Thursday, April 26, 2012

And FINALLY Some Freaking Good News

Today? Happy kitten.
After a week of crappy news in Mommyland, which followed an even crappier week of deep, contemplative thoughts that made our brains and hearts hurt... It's f*cking time for some good news. Here's a little story like to hear it here it goes:

Once upon a time there was a really great family. In this family there was a mom, a dad, and three beautiful little girls. What this family wanted more than anything was to see the world. Not on a vacation or from a hotel window, either. They wanted to live and work abroad. To experience new cultures and learn to speak new languages and eat questionable food. They wanted to do this as a family, so they could experience these things together and grow closer.

So they asked for the chance to do that. And then they waited.

They waited for a long time.

Then they waited some more and they prayed for some idea of what the hell to do next.

Then it happened. They would get to move to Indonesia. And they were like "WOO HOOO!!!! INDONESIA!!" and their friends and family were like: "Great! Please don't die in a tsunami or terrorist attack, mmkay? Because we love you very much." But nothing could dampen their enthusiasm, even subdued congratulations from constipated-looking friends who didn't get it.

And then, after 2 months of scurrying around preparing for their adventure - they were gone.

And we were sad because we missed them. But not too sad because we knew they were where they were supposed to be and we were happy for them. And we saw pictures of them doing amazing things and having adventures. And they were SO HAPPY. Sure, there were rough spots. And a little homesickness. But everything was working out better than they'd hoped.

And we all smiled to ourselves and started to get on with our lives.

Then a text message from Indonesia.
Ellen: "I found a lump. I went to the doctor. They say they can't do anything for me here. They're sending me back to the US for tests."
Me: "WHEN?"
Ellen: "Tomorrow morning."

And my blood ran cold. Because my friend is 30 years old. And she has a family history of cancer. So my friend, with 12 hours to prepare, packed a bag and said goodbye to her three precious daughters and kissed her husband and got a plane. She had no idea what would come next or when she would see would them again.

She flew to California and stayed with her mom. And the doctors there confirmed her cancer. And she had surgery. And I wrote her a letter. And she was brave and all the people here that she left behind were terrified and cried a lot.

Then came some news.The pathology of her tumors was... Good. Better than they hoped. Her prognosis was... Good. A collective sigh of relief was heard. She would live. She would see her children again. We would not cry at her funeral. We would not watch her daughters grow up without her. We would not have to watch something unthinkably horrible unfold in front of us, helpless to stop it or make it better.

Thank you God Thank you God Thank you God. Thank you for letting her live.

Then came the choices. What should she do next? She asked her husband to come to California to help her figure that out. Would it be chemo and radiation? Would it be Tomoxifin? How many months would go by before she could go home? Before she could see her children again?

Then nothing. A week of nothing. Radio silence from Ellen. What's going on with her, anyway? Have you heard anything?

Then this:

No chemo. I AM HOME. WE ARE HOME.
This is me surprising the girls.














These photos were taken by Ellen's friend. Here is her blog Wanderlust and Wonder with lots more very cool photography.
And I saw these pictures and I cried my little eyes out. I mean that. I CRIED LIKE A BABY. And when I looked at them again just now? I cried some more. Because she is mending! And she is home! Her home, where there are three little girls and a husband who need her and Tsumanis and terrorists and amazing food and a community of wonderful people (who banded together to take care of her family while she was gone), and adventures around every corner.

Thank you, Mommyland, for praying for her, for wishing her well, for holding me up while I panicked about losing my friend. Thank you, Ellen, for kicking breast cancer's ass like the tiny, hardcore ninja you are. I don't think any of us who love you could have handled it if we'd lost you. We need you here, even if here is 10,000 miles away.

And now, I will stop sniveling long enough to blow my nose. Sigh... Life is hard but life is good.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

47 comments:

  1. been following her blog since you posted it and will be reading all about her adventures to come... these pictures are AWESOMESAUCE! so glad she's home :)

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  2. YEAH!!!! Tiny Hardcore Ninja! Man I love her. Sigh. And I miss her. Sigh. And I'm really, really happy that she's off living her adventure again!

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  3. That was great! I cried reading it and I don't know her. Great writing! Thank God for the healing on your friend :)

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  4. Wonderful!!!!! So happy that she is home :) I am praying for continued good health for you,Ellen!

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  5. So happy that she is HOME! Love.

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  6. Wow this story gave me chills! I have a friend with nearly the exact same story (except they were in Thailand and have a few more kids). They're home now too, and she's just finished chemo. Thanks for sharing this!

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  7. I'm crying happy tears too! So glad she kicked cancer's ass!

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  8. Oh my, crying too. Those pictures are beautiful.

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  9. "Life is hard, but life is good". Word.

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  10. Nothing better with coffee than happy tears. Tiny hardcore ninjas rock!

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  11. My 5 month old is patting my face trying to figure out why it's wet.

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  12. GO ELLEN YOU TINY BADASS NINJA!

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  13. That is a family with gorgeous hair!

    Thank you for the update and thank God she's doing so well.

