Monday, April 1, 2013

In Honor of Chemo Start Day

***Disclaimer: Read at your own risk. My sister, Ali, the English teacher, read this post, she recommends I have a proofreader read the post prior to posting it. Or just stay away from posting on chemo days altogether. Sorry. ***

In the last couple months, nurses and other providers I've talked with have said that when things like cancer come up, you quickly learn you will stick it out with you. "You find out who your true friends are", is what they say. That is true. I already had a really good idea who my friends were before all of this, and they have stepped up and have been an amazing emotional support system. Coming out of a time in my life where it was hard to trust friends, God brought some amazing women into my life and I'm blessed to know them and to live life with them.

Something else happens when cancer strikes, you make new friends! That has been just as encouraging to me. And honestly, on this side of the chemo side effects, strengthening my current friendships and nurturing these new ones is worth it all! (If you ask me again in six weeks I might tweak this answer!) Pam was a friend before all this started. She moved from acquaintance to friend when I told her, in the copy room at church, that Rick had just lost his job. She immediately responded with, "What are you doing on Thursday? You're coming over for dinner." And we did. She was one of the first to reach out and I will never forget that. Pam has willingly offered us her services as "fundraising coordinator". She did the research and got the Give Forward page up which has been such a HUGE blessing. My mom updates me on the total every week or so, then I go on the website and cry. Thank you to all of those that are helping us financially. It eases a huge burden as we start to see the bills rolling in and know that help is on the way! Thank you! Named or anonymous. Thank you! God knows who you are, and I have asked him to return the blessing to each and every one of you as He sees best. Pam also hosted the Pampered Chef dessert night. That was one of my first outings after surgery and it was fun. It was also quite successful. Pam received over 50 orders. Can you believe that? Pam is gifting us with what she would have made on that show and it will be substantial! Thank you, Pam!  And consider this as thank you to all of you who ordered. I am so behind on thank you cards and my list is long! And thank you to Tom (Pam's husband) and Landen (husband of Heather who sent the best chemo kit ever! Seriously Heather, thank you!) for taking Rick out for a play date. He needed that. Oh, which reminds me...Ali, sweet sister, thank you for the care package that came to Rick AND Melissa today. He loved his parachute men, even though Ella thought they were for her! I have the most amazing husband and through infertility, unemployment and now cancer treatment, he is my rock. Our marriage is stronger than it was five years ago and just keeps getting better! While dropping off our meal tonight, (which was delicious by the way. Thanks! You should have seen how excited I got over the green beans! And thanks for bringing lunch to us at chemo. We had planned on Rick leaving, but I didn't want him to, so this was a blessing. Thank you.) Kara reminded me of the woman who told me shortly after Rick and I returned from our honeymoon, that May 24th was a day of mourning for mothers all over Cottage Grove. That was the day that Rick Borner got married and their hopes of him marrying their daughters were shattered. And he married me! Anyway. Where was I? Did I tell you about the bunny at chemo today?

Seriously. All that rambling was the steroids. More on that to come. The point to this post is to let you know about a new friendship that is blossoming. Her name is Jodi and she sells Thirty-One bags. In honor of my first day of chemo she is doing a Thirty-One fundraiser to help with medical costs! Yay! Hey, the company is called Thirty-One and I am 31. Isn't ironic?  It's like ra-e-ain on your wedding day.  It's a free-e-e ride when you've already paid. Anyway, starting today, the proceeds she would get for the sale of the bags is going to help pay for the port they put in during surgery and use during chemo (among other things). Talk about sticker shock! Anyway, if there are any bag lovers out there like me, here's a great chance to buys a bag or two. I love the ones I have and am ordering my new chemo bag tonight! I think Jodi said she will keep this open for the month of April. If I'm wrong she will correct me by commenting below, right Jodi!? Thank you, Jodi! Anyway, here's the link. Do what you want with it! I am going to cut Rick's hair and then will try to get out the post about chemo. I might wait for the steroids to get out of my system. I am not responsible for all the rambling I just did there, but I mean Every. Single. Word that I wrote! I would not be able to sit here (now I'm crying. Thanks, guys!) at Day One of A-Lot-of-Days of chemo treatments and be thankful. Yes, thankful, for this seemingly awful thing God allowed to come into my life at a really bad time. But because of the amazing support, cards, pajamas, gift baskets, meals, play dates for my daughter and husband, blog posts about me, texts from Florida, texts and cards and e-mails and singing rabbits fromTennessee (oh, Tennessee, you will be your own blog post when I can sit down to write about you or to you without crying. I have to rewrite the thank you I wrote to you after it got a little smudged with tears), care packages, meals, scripture verses, books, alcohol prep pads (that will have to stay a secret between me, Joan the amazing chemo nurse, Laurie, Roshell and Holly!) flowers, plants, meals, little gifts for Ella, jewelry, bags, meals, lip balm, emesis bags (thank YOU, Dr. Bryant. You are my hero.), DVD's, CD's, kids art work, oh, and did I mention meals?! For everything, all of it. Thank you. While all the things mentioned are wonderful, my love language is gifts after all. No joke. It's the people and the hearts giving the gift that I am so moved by and so thankful for. After recovering from broken friendships years ago, I didn't want to bother with friends that are girls and everything that come with friends that are girls. I had enough of that in junior high and do not wish to repeat that. But then I came to miss the deeper friendships with women. And I had changed so much. So I prayed for God to bring me some friends that were girls that I could be friends with that, when combined with me (I'm not perfect!) don't bring junior high drama to coffee outings. I found them. Several actually. And several more in the making. And many that I don't see enough, and many that I may never meet, and one that I have talked to since college (hi, Jennifer!).  Friends are just one of the many ways that God is using this cancer to answer other prayers I've prayed.  God is using this season to show His love for me through others and all these experiences to show me how much I have to be thankful for, all of his gifts to me that I have to be intentional to stop and count. Tonight's entries in my gratitude journal will reflect just a few of those gifts. I'd tell you about how my gratitude journal came to be, but I'm trying to wrap this up. Maybe after my next chemo treatment with the steroid pre med. That steroid is the star of the show, the chemo is just the chaser! Anyone need their house organized in the next twelve hours? Athletes should try this stuff. Oh, wait..... Okay. I'm really going to go cut Rick's hair. Oh no, after I help the neighbor catch her runaway dog. 

Here's the link:

I don't know how to make it blue. But you all know how to copy and paste, right? You all are making me feel so loved. Thank you! Love you back!


  1. Oh Melissa I love this entry, you and I seem to have had the same issue with friends, and now I have the best girlfriends I could find also! You are just amazing, and I can not wait to get to know you better!
    Ok, the ThrityOne on line party is open to take Orders on April 2nd-28th. All proceeds will be going to you, YEA! So yes, everyone stock up on all our wonderful bags!
    Also, Thirty-One stands for Proverbs31, that is you Melissa! It's an honor for me to hold this Special party for you.
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks for doing the 31, Jodi! I'm loving both the Pampered Chef and 31 parties :) Love, love, love you, Melissa! Keep the posts coming. Even if it includes a bit of rambling :)