A Facebook post on November 16, just a week after my diagnosis.
Can I just say that while I can't respond to every word of love, hope, support, encouragement, lamentation, and flat-out solidarity, I need to let you know that your words have become life to me. Thank you all so much for holding me, Karla, and the girls so tenderly and powerfully in your thoughts, prayers, meditations, cursing at the sky, claiming and reclaiming hope...
I have news to share - a confirmation that I do in fact have lung cancer that has metastasized to my thyroid. I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow to go over this in detail and to discuss treatment. Add an MRI of my brain in the morning and a battery of tests on Tuesday next week and we'll be off and running. One thing that's become clear is that I perhaps couldn't be on a better spot on the planet to receive care. Duke's Cancer Center is top shelf, and I feel confident in their expertise.
I'm living in the midst of so much paradox. Time feels like it's galloping away, and yet I can't make the hours move fast enough to get to treatment. Life is in free-fall, and yet the most important things are snapping into focus with such distinct clarity - love for family, the gift of time, the will to fight and live... I've never been more vulnerable, and yet I feel so powerful because I feel the world around me rising up to my defense, shouting with me against the death-deals and holding me up. People, I feel your presence around me, in my body, spirit, soul. I know that I am not alone and this knowledge is Holy. Thank you.
In the midst of it all, I had this thing on my calendar yesterday - a date with Ezzy's 3rd grade class to help them write a song about their values and identity as a community. A week ago I could hardly imagine keeping that appointment, but yesterday I felt good, so we did it. We wrote a song, "We are Mighty. Are You Mighty Too?" They are. So am I. So are we all. Thank you for your might with and for me, friends. So much love to you all. I'll keep checking in...
I have stage IV lung cancer and I write about that here. If you're out there and you're fighting cancer, solidarity. If you read "lung cancer" and you wonder if I was a smoker, read this. Living with cancer is a daily, death-defying reality - one that pushes me to not simply defy death, but to affirm life, bless goodness, cheer for wonder, celebrate beauty... you get the idea. I hope I do that here.