A little over a year ago, Kristen (one of my best friends/support systems/on call nurse, etc) was diagnosed with breast cancer. I can remember the morning she told me like it was yesterday…I was sitting in their playroom with Grant having breakfast at their house before going to work. I remember the shock and thinking that it was a bad dream. I am happy to report that after an incredibly challenging year, Kris is now cancer free. She has handled the situation with amazing courage and grace and has been an inspiration to all in her life. We have cried some…but even more than that, we have laughed. Kris has managed to keep her sense of humor through all of this…I remember when we were shopping for hats, and her hair was coming out in huge clumps. I told her I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry…she told me laughing was the right choice and joked about the employees thinking a cat had coughed up a fur ball because of the hair she was leaving behind.
You’ll notice that I’m wearing a pink bracelet in every picture you see of me…it says “I wear pink for Kristen”. It is a constant reminder to have her in my prayers and also a reminder on perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day drama of life, but that bracelet is a good reminder for all. Dylan calls it my Kristen bracelet and has his own as well.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of taking part in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Kansas City as a part of Kristen’s team. A group of us walked, while Kristen and others ran…the race was emotional to say the least. I think I teared up at least a dozen times over the course of the 3 miles. Dylan had a great time, and really enjoyed being part of the team. Beth and I made he and Collin their own personal “I wear pink for Kristen” shirts. While he doesn’t understand the enormity of breast cancer, he definitely understands supporting one of his favorites in Kristen!
I know this is a bit of a serious topic for the blog, but something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while…I’m so proud to be able to call Kristen’s friend. She has been an amazing support system for me over the past decade-plus and I feel honored to be a part of her life. This is a reminder to all the women out there to do self-examinations on a monthly basis. And if you think there is something unusual, talk to your doctor…and don’t let them write it off. Push for answers and be an advocate for yourself!