Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chemo, Family, and Silliness, OH MY!!!

This was our day, way back in August, when Erin first faced her battle with chemo.  Why post now?  Well, Erin asked me to share this one.  I am so proud of her desire and strength in wanting to keep things real.  Cancer is an ugly, wretched monster that Erin is conquering with grace and courage.  On this August day, we smiled, cried a little, ate a lot of yummy snacks, took out our frustrations on a mean game of cribbage, laughed with some other people in the chemo room, and deepened our friendship in a very different way than we ever have before.  During her treatment, Erin struggled with benadryl and was given something to counteract the side effects from it.  The result?  Erin was zonked for an hour or two.  She had asked me to take pictures that day....  I kind of felt like a voyeur, but her thought was that she might want these photos later.  So, better to take them and not need them than to skip the pics and then wish she had a way to chronicle her journey.  I must admit, I felt hideous pulling out the camera at such a hard time, but I'm glad I did it for her.

Erin really is an incredible friend.  I feel so fortunate to know her and to be included with her family.  On Monday, my husband ended up in the ER.  He is totally fine, but had a very extreme migraine - his first ever.  Combined with his blood clot and his clotting disorder, I was a touch terrified.  As soon as Erin heard what was going on, she was ready to take my kids, come sit with me at the hospital, get my boys to school in the morning, anything I needed.  Here is a woman battling cancer, struggling with energy and nausea, ready to put it all on the line for my family.  Truly, she is a beautiful woman inside and out.  I won the friend lottery with that one!!!

I was visiting with Erin and her mom the other day and we were talking about how we have all learned so much about giving.  If there is a good side to this nightmare, it is seeing the kindness in others - friends, acquaintances, even strangers.  We have had an awesome response to our shirt sales and are watching as people donate time, food, money, and energy to help out this inspiring gal.  Thank you so much for everything.  That positive energy is more healing than any drug.

So..... some humor.  I guess I really like my red wine..... I mean really, really like my red wine.  I blame it on growing up in a large, rowdy, Catholic family, but whatever it is, I have a thing for it.  I have shown up at Erin's house a few times with a bottle of red in tow.  Yesterday, I was chatting with Claire and sipping some delightful vino.  As we were chatting, Terry, Erin's step-dad, appeared with an empty glass.  We giggled about how I have him trained like Pavlov's dogs.  The instant he hears my obnoxious banter, he finds the wine glass.  I guess there are worse responses to the sound of my voice.... I'm thinking Mary Hart and Kramer...  In any case, thank you Terry for allowing us a chuckle or two at your expense.

Also, Alex flew in last night.  Erin was overflowing with excitement yesterday to see her brother.  On a bit of a dare, David wore Gavin's Darth Vader helmet, complete with Darth sound effects, and held a sign that said, "I am your father."  The video is hysterical.  It was good to see Claire laughing so hard I thought wet pants were imminent.  I am working on figuring out how to post the video, but at this point it is upside down. Sadly, this first grade teacher is not quite tech-savy enough to figure it out.  In any case, it was exactly the type of silliness that makes me beam so much my dimples ache.

On another note, Roz will be submitting the t-shirt order on Monday.  If you would like one, please e-mail her by tomorrow.  Shirts are $20.  If your order requires shipping, please add an extra $5.  Thanks!!!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for supporting my dear friend.  Thank you for your kind thoughts, sweet wishes, unending prayers, as well as the rest.  In my heart, I truly believe that this cancer demon completely screwed up when it chose to mess with Erin.  With her amazing support system, her incredible medical team, and her devoted family, she will win....  I just know it.

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