford says… I'm sure I'll be able to share in some way.

They photos truly are me, and some of my favorites are the ones with me in the kitchen.  They just weren't what I was expecting.  What I anticipated.  What I thought would happen.

It was the next day I got the phone call from the woman interviewing me.  

I'd certainly say it went well.  She started by telling me she had talked with both Dr. Foster, and Dr. Panwalkar, and she'd read parts of my blog.

It wasn't until after she started to conclude our conversation, that I realized, we hadn't talked about radiation.  Not once.  

Again, not what I was anticipating.  Not what I was expecting.  

I suppose it could leave me frustrated, or sad.  

But mostly, it makes me curious.  It makes me wonder.  It's made me think, that not always getting what we expected, might be a beautiful thing at times.  

I've surrendered to cancer so many times.  And now in my quest to "become" something else, in addition to a woman with cancer, could it be that surrendering to life itself, is key?  That somehow, surrendering to the moments that don't match our expectations, might yield even better outcomes than we could have conjured ourselves?  

Become, has been a bigger word than I anticipated for this year and I have much to wonder and ponder. 

So this weekend- I am running away- from pondering my word too much- with a little help from my friends.

Its a girlfriends weekend.  The expectations are really simple- I have none.  I just know- it'll be good.  Really, really good.  

Have a good weekend friends- really, really good! 


  1. I'm not surprised that she didn't ask you about the radiation. She already knows about that. She is interested in YOU. YOU are way more interesting than a procedure.

    ps. if they are using this for marketing, they should give you something!! have a terrific weekend

    1. So sweet of you to say that Joan- they did center their questions more on my total journey, and I think whatever way they go with it, it will be good! I do usually get a gift of some kind(a shirt, a pull-over, etc.) with a thank you note- and I always just hope someone will relate or get some encouragement or feel more confident, etc :)

  2. Glad it all went well for you, dear Vicky. It's much more interesting to "get to know" the person who had the procedure instead of the other way around. Maybe that is what they were thinking? Now, relax and have a WONDERFUL girlfriends weekend!!! Looking forward to hearing all about it! Love and hugs!

    1. Very true Eileen- good point. I've been so fortunate in that all the things done about me have been well done and I don't doubt that this one will too :) I am so excited for this weekend- hope yours is good too!

  3. Yes- I think Joan was right- it just caught me off guard- but not in a bad way. I really traveled back through some history! Thank you sweet one- hope you do too :)

  4. ENJOY!!!! LIVE THE MOMENTS FULLY!!.. put all this aside and just GO, DO, LAUGH, LOVE, *LIVE*

  5. Have a beautiful "Girls Weekend!"

  6. You know, Vicky...I don't ever think of you as a woman with cancer. I can honestly say that. I always think of you as a friend with the kindest heart. And I know that your story will do wonders for those who are facing what you have already faced and conquered. What a gift to those people.
    I'm not surprised that they are receiving that gift from you. Not at all. It is just who you are.
    You are a heart with a smile. That's the way I always think of you.
    Enjoy your trip with the girls. Relax to the max!
    Hugs and love,

  7. Dear Vicky, I will never forget hearing about this upcoming surgery in person. It seemed so unbelievable to me that you could go through something like that, and come out of it so gracefully. I'm sure you didn't feel graceful at the time, but grace is such a part of who you are, and I am constantly blessed by it. And what a gift you are to the hospital and everyone who bumps into your story! You go girlfriend!

  8. Dear Vicky,
    Ahhh..just the thought of you at a "Girls' Weekend" made me grin from ear-to-ear. Have a blast! Let down and let go! Have fun! :) :)

    And, as always, so much to ponder in your writings. My favorite take away:
    "That even though you're afraid, you saddle up and ride anyway, Because what you
    stand to lose otherwise is too unbearable to muster when you stare into the eyes of your children." That could have been my motto as a single Mom to two precious little girls, oh so long ago. With God's help I saddled up daily! Amen! That is a keeper.

    And the part about "not always getting what we expected can be a beautiful thing at times." That's a growing edge for me...letting go of those always present expectations.

    Your wisdom...priceless!

    Sending hugs and loves and prayers, always prayers, your way, dear friend.
    Love you to the moon and back!

    1. aaah Linda, once again you pointed out her priceless gift of word choices! loved this!

  9. You said the expectations were really simple, you had none. Sometimes I feel that I expect too much then feel let down when I don't reach my expectations and am disappointed. I find that time with girlfriends really can lift spirits up. Hope your weekend weather is a beautiful and you have a fabulous time!

    P.s. Am laughing, in trying to type error free you almost got my latest recipe as it wanted to paste instead of correct. Hugs!

  10. We are zapped in so many ways by the conditions in our lives, whether radiation or unexpected reactions and love from our "people."

  11. Oh, Oh, Oh, I love this post. Because my word last year was Surrender, and I think it'll stay with me forever, every day. No other way. Soooooooooooooooooo glad you got away this weekend!

    P.S. Reading Jesus calling again this year, but we're reading it together every morning at our porch parties. :)

  12. This made me smile! I know as I post this are out enjoying time with girlfriends. Those Girlfriend moments seem to embrace us, lift us up, and become all we want to become! It's amazing the love and support we get from our female friendships :) I loved the thing's Linda pointed out that you wrote....for my mothers heart toppled and fell and ran with WHY? you keep plugging forward with all the treatments offered to you! YES, you make a difference in others life...I believe I would do that same, looking into the eyes of my children. But what caught me? what you wrote that truly caught me? "....could it be that surrending to life it'self is key?" For something in me...say's YES..oh YES! a resounding yes! Did you know, your really really beautiful and amazing?! Much love and continued prayers Precious Vicky! Love Peggy

  13. Wishing you a wonderful weekend with your girlfriends Vicky. You surely deserve it!

  14. You always write with such poise and beauty, Vicky. Have a wonderful time this weekend. You continue to me in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Wishing you a great weekend too! You are always in my thoughts and prayers!

  16. You are stronger than you think you are and unknowingly you give strength to so many people by just being you. Positive, strong and loving. God's blessings always to you :)

  17. A girlfriend's weekend sounds just perfect! I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed yourself the past few days.

  18. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog post...I am truly in awe and amazed at how your word for this really is really impacting us -- maybe in ways we don't yet know, and we certainly have no idea where our paths to becoming will lead us. But, what is so cool for me is how we are on this journey together -- different yet always the same. The best part of our friendship is that from the start it has never mattered where we have gone or where we have been -- we are always together and we just pick up where we left off, keep moving forward...always, always, always best friends. You motivate me, inspire me and give me energy in ways that are just awesome and awe inspiring. When you picked your word for the year and as we discussed it on New Year's Eve -- I never even thought about the word "become" as a dynamic, changing, and exciting word -- yet just in the past few weeks it has become clear that even something that is constant and solid can "become" evolve and change -- growing stronger each day -- including friendships....even best friend forever friendships. I love you dearly my best friend forever...and I look forward to even more "becoming" with you in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years!!


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