Uncharted Territory

Happy Chemo Eve, everyone! Tonight I am thinking about how tomorrow marks the start of something new. It’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is one more line that we will cross where life looked different before and after. It is a time full of changes that I cannot begin to understand, or really even prepare myself for. It’s like knowing you’re going to be dropped off in a foreign country, but not knowing which one or how you’ll manage once your there. You just know you’re going, so hold on tight!

Oddly enough, I’m more calm about this than I thought I would be. Any time I start to think about how hard chemo is going to be on me, I think about the alternative.

If given the opportunity to fight for your life, would you?

YES! A thousand times, yes!

So of course it’s going to be uncomfortable and taxing and probably physically totally awful, but at the end of the day, it’s chosing to live. At the very heart of that choice is another, much deeper commitment.

If I’m going to live, I’m going to live, dammit.

So in a way, I’m excited. I’m excited to restart my life. I’m excited to live with purpose. I’m excited to let go of all the things that have held me back. I’m okay with the hurt and the struggle if I let that pain take me to that higher ground I’m aiming for. Chemo can strip me down to the basics. It will show me what I need and what I can live without. It will reveal my strengths and vulnerabilities in all their vibrant glory.

And so I head into tomorrow with gratitude. I am grateful for modern medicine that gives me this second chance at life. I am grateful for the choir of voices singing their songs of encouragement and love around me. I am grateful for the kind and skilled people that will be treating me tomorrow, for those who have dedicated their careers toward the honorable (and sometimes thankless) profession of treating the sick and wounded. I am grateful for the close personal team of friends and family who have selflessly put my needs ahead of their own lately. They have done so at times in spite of the weak, or frustrated, or tired, or completely lacking response from me.

And finally, as crazy as it sounds, I am grateful to be having this experience at all.

I know. I just wrote that I am grateful for cancer. It’s not that I’m excited to have a life-threatening disease. It’s that I am excited to have a life-altering experience. And since I have to be here, in this foreign country I call Cancer Land, I may as well soak up every beautiful, wonderful, empowering thing about it.

And so, the sun will rise tomorrow and I will be off on the journey of a lifetime. I’m glad to have you with me and I take your love wherever I go.

Give em’ hell.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Josh and Matt says:

    This is beautiful and strong and courageous. We’re sending love and light to you, Tom, and the kids from Portland. Looking forward to being inspired by and with you as you kick cancers butt! Much love! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tricia Howard says:

    We love you!


  3. David Mazurek says:

    Katie Dillon and I Send our love and prayers your way as you go through this stay strong love you


  4. Lorraine Mazurek says:

    You are an amazing woman. We are all here to serve a purpose. Your ability to share your story and be so poignant, positive, raw is amazing and will be a gift to others who happen down this road. Your book (?) will be a true inspiration to everyone. We are so blessed to have you in our life. 💜
    Will be sending positive thoughts and tons of prayers for you tomorrow.


  5. Sally Weaver says:

    Dearest Katie. You honor us by allowing us to walk this walk with you. Many miles may separate us but when you see and feel how many of our spirits are with you tomorrow, you are going to have to ask them to kick everyone else out of the chemo lab to make room for all of us. I have one small bit of practical advice, passed on from my chemo nurse in Missoula. Smoothies. When I couldn’t eat or drink anything else, smoothies kept me going. My favorite was orange juice, bananas, strawberries, yogurt and protein powder. And they have amazing anti-nausea drugs so put that anxiety on the back burner. I will see you in Bozeman soon. And soon can be even sooner whenever you need me. Much love to you. Mama Sally.


  6. Cynthia Spethman says:

    Katie, your courage and your brave new world attitude make me so proud to know you and so glad you have Tom and your girls not to mention the many families who love you and are praying and cheering for you. Your attitude is the BEST I can ever imagine. Think of all the people you are showing the way for, sweet girl! I will be keeping you and your family in my daily prayers and watching you tackle this obsticle with courage and wisdom facing the unknown. A big hug to you! Love, Cynthia Spethman


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