If you know me, you know I am never at a loss for words. Until recently that is. My mind has been on a desperate scavenger hunt to find the right thing to say.
How does one say thank you?
Two little words that try to encompass all the people who worked so hard on everything from food, tickets, music, decorations, gathering of donations, friends who made my story known on the Internet, people who have kept my family fed, others who have shown up with buckets and mops to keep the nooks and crannies clean, businesses who have helped with tires to travel to out-of-town winter appointments, garbage removal, and resources, teachers who have smiled a little more for my children’s sake, friends who brought loads of wood, trustworthy members of the community to handle finances, home care workers who understand my shame in not being able to care for my home as I would like to, friends of my kids who help around the house but don’t take it personally when I am too ill to visit and need them to leave, online communities of Hoopdancers who have never met me but continue to pour out support, friends and family of Dain’s who not only welcomed me at first but opened their hearts when we got the bad news… how I ask you? A simple letter to the paper? it just doesn’t seem enough.
I have lost friends along the way when at first I didn’t know what to do and lost myself into fear, shame and embarrassment ( not sure why illness does that to a person), my life took a huge left turn when we realized the treatments from before were not working. I panicked and became less of the kind of person I had hoped to be when faced with a crisis. I grieved desperately for those losses.
Then something absolutely mind-bending began to take place.
People I had lost touch with, people I had only met through Facebook, people I have only ever said hello to on the street, people I used to work with, people who cared, just because it is human nature to care. started to shine little beacons of light so I wouldn’t be lost anymore, until this path became illuminated like a Saturday night in Vegas.
The Crisdon’s Fryingpan vs Cancer Hooplah Fundraiser was enormously successful.
We were able to raise approximately $12,000 from the gorgeous auction items, donations, plus private donations through the community.
We left the next day to Arizona armed with loads of questions, fear, excitement and a cushion of love. We couldn’t have gotten there to get the big news we did without your help.
I know lots of folks have been asking “how did it go,” “what happened?”. I will try to keep it PG rated as it is quite graphic. The amazing doctors said yes, indeed they can save my life.
I am excited on one part as they are confident that it will be one major all day surgery rather than a course of drawn-out, invasive and life-altering operations. They will need to remove the fibula from one of my legs to build the new bone for my jaw. In Canada they use the thicker hip bone with a titanium combo that has a shockingly high rejection rate.
So yes to literally “save face”, I must “lose a leg to stand on”.
Hopefully with rehabilitation and time I will be able to carry on somewhat of an active lifestyle, but sadly my soccer career is out the window..bummer.
They understood that Canadian doctors probably hadn’t seen this kind of tumour in 20 years but also emphasized that the Mayo Clinic had successfully performed the same surgery three weeks prior to my visit! PHEW!
The surgery itself is terribly costly at $157,000 and we are still going through the vast amounts of paperwork in hope that B.C. Medical will help.
I have run out of other options for care here at home. I have my family doctor here in Invermere, Dr. Page, and she is such a support.
We decided it’s like a factfinding school project and together have learned to navigate the system as my own advocate.
It is a community effort though. I am not doing a single step of this alone as I have mentioned before.
I know that it will be ok. It just has to, right?
I want to be a part of my life forever. I know that sounds confusing but it makes sense if you’ve been faced with your mortality. There isn’t another me to care for my kids.
I may have taught them everything they know, but I sure as heck haven’t taught them everything I know yet.
I want to be a better friend. I want to travel, I want to love, I want to help. I want to pay it forward.
Turns out, being smart enough to choose to live in the Columbia Valley since 1981 is the one decision I made that could very well make all those dreams come true.
So I thank you.
My kooky wonderful family thanks you. My concerned friends thank you. Thank you for allowing nature to take hold and human kindness to pour out.