If I’ve learned anything since my diagnosis, it’s that there are two ways to spend my time:
On things I need to do.
On things I want to do.
If something doesn't fall into one of those categories, it’s gotta go.
It was April 10, 2018.
The girls spent the night at Jennifer’s parents’ house because we were headed out early to Rex Hospital. This was a planned visit, though. Jennifer had surgery scheduled for the morning with Dr. Jendro to get her port placed.
Just one year earlier, to the day, I was driving Jennifer to Rex for another appointment. 2017’s third passenger was a soon-to-be-born 9 lb, 1 oz Halle. 2018’s third passenger was a 6cm cancerous tumor and what felt like the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Two words so simple, but two words I’ll never, ever forget.
March 25, 2018 was like any other day.
Unbeknownst to our group, in approximately 48 hours, our lives would change. Our roles as parents and siblings and in-laws would evolve into oncology amateurs, fundraiser event planners, and the strongest support system.
When I received my breast cancer diagnosis last year, I didn’t know anyone else under 40 with breast cancer. I reached out to women 10, 15, 20, 30 years older than me. And thank goodness I did - they were incredibly supportive and continue to serve as some of my biggest cheerleaders.
But there’s something about being 34. Being told that you’re part of the 5% of women under 40 who receive the diagnosis. Having toddlers and kids who can’t grasp why you can’t get off the couch. Debating on how and when you work (aka attempt to lead a normal life) while your spouse makes up the difference in every other aspect of life.
There’s a bond that forms around women in these kind of circumstances. I like to think of it as the club none of us wanted to join, but I am so happy we’ve found each other and we’re all here to cheer each other on.
In this post you’ll meet the four amazing breast cancer survivors that I get to call my friends. It was like a domino effect - one introduction led to another and we all came together over our diagnoses and similar situations in life.
A post by Carl.
We started 2018 not too different from the last handful of years: Jennifer at home with the girls and me in Los Angeles for work. We had our list of things we wanted to get done in 2018, along with the places we wanted to visit and the people we wanted to see.
In January, we purchased tickets for a concert that would take place in July - The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks in Denver. We planned to fly out and meet our good friends Patrick and Christy for a long weekend of relaxation and music.
It's only been three weeks - three weeks since we confirmed the mass, the diagnosis, the treatment plan. And yet, here I am completely in awe of more community, answered prayers, and a cheering team that most people in their lifetime will never have the privilege to experience.
Yes, this is truly a privilege.
Instead, I want you to know why I feel so fortunate today. It's something you need to chew on. It's something I need to intentionally remember every day.