First and foremost, I want to update everyone on what I have been up to since my last blog. As you all know, I have been faced with an extremely difficult decision regarding my health. Do I walk away from this disease and let the tumor take its course, or do I proceed with the risky surgery that involves only a 40% chance of survial and being cancer free? Hmm... NOT a decision to be taken lightly. And I have yet to make up my mind. As of right now, my amazing Oncologist is simply buying me time. We are going to do a few more rounds of chemo, starting Tuesday, which will allow me to put some more time and thought into this life altering decision. However, if my tumor at any time stops responding to treatment and begins to grow, a decision must be made quickly. I will keep you all up to date when a final decision has been made. And thank you all so much for being so loving and supportive during this crazy and insane time of my life. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.
To bring me to my next point and the reason for this blog...
I am THOROUGHLY annoyed. While attending my brother's graduation weekend, (CONGRATS Nick, so proud of you!!) someone referred to me as having a lot of "baggage." Wow. Baggage? Really? It is not like I have a dangerous and crazy ex, or five children from four different men! I have a dead husband and cancer... not baggage. This is just another reminder that my life is different now; I have a new "normal." Four years ago... I did not have this so-called "baggage." My life was quiet and I was happy. I had never experienced death or extreme grief. I was sheltered and nieve. I thought that no bad could touch me. Fast forward four years... my best friend and Husband was killed, and I am fighting for my life. Funny thing is... I like this Kristen better. I like the jaded, morbid, OCD, figther version of myself that I have become.
The "baggage" that I have in my life has taught me so much, and has allowed me to become someone that I never thought I could be. Losing Dan has taught me to love with all that I have, and to take risks. It has taught me to live my life to the fullest, because we are not promised tomorrow. Losing Dan has taught me to laugh harder, to smile more, to hug my loved ones a bit tighter, and to chase my dreams.
Cancer... another great teacher of mine. Having cancer has taught me to depend on others. I admit, I have trouble doing this at times. I am extremely stubborn when it comes to asking for help, but having this disease has taught me to let others in, even when I do not want to. Having cancer has taught me trust GOD, even when it seems impossible. Having cancer has taught me that five minutes of snuggling with my nephew is SIGNIFICANTLY more important than money, fame or status. It has taught me to fight with all that I have. It has given me strength that I never knew existed, faith that doesn't falter, and courage that allows me face the most difficult of times.
Since this "baggage" has entereted my life, I have become the woman that I have always wanted to become. I am stronger. I am wiser. I am more aware of how fragile life really is. So, the joke in on you. This "baggage" has made me who I am. And I am someone that I am proud of. So, for all you future suitors out there, or people who want to make judgements, judge away! Because I do not care. One day, someone will love me for all of my "baggage." I am blessed beyond measure to live the life that I am living. I have had the love of an amazing man and a true Hero, I have a family that loves me even when I do not deserve it, I have friends that laugh with me until we pee, literally, and I serve a God that forgives me on a daily basis and loves me unconditionally. My "baggage" is my favorite part of me! And to this crazy thing I call my life, BRING IT ON. Because I have proven that I can handle whatever gets thrown at me. I can bury my husband, and still find the strength to smile and laugh. I can sit in a hospital bed for days on end, and still think positively about my future. I can rock a bald head, and still realize that I am a WOMEN that deserves to be loved and desired.
Hmm... after writing this, I feel like I am closer to making a decision. I am a fighter. A close friend recently told me, "If you chose to walk away, you are chosing death." He was right. Walking away is giving up. Having the surgery is fighting, and this is a fight that I am going to WIN!!