At an intersection

June 7th through the 8th I was at the MPLD (Missouri Public Library Directors) summer conference, on June 14th I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Today I prepare to leave for the 2018 MLA (Missouri Library Association) conference, and by the time you read this I will have had my last chemo treatment. I feel like I am at a significant intersection of my life. As much as I am happy to be done with chemo, I am scared. I know it is working and I weirdly fear letting go of it. Going to MLA represents the first steps into getting back to my life, I feel nervous and excited. I am excited to see my fellow director friends; I am nervous for how people react to the bald girl.

Last weekend was Apple Festival. It was a weird day for me. Cancer has given me an odd taste of celebrity. As much as I love all the people that pray for me, it is hard to physically interact with some people. They want to touch me; they look at me with sad eyes. As a cancer survivor I will tell you that you must be careful how you react to the individual with cancer. The sad eyes are hard to deal with, you feel like the person sees you dying or dead and that is that last thing you need. A cancer survivor has visualized their funeral, but they cannot handle anyone else seeing it. Try to treat us like you always did, smile, wave, say a prayer to yourself, continue to hold us up.

Like I said, I am at a significant intersection of my life. I have to start living each day without fear. I will need your help with this, I will need your continued prayers and your smiling face. No sad eyes, those days are behind us.

I am full of emotions this week, which should be obvious by the previous paragraphs. I still struggle with fear and anxiety, I am not sure what the new normal is, the roller coaster seems to be very fast right now. I spend lots of time in prayer and reflection.

On the upside, I am reading again! So that part of my life is settling down. I am currently reading our book club book for November, The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I recently finished Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart. All excellent examples of learning about someone different than yourself. All are perfect for me right now, they all enable me to think outside of myself, to see other people’s struggles. Being a human is hard.

This has been the longest 4 months of my life. Thank you for going on the ride with me. I apologize for my chemo brain and whatever madness you have had to witness. I remember signing up for MLA back at the beginning of this journey. I signed up for it and the Give Em the Bird 5k as acts of faith. God has rewarded me with strength to enjoy both these events. Now I must learn to give Him each day. My doctor has referred to me as a unicorn. Maybe so, I am one of God’s children and my days of good blood work, no sickness from chemo, even still having to shave my legs are all gifts and signs of faith in him. Unicorns are perfect representations of this verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Next week I hope to see a glimpse of old excited Stacey, back from MLA with ideas to fill my already overflowing “More” folders.

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