Pause for the Cause... Thanks

A moment of reflection

It would be kind of zany of me not to acknowledge my anniversary.  Although I've moved into another phase of this thing we call life, I could not have gotten here without the love and support of my extended gang. 

Now, I know I'm supposed to be writing about my maddening, funny & raw race to find an oncologist and a treatment plan, but before I can do that I have to take a much overdo pause for the cause.  Someone I've known for a while,  recently commented to another that "Karen looks really happy these days!"  "What's up with her?"  I had to take a moment of self reflection and ask "Was I really that bad?"  "Have I turned the corner?"  Asking those simple questions could open up a Pandora's box, filled with observations I might not have been ready for, but I figured why not take the plunge. 

Then I realized, deep down inside that I already knew the answer.  I'd confirmed it just days prior when I returned to my breast cancer support group after a  60 day hiatus.  I was greeted with warm hugs, smiles, quizzing looks, accompanied by comments like "You looked so relaxed!"  Then it dawned on me in that moment,  "Godzilla" as my sister lovingly called me, has taken a much needed break.  A hibernation of sorts to allow the softer, gentler, wiser, cooler, composed, analytical, forgiving and loving Karen to reemerge.  Bruised yes, changed somewhat, but nonetheless humbled by everything, especially the support. 

Now I've never really revealed to most (unless you've gotten one of my cards/letters/texts) what the support of my extended gang has meant to me.  From the prayers of my mother to the spiritual nudging from my auntie, I would not have made it.  On those days where I just wanted to rebel and choose reckless abandon as my solace, my bestie and partner in crime stood firm and declared with clear affirmation "Let's do it, I'll meet you at the spot".   When I could not get up, and the chemo and bone marrow shots, shut down my ridiculous,  loud cackle, replacing it with a straight mummified grimace, my little sister searched for a solution (shout out to the late Robert Nesta Marley). 

On those days when, I just wanted to chill and morph into tree hugging sloth, my phone would magically ring,  right on time, with a  warm, distant familiar voice filling the void.  From country ass Atlanta to busy, bustling Brooklyn I felt the love.  From the relaxing beaches of Florida to the bright lights ofLA, those prayers and comforting words of encouragement, willed me to keep it going and get up, challenged me to rise - just because.

From the unwavering mentorship of my breast cancer support group (providing a space to vent, rage, get educated and laugh at my bad patient antics, many of which I will never, ever live down), I will always be grateful.  My sisters in the struggle, I love them all. 

From the financial support of my big brother (hustle man), my longtime friend whose a straight up cable network boss chick,  to the focused creativity of my miracle worker (beautician who, made it her mission to make sure I was fly at all costs) I am reminded of the beauty of the human spirit. 

For every gang member who took the time out of their busy, hectic, chaotic lives to offer a special, quiet meaningful moment, that was directed, spoken, hugged and gifted to me, I am so appreciative. I used the energy everyday, to pay it forward and make it count.

Them late night "car talks", them sunny day bike rides.  Them bass dropping finger snaps (my squad partied loud, hard and often), them mid night breezy, on the step chats.  Them late night dinner runs and those insightful, observational, gut busting laugh sessions, oh yeah, I'm smiling.

Lastly, thanks to my "Dominican Mary Poppins" (loving my Nigel), my super duper MH/MSW, who did her job, like she should have (everyone should be so lucky) and my "lil Nevian" angel who propped me the hell up, patted my back (them heart palpitations were crazy) and marveled with proud enthusiasm at my ability to rebound, each and every time.

So, am I in a better mood?   You betcha!  With the support of my gang, holding me down in 2015, I do more of what makes me happy in 2016! 

Thank you.