Near my parent’s house there’s winding road that goes from their house to one of the highways.

Before I could drive, my brother, sister, and I loved this road because it has a lot of dips in it. My mom would always go fast down them because we loved it. It felt like a mini roller coaster and every time we felt our stomachs drop, we would get the biggest smiles on our faces.

Once I could drive, this road became my road. Anytime I was mad, sad, happy, or whatever, I would drive down this road with my music turned all the way up, my windows rolled down, and my fingers weaving through the rushing wind. This road has heard my cries and my laughter more times than any other. It’s where I go when I want to escape, when I want to think, and when I want to disconnect.

This road has brought me peace. It is my place.

On Friday, I met with my oncologist to talk about my treatment plan. It was actually the first appointment that I was really nervous for, and I’m not sure why. I guess because it made things official.

We talked about my port placement (which is happening tomorrow morning) and then he said that he wanted me to start chemo on the 14th.

The 14th.

Up until that point, chemo had felt like this sort of fictitious thing. I had read about it and tried to prepare myself for it; I had even said the words “I have to have chemo”, but those words had no weight or meaning. It wasn’t until I realized that ten days from that day (and eight days from now), I would be sitting in a chair having a liquid pushed through a catheter in my chest, that the gravity of everything hit me.

It’s officially real.

And I’m scared… and that’s okay.

So yesterday, with all my fear and worry, I went to my road.

I rolled the windows down, I wove my fingers through the air, and I listened. There was no music playing because there was no song that resonated with what I was feeling. Instead I listened to the nearby creeks, to the birds, and to the wind.

I took a deep breath in, with tears streaming down my face, and began to feel peace.


7 thoughts on “//backroad

  1. Hey we love you guys a lot up here and are praying for you. You are going to kick this cancer’s butt. I sure hate that this world is the way it is and that things like cancer exist., and know that Jesus hates it a million times more. I’m so inspired that you have such an amazing attitude about all of this. You’re amazing!!

    • Aw, thank you Vanessa! It’s meant so much to have such overwhelming support from everyone. We love y’all too, and hope y’all are doing well! P.s. Give that precious girl a hug for me! I can’t wait to meet her one day.

  2. I will be thinking of you on the 14th. My Oncologist appointment is on 22 April. From there I will receive my “plan”. Let’s travel this windy road together. Good luck 🙂

  3. Mandy- I am Trista’s mom….and a breast cancer survivor of 13 years. I was 39, diagnosed with interductal carcinoma in situ. Early detection by a incorrect suspicion of my non-affected breast & the pure grace of God. My journey through that was incredible- scary, yet filled with blessings, like your journey that I am reading about here. I am so overwhelmed by your transparent honesty, your head-on/take-it-on attitude and succinct clarity in writing about your experiences! No wonder Ivory loves you! Your beauty is clear and deep. Reading through your blog posts this morning is therapeutic and encouraging for me. I am deeply impressed with your healthy attitude, core-touched by the evidence of support & love exhibited by your friends and family, filled with praise for the God whose plans & love for you exhaust any feeble mortal attempt to comprehend. Please keep writing! It is a gift!!! And may the Light of Life and Love continue to illuminate and sustain each breath and step you take!!!
    Sincerely- Jan

    • Oh my goodness, Jan, thank you so much for everything that you said. It made me tear up! There truly are good and bad days with all of this, and it’s the good days that make it all worth it. It’s also so encouraging to hear from women who are survivors (I mean 13 years is incredible), it helps me to know that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

      I have heard nothing but great things about you from Ivory, and I’m looking forward to meeting you one day!

      Thank you for reaching out, it means a lot.

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