Friday, November 13, 2009

I Am Woman , Hear Me Roar..!!

Yes this is a re-post. But it carries enough importance that I want to share it again.

I look out my office window and the rain is coming down in its traditional torrential Oregon fashion for November. These long wintry days can drag a person down to be sure, but today I am completely and utterly overjoyed and happy. You see, I just got off the phone with my brother from another mother. This long awaited conversation is one that to be completely transparent I did not know I would ever have. Break out the tissues because in the following muse we are going to take a walk of life.

Today's call started back on another cold wintry day last March. As is customary, once every few weeks, I take a moment to call my dear friend Skip (who is my friend & brother and was my roommate and teammate at Virginia Tech.) to catch up on life and our families. Skip sounded pretty upbeat as is usual for his demeanor, but I could tell even 2,500 miles and at least 8 states away something was wrong.

You see, 7 years ago Skip married a spicy, smokin' hot, southern accented gal named Karen. The first time I met Karen, while visiting Skip in Richmond, I just knew she was the one for my friend. To compliment her beauty she has a fiery spirit & zest for life that is completely infectious. Hopefully you have had the joy of knowing this type of person. Everything about them makes you want to be around them 24-7 because their attitude and approach to life makes you and your life so much more robust. Oh yeah, and she has the most rocking, smoky, sultry voice. She should have her own record, seriously. Most importantly, she is a kind, gentle, loving mother and wife.

One afternoon in February, while snuggling with her 2 year old son Michael, Karen felt a small lump in her breast. Literally, within a few days that small lump had grown into a massive malignant tumor, which required a partial mastectomy. Karen was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. She has had multiple rounds of chemotherapy, a full blood transfusion to save her life from a blood infection and is now enduring radiation treatment. The prognosis has been uncertain at best.

When Skip broke this news to me all I could do the rest of the day was fight off the tears that kept welling up in my eyes out of fear and hurt for my friends. I held my wife and would not let go as I told her of the news. I held my kids when they arrived home from school. I know, I am a big baby. But I don't care. I care about people and especially the ones I love and cherish like my family and friends. I committed myself to think that

"damn it, she is a tough, spirited woman and she is going to kick this cancer's ass! She just has to. It's that simple. Little Michael and Skip need her! She completes them. She is not done here. She has so much more to offer this world."

The randomness of life dealing cards like this to good, awesome people has, and always will be, a complete mystery to me.

So to digress, as I stated earlier, I am overjoyed, utterly and completely HAPPY today and with tears to boot! Skip has told me that Karen's doctors seem to feel that she is going to be a survivor. I do not pretend to know or understand all the intricacies of the nightmare Karen and Skip have endured during this 9 months of hell. I do know this-- Karen is one of the strongest galvanizing people I know. I know I am a stronger person because of her strength. She is a testament to the desire to live and fight the good fight with the tenaciousness of a lion. She has inspired me, my family and my parents with her resolve. I hope that God continues to shine down on her. You ROCK girl! We love you.


The Mom said...

What an amazing post and tribute to your friends! I pray that she will stay a survivor forever!

Jay @halftime lessons said...

Awesome, T, our thoughts and prayers to them, and nice tribute.

Geri said...

wow Tony...i don't even know what to say. Your post moved me to tears...I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

Jonathan said...

That is a very inspiring story. I got tears in my eyes reading it. I have a few friends that have gone through similar things and they are true survivors with so much encouragement.

Sherri Baker said...

Wow! What an amazing woman! I will keep her and Skip and Little Micheal in my prayers. Skip is so deserving of a wonderul woman like the one u describe. I hope to meet her one day. (I already admire her!) ~Sherri

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Anonymous said...

It certainly is not right

~ In Between The Lines ~ said...

Tony, truly an inspiring post. Not only because of her - but that YOU took the time to spotlight and give her a tribute. You are blessed indeed to have such amazing friends.

Team Russi said...

Great post!

I don't understand the rhyme or reason, either, but I'm so glad your friends have been blessed with good news.