To-do lists. Packing. Cleaning. Organizing. That is all I have been doing for the past week. And as soon as I successfully cross something off one of my many lists, another item is added just as quickly. That is how I prepare for my surgeries; I go into extreme OCD mode. My lack of control regarding tomorrow's surgery results is to blame. If I can't control the outcome of this surgery, then I will control how clean my kitchen floor is, and how perfectly ironed every piece of clothing that I pack in my suitcase is. That's how I cope. It helps me to relax and to feel as if I have some control over my life.
A girl can only clean and organize so much. So after five straight days of it, I had the chance to escape it all, and spend time with my Johnson family in Wisconsin. And even better, I got to spend a few days honoring Dan at the SrA Daniel James Johnson Memorial Golf Classic. It was just what I needed. God clearly knew what He was doing when He joined Dan and I together. His family and friends are such an incredible source of comfort to me, especially during the rough times. I feel so at home when I am with them. We laugh. We cry. We tease each other. We support each other. Sitting in our condo, laughing until our sides ache. Sharing "Dan" stories. Being harassed by his best friend, just as they would do to one another. Hearing my niece and nephew call me, "Auntie Boo." Talking and laughing with my amazing sister-in-laws. It truly was a perfect weekend.
However, perfect weekends can only last so long. So here I sit. Alone in a hotel room near the Stanford Hospital. I so wish I could have stayed one more day. But there is no time for that. There is no time for anything. I am not even going home; I have gone straight from Wisconsin to Stanford University. And now, all of the fear and anxiety that has been building up inside of me for the past few months is surfacing. This is when I become a recluse; which is the second phase of my pre-surgery ritual. Phase one: OCD and turning into a stress case. Phase two: taking some alone time to feel everything that I need to feel. Time to stress. Time to cry. Time to worry. I will run through every possible scenario in my head. I will pack my bags. And then re-pack them again. I will read my Bible. I will pray. And I will try to remember that God is in control. The operative word in the previous sentence is "try." As much as I know that worrying isn't going to help me, it is all I can seem to do. But when the worrying becomes a bit overwhelming, I try to picture the end product, or at least what I would like the end product to be. I see myself happy. I see myself healthy. And I see myself doing something that I love and that I am passionate about. And I cannot wait to be at that place.
I am scared. But I am ready; ready to start the next phase of my life. And if that phase is to continue fighting this disease because this tumor is inoperable yet again, then that is what I will do. If that phase is to start anew, as a woman who is a cancer free, then that is what I will do. And if that phase is to join Dan and our Heavenly Father, then I have to believe that this was God's plan for me. I am just so tired of playing the waiting game, and not knowing where my life is going. And in less than 24 hours, I will know. Wow. My chest just automatically tightened up.
That being said, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported me and encouraged me during the past few years of my journey. Thank you to those strangers who read my blog and send me encouraging posts and messages. Thank you to my Facebook friends who are so kind and loving, even when I have not seen many of you in years. Thank you to my friends who have put up with me as I have been an emotional wreck. I have friends who have been my punching bag on my worst of days. They forgive me when I have been selfish, rude and out of line. I am so blessed to have friends who understand that this is not normal Kristen, but hopefully she will be back soon. And to my wonderful family; words cannot express how lucky I am to have you all in my life. To love me. To support me. To know every possible flaw and downfall, and to love me just the same.
Tomorrow is the big day. 7:15 AM, California time. I will be a ball of nerves. Tonight will be tough, and tomorrow morning will be even worse. But, like I mentioned earlier, going through these feelings are a must. So, if you get the chance, throw up a prayer or positive thought in my direction. Hopefully, I will be posting again soon, and possibly as a person who is CANCER FREE. And if not, well then I have got one hell of a support system to continue the battle. Much love and blessings.