I remember when I was in junior high school and a big, awkward loser (or more accurately, a tiny, awkward loser – I think I weighed about 75 pounds), a girl who was more popular than I was had a surprise party thrown for her. I was jealous, because nobody had ever thrown me a surprise party, and it seemed so fun.
Well, junior high schoolers, who’s cool now?
Remember back when I posted about Glamoury Mammaries, my effort to turn sequins into my own personal breast cancer awareness “color”? It’s taken off pretty quickly, and my friend Sarah (in the awesomely sparkly pink Toms above) coined the term Sequin Soldiers to define the army of friends and acquaintances who bombarded me with sequined gifts and images of themselves wearing sequined shoes, sequined hats, sequined scarves and everything in between. Without me knowing, my amazing friends and boyfriend coordinated and got together to make this sign and arrange this photo shoot to show their support. Since college, we’ve scattered all around the country, so not everyone could make it down to Charlottesville to stand on the steps of my alma mater’s gorgeous Rotunda, but these four beautiful gals groped each other and posed like models for several hours to bring me this amazing picture – and a deluge of others like it.
THIS IS SO MUCH COOLER THAN A SURPRISE PARTY.
I have never felt more loved, more appreciated, more connected and more supported in my life. It seems like a dream. How could I have had the incredible fortune to meet such amazing people? And not just that, but made enough of an impact on them that they’d dedicate a whole Sunday to wearing these awesome outfits and holding that amazing, handmade sign, just for me? Is it even possible for one person to be so blessed?
It sounded like they had a fun time doing it, as well. They were mistaken for sorority rushees, to which my hilariously honest friend, former roommate and my one and only “Gyps” Caroline replied, “No, we did that years ago. Our friend has cancer.” A second person asked my platonic soulmate Katie Bo if they were returning from a party. “No,” she said, “the party’s right now.”
That’s a perfect description of my incredible, inspiring, beautiful friends – the party is always wherever they are. And it’s better than any surprise party any junior high schooler has ever had.
Seriously, how incredible is that sign? And those shoes? And those beers? But seriously, I miss beers.
Another amazing gift that cancer has given me is the opportunity to reconnect with a lot of people who I have fallen out of touch with. Many wonderful friends that I haven’t spoken to in years have reached out to me to offer their support and tell me how much they care for me. I believe it is rare to have the opportunity to reflect on so many amazing and caring friendships, even ones that have perhaps fallen a bit by the wayside after our lives have taken their disparate courses. I am honored and humbled that so many of you have taken the time to reach out, and you should know that it means a lot to me. Thank you all.
A few other notes about life at the moment:
Body hair level approaching baby Sasquatch territory; still not allowed to so much as look at armpits the wrong way for fear of causing infection. Tired of handling long hair and stressing about losing it during chemo; scheduling pixie cut for next week and full shave shortly after. Some oncologists concerned about fertility so meeting with specialist this weekend; updates to follow. Excited for boyfriend’s nine day visit beginning this evening! And full of love and thankfulness for all of the people who make my life so beautiful. It is truly a gift to be alive, cancer or not.