Hit me with your best shot

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The benefit on Monday night went very well. I heard that everyone had a really nice time. I was sick so I missed out. Ozzie Perez ( tattoo artist,Body Graphics) did a painting that I wanted so bad. It was of a girl with boxing gloves on that said keep fighting. She was black and blue. She was a warrior. I wanted that painting to not be auctioned off but rather hanging in my living room. I want to believe I am a fighter..worn and scarred..and still fighting.

Sometimes I say that when I die I want to go to Valhalla. It’s where the Vikings believe they go when they die in battle. I am a warrior. And no doubt I will die in battle. Kelly says that I have to go to Christian heaven because I believe in Jesus. Not that I would mind that, but the idea of being carried to Valhalla in the arms of a Nordic Valkyrie is very dramatic don’t you think?

And I rarely think of myself as strong. Mostly because I feel like I whine and complain way too much to be considered strong. But something inside me knows that in spirit I am nothing less than a warrior. And a fighter. I am pretty sure in the end cancer will win, but in the meantime I am giving it all I got. I want to do everything I can to get my cancer under control. To stop the spreading. To get time to be with my family.

I think part of the fighting is going out with a smile on my face and enjoying the day. Part of it is remembering to live. Being part of what other people are going through. Keeping a joyful spirit. And fighting the negative thoughts that creep in. I fight to stay positive and have hope. And when I am exhausted at the end of the day I crash on the couch, proud of how well I got through the day. Even fighters need a nap.

A friend called me today and asked me about praying for God to do a miracle and heal me. My friend wanted to know what I thought about this. I will tell you what I told her. I think that God does not need to heal me to prove He is good. I think that I will live exactly as long as He wills it. I pray for God’s will to be done. I believe that there is a perfect plan in place set forth by a benevolent and loving God. And if it is His will that my testimony include a miracle it will, but if it does not than that is ok too. I am totally accepting of however this fight ends. I do not even care how many rounds it goes. Its me and cancer in this ring , you all are spectators. And if God steps in, fine. If not that’s ok too. In my heart I believe that we are supposed to allow God to work in our lives, even in ways that we do not understand or enjoy.

Just because I talk about death and do not expect a miracle does not mean that I am not fighting. I assure you I am. I am taking tons of toxic medication and dealing with all its side effects in the belief that it can and will heal me, even if only for awhile.

I do not like having cancer. But it has taught me a great deal. And it has allowed me to bring information about my disease to a great number of people. People in the medical field too. It has allowed me to share my faith. And it has given a great sense of urgency in repairing and renewing relationships. I am still very human and very very fallible. But I accept that this fight has been good for me.

And I am not totally alone. There are many people in my corner. They are with me every day. Some pray. Some bring food. Some paint awesome pictures. Some take me to appointments. Some take their clothes off ( Hellcats!). Some just call to check up on me. Many leave comments on the blog. And some hold me and remind me how good life is and what a tough chick I am. And one gives me some good lovin and makes me happy in a way none of you can.
Cancer is a fierce disease. It is tricky, smart, and tenacious. I hope that a cure is found soon. If not for me than for other people. I hope none of you has to get in this ring. I am not trying to make my self sound great cause I have this sucky disease, I just know that it takes everything I have right now to get through it. And I am fortunate that I have a lot of people in my corner helping me out.

12 Responses to “Hit me with your best shot”

  1. Jenni/Rat says:

    Andrea,

    The children are sleeping as I catch up on your blog, laughing and crying and being amazed by your wonderful articulate family. I’m sorry I have been AWOL. We are in Pittsburgh visiting Rob – he is working on Kevin’s next movie.

    You know I am not religous, or maybe you don’t. I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about it. But Ben is having a very difficult time with Rob being gone (and I am having a very difficult time with Ben being difficult). You snapped everything into perspective for me this morning. Reminding me of the important stuff in this dizzying season. You helped me bring him into the world with so much more grace and composure than I demonstrated during Ava’s birth (and much less pain!), and now you have given me the strength and direction for another day.

