Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's About That Time...

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.


  1. Dearest Cousin Kristen, I am your Grandma Lois' sister Shirley's Granddaughter....I don't know what that makes us, exactly. The last time I saw you, you were a little girl, it was about 1996. We played a round of baseball with little Nicky. I want you to know that you have a flood of prayers (and you have had this flood of prayers) coming to hold you up, from your family of strangers living in the prairie of North Dakota. You are an inspiration to us on this journey you have been sent on. Your strength, your fears, your story are a beacon of hope and love to people you do not even know. Know that an army of people will be praying for you tomorrow. We love you from afar.

    Andrea Earp Anteau and a menagerie of boys

  2. Kristen,
    It was so nice meeting you and your mom yesterday at the Golf Outing in honor of Daniel. You are one beautiful, strong woman!
    I will continue praying for you, and ask again for God to bless your doctor's hands while performing your surgery tomorrow. I look forward to hearing the good news that it was successful! Remember, stay positive in the morning, and God will provide for you the peace you need....
    mary kay brown - Aunt Judy's friend

  3. Prayers and positive thoughts are coming your way! I have a good feeling about tomorrow...

    -Lisa Trama (Wise)

  4. Prayers are coming from Wisconsin for a successful surgery and for you to have the strength to face whatever God has planned for you.


  5. Dear Kristen,

    My name is Renee. I knew Dan from when we worked at camp eons ago. I don't think that we've ever met, but I've gotten to know you through your postings. It's about 7am in Florida right now (where I am), so about 4am where you are. I'm sure you probably aren't sleeping, but up and about or even on your way to the hospital. People are thinking and praying for you - strangers you haven't met yet. I hope we meet someday.

    Renee Becker

  6. I will keep it short and sweet!

    Bonne chance.

    André Ausseresses

  7. Hi Kristen!

    I found you blog through a fellow widster! I just want to tell you that I'll be thinking and praying for you through this surgery and the journey to come! Hugs and tons of love!!


  8. I am sending healing thoughts your way and hoping you wake up to wonderful news from your doctors!

  9. Hi, I stumbled across your blog via the Jarboe's Facebook. I myself am a military spouse we are currently stationed in Germany. I know it is the day after your surgery and I hope you are doing well and I sincerely pray that your surgery was successful and that you will not get to be cancer free. You are a remarkable person, stay strong there is a lot of people thinking about you that you do not even know.
    Thinking of you and your guardian angel, your husband.

  10. Kristen,

    I have been thinking about you. I hope your surgery went well. I will continue to pray for you.