//my 26th year


Wow. This day has left me in awe.

I’m not going to lie, this whole week has been mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing.

On top of starting chemo, we’ve been in the process of moving into my parents’ house and both Ivory and I have become exhausted. Me, from dealing with the repercussions of this illness, and Ivory for having to bear the burden of dealing with me.

I know he doesn’t think of me as a burden, and I know that he loves me and that he would do anything and more for me, but this whole week that’s all I’ve felt like. A burden to everyone around me who loves me most…

So, I woke up today, mentally fed up with everything. I was so over feeling sick, but my body kept me curled up on my bed like a withering mess. I felt sad, angry, and weak.

But mainly angry at myself.

Since making this public, everyone has been telling me how strong I am and how they’re so inspired by me, but I woke up this morning feeling like I’d let everyone down. I was not strong and I  was definitely not inspiring, and I was really frustrated with myself for not thinking positively.

All week, I’ve felt trapped inside of this house, as well as inside of my own head, and all I could keep thinking about was how alone I felt.

I’ve never been one to turn away alone-time, in fact, I generally cherish those moments. But there’s something about being sick and not having a choice that takes all of the goodness out of that. And even though I’m not alone, I was overcome by loneliness.

Okay. Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you or made you feel (undeserving-ly) sorry for me, here’s where everything gets better.

This afternoon, after venting all of this to my mom, she spilled the beans and told me that some of my friends were coming over as a surprise dinner for me.

I immediately burst into tears.

Now, I know that I am very loved (so I don’t want anyone to think that I’m unappreciative or unaware of that fact), but one of my biggest fears since the beginning has been that I’ll become “the sick friend”. You know, the one who no one can really relate to so they just slowly drift away from all of the awkwardness that this situation can bring until they’re a distant memory of a friend.

So, I burst into tears because it was so overwhelming, in the best possible way, to know that my friends still wanted to hang out with me. (That sounds so trivial and childish as I type it out, but it was a real fear.)

A few hours later, I was feeling like my normal self again while I laughed and talked with a group of my closest girl friends.

Suddenly, my sister (who had been very sneaky all evening), made an announcement and called all of us over to the computer. When she turned it around, I saw my dear friends, Lauren and Myra, on Skype waiting for me. I was so surprised and happy to see them that I didn’t even think anything else might’ve been going on.

It wasn’t until Lauren started talking and I noticed that her husband was holding up his phone (like he was taking a picture), that I realized something more was going on.

Lauren started to tell me about how she and my sister had set up a group to raise money for me and Ivory, and that in the past 48 hours they raised a little over $5,000.

I think I hunched over into a big ball of tears at that point.

To all of the people who donated, there are no words. There are so many of you who I have never met, or have only met one or two times… and I just… I can’t. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face trying to come up with the perfect words to express what my heart is screaming, but there are none.

Thank you will never be enough, but it is all I can say, over and over again.

Thank you immensely, and a million times over.

You all showed me incredible love and kindness at a time when no one was really even aware that I needed to be shown that.

P.s. I am only speaking for myself because Ivory’s on his way home from work now and still knows nothing of this whole situation. Maybe, hopefully he will write his own little thank you up here as well.

We love you all so much, thank you.

4 thoughts on “//my 26th year

  1. Mandi, you should know that your blog is a gift to those of us who want to keep up with how you’re doing. It is not received with judgement, it is received with joy and empathy. You don’t owe anybody anything other than to keep doing what you’re doing – which is to honestly share whatever you feel like sharing. Sometimes, it’s not going to be all peachy. We know that. You have a right to everything you feel, and don’t have to apologize for that. You know how big your support group is – it is comprised of your friends, your fiance and his friends, your sister and other extended family, your parents, and in my case, friends of your parents. I look forward to meeting you! When you have a bad day, I hope it’s just one and the next day is better. Happy Friday. Fondly, Marianne Rochelle

  2. We love you and are here for you ! I have the entire Gateway Kidsquest staff and volunteers praying for you! –Aunt Brenda

  3. Hey Mandi…I just read your entire blog. I wish so much that we were there to give you a big hug and to help you through all of this. It sounds like you’re taking steps to deal with all of it…keeping friends and family close. I just went for my very first mammogram (at 47) a few weeks ago because too many friends are dealing with this right now…and I was scared.

    I’ve heard all of this is not fun, and I don’t know that I can say that the worst part is past…but I admire your strength. I think you said that you didn’t think you were strong, but I think those of us who know you know that although you ARE a very sensitive person, you are strong. Strong, adventurous, authentic…the things we love about you. I’m glad that you’re sharing your experience here; I can only imagine it’s emotionally exhausting to repeat the story to all those who care about you. Please do keep updating the pages.

    With much love…Kat

  4. Hey, and you need to get in touch with our old neighbor Amy…she’s in the middle of chemo right now, and she’s pretty feisty about the whole thing. Maybe a Chuy’s date!

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