    I am thinking of you often.

    Love,

    Jenni

  2. Jenni/Rat says:

    giving me direction

  3. joshua says:

    just don’t start wearing the viking hat all the time, now. once in a while is okay, though.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi Andrea, I get a daily email from a place called QuoteWorld.com I received this one today and it screamed your name painfully through my head.
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

    — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

    I do hope you’re having one of your good days.
    Blessings of happiness.
    Heather

  5. Heather says:

    Sorry, the web site is http://www.quoteworld.org and they have wonderful inspirational quotes as well as silly and interesting ones.

  6. Amy says:

    Andrea:
    I don’t know how I found you, but I did and I am de-lurking to tell you how truly amazing you are. Count me in your corner of the ring and I pity “cancer” b/c I don’t think I would want to be in the ring with you. You are one tough chick! Simply amazing.

    I don’t want you to get a big ego with me fawning over you 🙂 but I will say that you have definitely given me so much perspective in my life and made me reevaluate what is important in my life. You also made me stop complaining and making up excuses and made me get off my ass and go live life!

    Thanks for the life lessons. Your family is truly blessed to have you!

  7. imstell says:

    I don’t know about you, but *I* am finding bucket loads of brilliance and clarity from your journey. Thank you for so insightfully mapping the route I may, well be travelling some day myself. I couldn’t have said it half as well. If I knew how to give blog bling I would give you an Inspirational Blogger Award.

  8. Tracey Kohl says:

    Andrea, I’ve been thinking alot about how the angel tells Mary, nothing is impossible with God. It really seems to me that these are words we need to be careful with. They are so true, but that angel had given Mary some pretty detailed information about what God was doing and how he was able to do it because nothing is impossible for him. What strength and courage it takes to accept what comes, while fighting, and continuing to believe that God is good. I do believe God is in that ring with you. He has stepped in, He has been there from the beginning, I don’t know if healing will come, but I do know he is there. He mourns with you, he weeps, she comforts, and she longs.

  9. Andrea says:

    Tracey, I am aware of God’s presence daily. I do feel Him with me as I endure. But I was using the stepping in merely to communicate an intersession. A miracle. A healing. My belief is simply that this may or may not happen and either is just fine with me.

  10. imstell says:

    Andrea, I think I figured it out. If you are interested in a bit o’bling, trivial as it is, please collect it at my site.

  11. Andrea says:

    Dear Andrea,

    Hey, beautiful!! This is the other Andrea, from LASS. I only have a minute to write you from the public computer at the coffee shop, otherwise I would write you a longer letter. I want to tell you a lot of things but I’ll stick to the basics: I am in your corner, even though we haven’t seen each other in a while know that your ex-classmates are thinking of you. (Doug, Nicole, Iris and I stopped by the Barbary on Monday, by the way) I think that you are a REALLY good example of what we should all try to be as mothers, as women, as grown-ups, and you ARE a fighter, I’ve never met anyone who was more of a fighter, actually. When I heard that you had cancer, I thought about you a lot, and they were all memories about how cool it was to have you as part of that group everyday, and how many people looked up to you. I was and am one of them. I hope this note finds you on a good day. And by the way, if you need some help with the kids, I offer my services as a babysitter to you, any time, no problem, just send me an email (amickus@temple.edu). I wish I could say more but know that I’m thinking of you and praying for you in this.

    Love,

    Andrea

  12. Fran says:

    I just read the article about you in the newspaper. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family and your awesome struggle. You are inspiring and I am praying for your recovery. My father died of brain cancer this year — the doctors said he had 3-months to live but he survived for almost 10-years. My father taught me that a positive attitude and the best medical treatment can truly extend your life. Oh yeah … please don’t be afraid to live (that’s right, live) when everyone is expecting you to die. — Fran