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  14. Stop making me cry at work! : ) All joking aside, that is a fabulous story and made my heart smile. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. Home, what a sweet word that is. Home, where you are together with your family. Home, sweet home.

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  16. Jesus, Lydia! STOP MAKING ME STUPID CRY AT WORK.

    God Bless this beautiful, perfect family. And you.

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  17. Bravo.

    Bravo to your friend for her hardcore braveness. Bravo to her family for their love. Bravo to her community for their support. Bravo to her doctors. And Bravo to everyone that took a minute out of their day to pray, meditate or think happy thoughts so that this woman was bathed in good karma. We win.

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  18. Ok now you made me cry reading that and seeing the photos! :)

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  19. Yea! Here is to proving once again "she's wittle but she's stwong!" Go Ellen!!! And I am crying all over my keyboard.

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  20. I think this is the happiest post I've read on Mommyland. I am so happy for her and her family!

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  21. After reading how hardcore Ellen was with the moving furniture and whatnot I had no doubt she'd beat the hell out of the big C as well. Way to go, Sister. And Lyd - I'm bawling, too. And I've never even met her.

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  22. Yay for not just good news, but super giant leap in the air happy news. Awesome.

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  23. crying here too! So glad to hear the awesome news! Here's praying she never has a reoccurance as well...

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  24. I also cried like a baby. So thankful. God is very good, indeed

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  25. Crying too, awesomesauce all over the place!

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  26. That is wonderful news! I don't even know your courageous friend and I was teary eyed reading that!

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  27. Great news! But, I'm crying at work. Although, I'm pregnant, so maybe everyone just assumes it's hormones... :)

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  28. Super awesome! Does anyone else think she looks like Madonna in the 3rd photo??? Or are the teary eyes blurring my vision?

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  29. I knew she could kick cancer in the taco. Welcome home!

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  30. I was fine until I saw the pictures of her and her girls. Then I lost it. Now I'm sitting at my desk at work crying lol. I love you guys. GO ELLEN!

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  31. I'm reading this as I sit in the waiting room at the hospital to have a second look at some little suspicious mass in my own breast. I have 2 sisters that have beat breast cancer. I hope it's not cancer, but if it is, i'll kick its ass! Thank you for sharing this story!

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  32. Thank you so much for the update!! And thanks for sending me forth to momming with good tears in my eyes. Love you Lydia, and Ellen.

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  33. Amazing post, and for this-pretty-much-never-cries mama, it "almost" brought a tear to my eyes. Those girls are so very, very lucky.... to have such a strong mama, and to continue to have her in their lives. They might not understand now, but later in life, they will be amazed how close life came to falling apart. ;-)

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  34. I got teary. What a wonderful update. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Um. Thanks. Thanks a lot. Here I am at work reading this post & I am fine & my phone is not ringing. Then I scroll down & hit the pictures & I try to control it. I try so hard that I do this ugly sucking in of the sob that basically just creates a snot bubble to go with the freely flowing tears (& you thought you ugly cried). Then my phone rings & it is a client & he is instantly worried that something is wrong. That makes me cry more because nothing is wrong, everything is beautiful. Those little girls holding on to their beautiful mama are beautiful & now I am crying again. I need to go home & spend the rest of the day holding my little girl (even though she is all elbows & knees & just like holding a long limbed pony)

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  36. wonderful news! I cried too :)

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  37. Big ugly cry here! Mazel Tov Ninja Kitty Ellen!!!

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  38. First of all, WooHoo!!! So glad to hear that Ellen is HEALTHY!!!!! And second, I really need to quit reading this blog at work. . . .You made me ugly cry. . . .again. . . .CONGRATULATIONS, again, to Ellen and her AWESOME family!!

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  39. The first time I read this and tried to comment I couldn't see through my Oprah ugly cry tears to form proper words and sentences. I can't say this second time is going much better. Am simply beyond grateful to hear that Ellen is healthy and home with her girls where she belongs. Sometimes this world, it is good.

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  40. It is for stories like this that I am taking on the Susan G Koman 3 Day Breast Cancer walk. It is for all the little girls who have to worry if they might lose their mom. It is for my mom who i lost when I was 14 that I will walk in October to make sure reunions like this happen more and more... Thank you for sharing your amazing friend with us.

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  41. Such wonderful news! My mom had breast cancer last year (and beat it), so this story resonated with me.

    And by the way, is it just me, or is the picture of the "happy kitten" just a little bit scary to anyone else, as in she's about to jump on you and chew your leg off? Such big teeth for a little critter, lol!

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  42. This story is all too close to home for me. My mother's mother had breast cancer, my mother died from breast cancer. I live in complete fear everyday of my life that this will happen to me. Even thought it wasn't the case for my mother I am SOOO HAPPY that your friend kicked cancer's ass!

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  43. Such a good story to read on the day of our local Relay For Life. "Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back." Celebrating Ellen, my husband, and all the other fighters/survivors out there!

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  44. And now you have me crying. Cried when I saw her post these on Facebook and now here you go again. I do love your stories. Love Ellen too. Hope to meet her someday.

    Stephanie

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