|Today? Happy kitten.|
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."
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?
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.
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