Covered in love..

Today I am sharing about my friend Daniella. The one day when I was blogging about the cancer and fears and such I somehow posted it to Facebook. I struggle with technology. As soon as I figured out it posted public I took it down. Daniella was one of the two friends who saw the post before I removed it. She saw it the same day that I was coming over to her house to workout with her. I walk in the door and hug her (our usual greeting) and she looks at me and flat says ‘do you have cancer?’  I was taken aback, yet at the same time a bit relieved. We talked about it for a few minutes then continued with the workout. It was comforting.

When I was recovering from surgery Daniella was kind enough to bring over her collection of movies for me to watch. She brought over a few fun books too. She would text me often. Always with kindness. Always wanting to know what else she could do for me.

Daniella had been learning to knit hats. When I decided to do chemotherapy I knew exactly what Daniella could do to help me. I asked her to knit some pink hats. She was overjoyed!! Something to help me. Really help me. It is cold here and as I lost my hair it became colder. The hats were perfect and purposeful. I used them this winter too. Every time I wear them I am reminded of the kindness of my lovely friend Daniella.

Daniella: supportive, comforting, talented, giving. Today I am sharing about being covered in love. Pink knitted love.

 

Love is Kristin

Today I am sharing about my cousin Kris. This woman blesses my life so much! She is one of my favorite people. Always has been.

In a time when everything becomes so clear and so foggy at the same once. A time when you know you don’t want to stay the same but are forced to remain stable. A time when you just feel overwhelmed and lost and focused all at the same time. It is comforting to have friends and family that will not leave your side, even if virtually.

So many times Kris would check in with me via text or Facebook. Sending me virtual hugs. Drinking coffee with me online. Laughing and encouraging and concerned.

Yet the most wonderful thing that my cousin Kris did for me was add me to her summer traveling schedule. Her little family of five jumped into an RV and traveled for weeks. They made sure to come through Spokane just to hang out with me. We went cherry and raspberry picking. We hung out each night and had dinner together and watched movies and laughed. I hung out with the kids so Craig and Kris could have a date night. We hugged, we laughed, we smiled, and we hugged and hugged and hugged.  It was wonderful and quite honestly exhausting. I was still getting my energy back from chemo. The thing is Kris understood that and made sure that I had time to nap or sleep in. This is love.

Love is my cousin Kris. Beautiful, smart, kind, thoughtful, encouraging, amazing.

 

Loving more…

This is Marilee. Marilee is my friend. Everyone should have a friend like Marilee. (:

I know it sounds like one of those silly memes on Facebook! Seriously though Marilee is a great friend.

She and I met at work but never really hung out. One day I was invited to go on a wine tasting tour and I could bring a friend. I invited Marilee. Let me tell you, once you drink too much wine and start over sharing you become friends for life! That is what I think of with Marilee: friend for life.

She was working that fateful day that the phone call came. I was walking out to the dock and she was coming in from the receiving floor. I walked up to her and said ‘guess who has cancer now?’ She was like,’who?’ I said, me. She was dumbfounded and just hugged me. She insisted it was going to be okay. I asked her not to say anything. I was only letting a handful of people know. She hugged me again and went on her way.

We got to this school fundraiser that involves wine and an auction. Brilliant on the schools part. Get people all warm and fuzzy from the wine and beer and then sell stuff to them. Anyway we go with our friend Russ. It was about two weeks after the diagnosis and she wanted to know if I was still going. Of course! Business as usual. We laughed and we ate and we did the silent auction (before the drinking) and we laughed some more. We had a good time. We savored every moment of it. Who knew what was in store for me? Nothing had really been decided yet. She made a point to make sure we had fun.

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This picture was taken at that event.

After my big surgery Marilee would come and visit. She brought dinner for me and Keith and spent time just visiting. She would update me about work and tell me how great I looked.

When I went back to work and still hadn’t gone public about the cancer a co-worker told me that she knew about it. I asked how and she said Marilee told me I think. I told Marilee and she was so pissed off! I NEVER told anyone Renee!! I know she didn’t. She was so upset  and fearing that she would lose my friendship she confronted the co-worker and made her apologize!! There is no way Marilee would ever lose my friendship. But she worried about it. I love her for that.

During chemotherapy she would keep her distance (hugging was severely limited during chemo) but smile and wave. I knew she was pretending to hug me.

After chemo and another surgery she and I went to another annual event that we enjoy. It is at a winery (imagine that) up on the hill. It is always a dress up and themed type party with live music and dancing. We always have a lovely time. The featured image at the top is from that event. We danced and drank and ate and laughed. All felt normal and right in my world for that moment.

Let me add just one more thing. Marilee has been giving me her hand me downs when she cleans out her closet. Every time and I mean EVERY TIME I wear one of her outfits I get compliments. She has fun and funky taste. Nothing I would ever buy for myself, yet it transfers over to me just right.

I adore Marilee. She has been so loving and kind to me. She has hugged me and supported me. We laugh and cry together. I am so thankful for her care and concern during my fight.

This is Marilee loving more..

The love continues…..

I don’t know if it is the weather or perhaps because I have been under the weather. Continuing to write daily about the people who helped me through my fight has become a chore. I am just so tired that even taking time to write is exhausting. No matter I am going to tackle it once again.

Today I am talking about my friend Kim. Kim came into my life through Zumba. We were taking the same class together and we hit it off. It was easy being friends with Kim. We loved the workout classes we took. We were both on a quest to eat better and make healthier choices. We laughed and danced and ate together often. She took my family in at Christmas. Well she took us to her mother-in-law Linda’s house for Christmas. Linda has since become my friend and they all feel like family. That is what it was about Kim, she was family.

Kim had breast cancer before me and shortly after my mom. It was an eye opener and heavy experience watching my ‘Spokane sister’ go through this. Her cancer was advanced. She had to do six rounds of chemotherapy before they could do her surgery. It was hard to be there for her when I didn’t fully understand what she needed. Being on the other side of this now I TOTALLY understand what is needed.

As I was going through chemo. Kim would check in with me often. The day that I had a cold and skipped work because it was the first round of chemo and it scared me. She came over and picked up this very special orange juice I wanted. It is expensive and I have only seen it at the health food store. Didn’t matter she drove out of her way to get it for me. She remembers those moments oh so well. Still so fresh in her head.

When I found out about having to do chemo she helped me cut my hair way shorter. They say that if you cut your hair short it will be easier to deal with losing it. That is a lie but at the time it sounded good.

I am thankful to have my friend who is like family in my life. Kim would ask all the right questions. Check in on me often but not too often because she knows how tiring all of this can be. She would come and visit to clean my house or do the dishes yet keep the visits short. Most importantly she would pray for me daily.

Love is continuing. Today love is my friend Kim.