I wore my pink
"I'm not contagious, it's just cancer. Give me a hug," and I got so many hugs that I couldn't count. Hugs from children, parents, nurses and doctors. Seeing the kids brings me out of my pity party, which I love being out of. I cannot even imagine what it must be like for small children to endure this. It is so difficult for me; can you imagine small children? Scared of what is happening, not understanding it completely and afraid of the future? I am only 25, but I have experienced "growing up," I have experienced a first love, solid and loving friendships, and a reunion with my mother. These children have experienced at most, losing 2 front teeth and learning to play Nintendo Wii.
When I saw Briana, I felt straight from my heart, that I would give my life for hers. Truly, honestly and completely, I mean that. Briana is the most intelligent, fun-loving, compassionate and beautiful 16 year old I have ever seen. She has so much to offer this world. I would trade my "hopeful" diagnosis for her terminal diagnosis. But life doesn't work that way. Women will survive breast cancer, and some will die. Women will survive ovarian cancer and some will die. Children will beat Ewing's, leukemia and brain tumors and some will die. I can't make sense of why or how or who chooses who will and who won't become a survivor. Although as I told Briana, I admire her greatly. Her strength in the face of this inspires me. To be faced with death, hopeless for recovery, but to give her brilliant thoughts and ideas, to give her hugs and her undeniably heartfelt smile while facing death, is something to be admired. She amazes me. And if there is an after life, if there is truly a God, which I am doubting now, I wish I were Briana; because she is pure, beautiful and innocent. If there are truly gates of Heaven, they would open automatically and carry her into heaven. I am not like that. I have so many faults, so many wrong-doings. Heaven's gates would open very slowly and I'd have to answer to
many things, assuming of course there is a heaven. My faith is still dwindling. More now than ever.
Briana showed me some of her writings and gave me two of them. Last year in English, she wrote a paper about who she would like to be like when she grew up, and ironically it was me. I sobbed then, and I am crying again right now. She would like to be like me. To have such a beautiful and innoncent human being think of me so highly is is the biggest compliment I have ever received. Another paper is about cancer, death and acceptance. I now know that Briana knew she would die at her diagnosis, even though originally it was good. She knew that cancer would succumb her from the start, and she wrote with such grace and beauty about her acceptance of it, and why she thought she was in this world to begin with and to die so young. I will ask her permission to post these, because they touch the heart so very deeply.
When I left her today, I hugged her forever it seems. I was crying in this little girl's arms (aren't I supposed to be the strong one?) Why do these children and teenagers feel such peace and I find myself so sad or angry, or rageful? I look at this beautiful girl with dark brown hair and huge blue eyes, longer than long eyelashes, and a smile that would melt anybody.......and God? Maybe God? will take her from this life? Remove such beauty? Remove such promise? WHY? She gets it; why can't I?
After leaving Briana's I met Cameron at Starbucks (oh, yeah, I did say YES) and he was exactly what I needed. I have felt so much closer to Cameron since my mixed up feelings with my brother. To clarify: and yes, this is embarrassing; I felt as though I was falling in love with Kieran. Just the thought of him, seeing him, his smile, his voice, or even the phone ringing made my tummy get butterflies. We talked about this openly and we found some information regarding this; finding out that is is more normal than we thought. Once we talked, set boundaries and allowed ourselves to feel that love as brother and sister, I have been able to allow myself to love Cameron more. I told Cameron that I loved him. I did not stutter. And I meant it with all my heart. We have had a different relationship since......more open, more meaningful, and of course, planning for our future. Cameron is not just "some guy," it took me a long, long, time to even accept a date. I didn't trust him. It took me a long, long time to even call myself his girlfriend. And it took me, as he would say: "forever to kiss him." I enjoy kissing him now. I enjoy being in his arms. I can see myself beating cancer and retiring in rocking chairs with this man. I was so stupid to ever think about letting him go. Fortunately he is patient!
At Starbucks with a mocha on ice, we just sat there talking. I talked about the kids at Children's, I talked about Briana. I cried. He cried. In public! He told me that he hoped I would fight and fight hard, but if and when I ever decided to give up, he would not oppose my decision. It meant so much to me. He did express that he wanted to be my husband in either scenario and I honestly can imagine laying in bed with him until "death do us part," for the first time since I meant him. He knows me. He knows my heart and he knows my soul. He supports me in my fight, he supports me if I give up. He supports me in my struggle with my adoptive parents, and he supports me with my reunion and all the feelings that comes with. Who gets so lucky? Why me?
I will end this post with a picture of me taken 11 days before my surgery and diagnosis. So much has changed. But I guess the reason I am posting this is to show that ovarian cancer can happen to anybody; young or old. It is mostly associated with the elderly because that is where it is most common. But I'm not elderly. I'm not unusual. Take care of yourself. See your doctor when something isn't right or is unusual for you. Don't take a single moment for granted. Keep in mind, I am very different today. I am 35-40 lbs less, with little to no hair; for those "new friends" I may meet sometime......