Now you guys know I prefer to be matter of fact about most of this cancer stuff I’ve been going through, but this is one subject that gets me all blubbery every time I talk to someone about it. So please excuse the mushiness of this post. I promise to return to my usual humor and oversharing with the next post.
When my transplant doctors told us that I would need someone devoted to my care 24/7 for about three months plus someone else devoted to our children’s care, Bobby and I were a bit overwhelmed. How in the world were we going to manage this? He needed to continue working in order to provide for us. We are both very independent people and asking for help is not easy for either of us. We felt like we’d already asked for so much help with the previous two rounds of chemo over the past year.
And that is when we were overwhelmed by our village. The people who love us and our children. The people in our lives who understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ to others. The people who just want to help out a little for whatever reason, whether it be a need to pay it forward, gratefulness for their own health, love for my babies, whatever. These people have all wrapped their arms around us and made this journey so much smoother and less stressful for us.
Bobby’s mother has come to stay with us and take care of the kids for a few months. They love having Grandmama here and I love that we have someone we all know, trust, and love to take the kids to school, pick them up, and make sure they are clean, warm, and fed.
My mommy friends have been a huge help with playdates and taking the kids to birthday parties and other places I can’t take them. Elliott and Fiona have been able to maintain their normal lives throughout all this.
And then there’s my church ladies. Actually, it’s a group of men and women from St. Teresa’s who have formed a committee called “Kristi’s Angels.” And they have definitely been angels to me. They have devoted entire days of their lives to make meals, be here early in the morning so that Bobby can get to work on time, drive me to Northside and sit with me while I get chemo or blood work, and bring me home and stay with me until Bobby gets home from work. It’s been wonderful so far, being able to spend time with people, chat, and get to know them better. It’s also been humbling to accept help when I can’t really offer anything in return other than my sincere gratitude.
My friends and family have gotten in on the action too, making meals, sending us gift cards, becoming one of my “Angels,” taking the kids, sending cards, calling to check on me…like I said, it’s been incredibly overwhelming. I can’t thank all of you enough for the support, the prayers, the million different ways each of you has shown your love to my family. Each of you has contributed to my recovery in a meaningful way, and I credit my village just as much as my doctors, my nurses, and my Maker for the strength to walk the path that has been laid before me.
Here are a few of these wonderful people: Betty and I, laughing at Elliott’s insistence on a 20-minute photo shoot of us, Pat and I, headed home from Northside after a successful day of chemo and Neupogen self-injection education, and Tiffany, my beautiful and sweet infusion nurse.
So much love and thanks to all of you. We know that we can never repay the gifts you have given us, and we are learning maybe that is part of the lesson we are supposed to learn from this. I am paying it forward by sharing my story in the hopes that others going through rough times will find comfort, laughter, and maybe even a little strength and inspiration from the knowledge that they are not alone, no matter how rough the road they are walking. Angels are all around us.