Whew! It’s been too long since I’ve written. Because of that, I have a thousand thoughts bouncing around in my brain. Here’s a little rapid fire to get things out of my head and on to the page:
1. Where have I been? Traveling, mostly. I’ve been doing a lot of work for I-182, the medical marijuana initiative in Montana. There is a lot I want to say about that later on, but for now it’s only important to know that most of my free time has been devoted to the initiative and doing what I can to be a voice for other sick and suffering people around this state. It’s hugely important to me and it’s pulled on every ounce of bravery, stamina, intelligence, a determination that I have. That feels amazing though because I feel like that is who I am in my core. It recharges me to get to be that person again and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
2. I have met some incredible people lately. That’s one of the benefits to this amazing journey I’m on. I’ve met people from all walks of life and my horizons are forever broadened. I am, of course, meeting more cancer patients. I hate saying the awful truth that it is risky to love a cancer patient. While our community is fierce and often times deeply authentic and beautiful, it’s also full of loss and grief. We lost Katie Campbell in August and we all still seem to be bewildered in the void of her profound absence. Still, I feel my capacity to love is deepening. I am charging in to these relationships with a whole heart and no reservations. Life is too short not to love fully and I won’t be stingy with sharing my heart.
3. I need to buy a journal and continue recording my gratitude list. I was shocked to discover how often my brain wanted to go to the negative. Actively thinking about gratitude felt like exercising a weak muscle. It felt like being pulled out of the muck. I guess if you want to fly high you have to work at it, but it’s definitely worth it.
4. P.S. Why does everything that is worth it require such effort? Is it too much to ask to just wake up tomorrow and be wealthy, healthy, and fulfilled? Oh, it is? Dang…
5. If I’m going to have to put in the effort anyway, then I feel the need to get clear about my intentions for my life. Glacier helped me open up some head space. Now, I want to get clear about my vision and purpose in my life and practice making decisions within those boundaries. The truth is, I have some general idea for what I want in my life, but nothing terribly specific. Also, I’m afraid to say what I want out loud…which means I’d probably better do just that.
6. People are amazing. I feel like I have been absolutely showered with love and support in the past few weeks. From the UMary Cross team, a lion-hearted high school football player, my law school professors/soul mates, countless friends and family, and strangers on social media, I am covered in love. I wish I had the time and energy to properly thank and reciprocate what I have received, but I promise you it will take the rest of my life to do so. If you haven’t heard from me on your particular kindness or gesture, please please know how sincerely I appreciate it and how much it touches my heart to know I have you in my corner. Life is just moving too fast for me to catch all the moments I want to find the appropriate words and message for you but I hope to get there someday soon. Until then, you have my absolute gratitude for your loving generosity. Thank you.
7. Life is moving fast. October is busy with the practice, office build out, media events for I-182 all over the state, Halloween (a huge family tradition in our household), my birthday, kids sports, and my treatment. Want to know something crazy? Just yesterday I realized that my infusion I get every 3 weeks- and that I have gotten every 3 weeks since February- is actually chemotherapy. I could not understand why I still felt sick and in pain but neither Tom nor I understood that this drug is chemo until I googled its side effects yesterday. Sidebar: I will admit that thinking about powering through debates and media appearances while still on chemo makes me feel like a badass.
8. My double mastectomy is scheduled for Nov. 2 at Cleveland Clinic. Tom and I fly overnight on Halloween (I told you, Halloween is a big deal here) from Bozeman, to Seattle, to DALLAS, to Cleveland. It’s an insane schedule but it was the only way to get the full day in on the 31st and still make the pre-op appointments on Nov. 1. As far as the surgery goes, no, I am decidedly not looking forward to it. However, it sounds a hell of a lot better than open heart surgery so I am far less anxious about it now than I was in August. So…silver lining to the blood clot? I think so. Also, it’s time to forward. So here we go, ONWARD!
9. My family is doing well. Elle is adjusting to school, Sophie is potty-training like a boss, and Tom and I are working on carving out time for him, for me, and for us. (Again with the effort thing!) Marriage takes attention, intention and commitment. We are not perfect. We are committed though. Deeply so. One of the things I’m most proud of in my husband and in myself is how much we care for each other. Tough times show us where the cracks are in ourselves and in our relationships. Tom and I are learning that. We are learning things that probably would not have been revealed to us without cancer. And so, we are faced with incredible opportunities to come together. We are doing our best to be patient and gracious with ourselves and with each other as we try new things together. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s a mess, and every now and then we ping on something that works well. Either way, we’re in it together. Forever. #TeamMazurek.
10. Life is beautiful. As I write this crazy mess above I am reminded how amazing and grand life is. If you are currently able to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide (which is amazing on its own, by the way) take a deep breath and let yourself fall back on the simple reality of how great it is to be alive today. Every day is an opportunity. You are alive and your life can be anything you want it to be. Find the love around you. Give a lot of love away. Figure out what you are good at and what makes you happy and do more of that. Realize what brings you sadness and pain and work to release it. There is excellent capacity to heal in this life, do what you can to give yourself that gift. Try something bold, life has a way of supporting us when we are putting our best, most honest efforts forward. Be a source of light in life and you will lift yourself and others up with you. I promise, the view is worth the effort.
That is what I had to share for now. Thank you again for coming on this journey with me. I will try to be better about writing over the next few weeks before I go under the knife. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say.
Thank you for your presence in my life. I am in excellent company and am a very very fortunate girl.
Give ‘Em Hell.