Kevin & I were coming out of Union Station this morning on our way to work when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. You could see that she was taking a chance, she clearly had something to say. She said to me, “I ride the train every morning with you and I have noticed you. I’ve noticed your hair growing more each day.” She then pointed to her own short hair. She said, “I’m cancer free, one year next week.”
It melted my exhausted heart. I freaking love the courage of a cancer survivor. So much. I love that she took a chance on me. I love that her hair looked so cute and I loved hearing that hers too came back curly and a different color. I love that she shared that she gets her cute look by straightening it. Lord knows I’m helpless in the fashion/hair department.
We went a little deeper and we exchanged what types we battled. She looked at me and said, “You’re just so young. So young.”
She then asked me such a simple question, with such a soul-warming smile on her face and with the most genuine look of concern,
“…but you’re good?”
It felt like 5 minutes but I’m sure it was a 2 second pause. Am I good? Will I ever be good again? No, I’m not good, this life is so unfair. Yes I’m good, there’s so much good happening despite it all. Such a simple question. And simulatenously in that moment, I was processing how I felt so understood, so accepted, so encouraged by just those few words. After all, this lady gets it! She gets that pause. She gets the million ways to take it. She knows the journey.
I blurted out, “Yes. I’m good. Thank God, I’m good,” because good to a cancer survivor means one thing: being cancer free. And suddenly you’re hit with perspective. No problem, no hurdle, nothing can touch that. How easy is it to forget how lucky you are to BE cancer free. To be alive. To get to have “normal problems.” I found myself lost for words after, as we parted ways into the seas of CHI commuters hustling to work.
The past two weeks have been a horrible flashback to how this all started for us. Nothing is wrong and I am healthy (!), but a PAP done during my scan appointment returned as showing abnormal cells. I got a phone call while at work. Holy deja vu! What was completely lost in translation and what would’ve been really nice to know before that phone call is that this is totally normal because the damage from radiation causes it. (In fact, some doctors don’t even do PAPs after treatment for awhile because of this.) So yes I’m horribly downplaying the experience, but all that matters is I’m fine, I’m good, all is well. However, add that to things you don’t do to a cancer survivor! And thanks to my good friend Ashley for taking the brunt of that reaction. ❤
So yeah, I have a million reasons to not be good. I have a millions reasons to ask why, or to be angry and don’t get me wrong, God gets a lot of that from me. But He also gets a ton of thanks from me for the exact reason that this woman was sent to me today: I’m alive. I’m healthy. I’m good. He seems to always get through to me when I need it most! Good is relative, good is what you make of it and good is not to be taken for granted.
And what else is really, really good? We are officially on profile for adoption. Our book is live, as well as our online profile, as of this week. I’ve seen so many of you share it on Facebook already and you don’t know how much that mean to us! Quite the journey, eh? We pray for that baby out there that God has created to be ours & we also pray for that baby’s Mom, whatever her journey might be. We can’t wait for the day that our paths cross and change all of our lives forever. We so, so, can’t wait.
So here’s to being good. And keeping the faith! And here’s also to that courageous survivor & her one year anniversary!