Frequent Flyer 

Today started a new adventure. I began my short-term, long distance relationship with Seattle. Before jumping into the specifics on the city, I have to tell you that I inadvertently figured out I could snooze past my alarm for a full 38 minutes and still have plenty of time at the airport. I can make it from my bed and through security in a blazing 46 minutes. Information you were desperate for, I’m sure. Knowing me, I will be working on whittling down this commute and I hope to set several PRs in the following weeks. 

Seattle: Home Away From Home

I keep trying to think about how I feel about moving to a big city to be blasted with radiation for 6 weeks. I keep coming up somewhat ambivalent. One the one hand, I’ll be away from my family Monday through Friday for just over 6 weeks. I’ll have to adjust to living in a urban environment, which a few years ago would have sounded fun, but now feels overwhelming and anxiety provoking. This on account of lingering chemo brain and still not feeling like my totally competent, agile self. Also, I won’t have Tom around to help take care of me. Historically, that has not been all that great for me. Then there’s the whole radiation part. I’m told to expect fatigue, possibly burned or irritated skin, and more fatigue. That sounds exciting because I’m already fatigued, so I can’t wait to see lies below rock bottom.

On the other hand, I get the chance to live in a city with unending amenities for a long enough time to soak up some fun and experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise. It feels a little bit like starting college- moving away and setting up life with exciting opportunities rolling out before me. I’ve decided that I need to hold this in the most positive, advantageous light possible. I need to fill the holes in my heart that would otherwise flood with unresolvable sentiments for my girls and Tom. At this point, I think I have it narrowed down. The things I’m turning to? Dance, writing, and organization.

Dance you ask? Oh yes. I danced briefly and inexpertly as a young child under the tutelage of small town instructors. Between the limited classes offered and my  unbridled ADHD I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have a dance background. But it sounds fun. It sounds like a way to move my limbs (in the protective and limited way I can at this point after the mastectomy) and maybe open up some spaces in my body and soul that are currently closed off. Let’s be honest, I will look like a train wreck…or like a bowl of jello falling out of the fridge. On account of doctor’s orders to dial back activity to near zero following surgery (that restrictions has ended only recently) as well as a huge amount of stress and possibly a depressive battle, I have gained 30 pounds in the past two months. I think this is the heaviest and weakest I have been since having Elle. I’m actually kind of startled to see myself in the mirror when I walk by. I glance over and confusingly question “Who is that?!” So yeah, I’m in that space.

Fear not though! In Seattle, I don’t know anyone. I don’t have to worry about running into someone in Beggining Adult Ballet or a class amusingly entitled Dance Church. Me and my fat rolls are going to throw on some yoga pants, step into some reckless abandon, and plié with the best (worst) of them. My goals are to regain some strength, improve my flexibility, experience some physical self-expression, and have fun. I optimistically envision myself like Julia Stiles in that terrible Othello remake, wearing a leotard top with rolled up dance pants and leg warmers. Yup. I’ll be a pro in no time.

I’m also excited to turn back to writing. Things have been so jumbled and busy and stressful lately that I am looking forward to having some time to sort through the moving pieces in my mind. I am anxious to see what gears have stopped spinning or lost their contact from the others. I’ve been feeling a bit “offline” for awhile so it will feel good to get sorted again. You can meet me here to see me piece through the mess.

Part of writing is sorting through things and organizing my thoughts and feelings. I also know that being away will open up the opportunity to think about what I want my life to look like on a functional, day-to-day level. I’ve done a lot of work to process and move toward the person I want to be. Now I’m turning toward the functional realities that go in to that. I’m starting at the top, asking myself the question of “What is the main goal?” For me, I already know what the focus is: love

Everything in my life is directed toward receiving, but mostly giving, love. 

Everything beneath that becomes binary. Does it take me closer or further from experiencing love? (Special thanks to my friend Lori for helping me sort that out.) For example, I am a person who thrives under a predictable, set, routine. Without it, I have a hard time reaching the higher, more existential, levels of living. So I’ll ask, does organizing my day around a schedule bring me closer or further from experiencing love? The answer is closer. So I will tackle all the elements of my life to see if I am stepping into the place I want to be or if I am inadvertently detouring. I’ll look at all my behaviors- examining how I take care of myself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I’m looking forward to questioning it all, even the deeply set habits and approaches. I’m excited for the challenge and the perspective provided by the journey.

Aside from those things, I will be flying home on the weekends to be with my family and to tend to Element. I am really excited to see how the business will grow and develop now that we have the tools we need to professionally operate. The office is beautiful and creates just the environment I was hoping our clients would be able to experience. As Element grows and gets more settled in its new home (hopefully) I will be able to put down some of the financial burden and turn toward a lighter, less stressful time. I am also excited to be able to come home and be really focused on my family in a way that is nearly impossible when you are drowning in the day-to-day. So I have that to look forward to as well.

So begins this new life. A jet setting, big city living, awkward dancing, organization seeking, blogger lawyer mommy. How’s that for a title? That fits on a business card, right? Sure thing.

Give ‘Em Hell.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicole Anderson says:

    Katie, I just read your post on Scary Mommy, and was blown away and could TOTALLY relate as a fellow emotional eater and having dealt with weight gain in the past. Thank you for your bravery and authenticity in sharing your story! 🙂 I also read a bit more about your background here (and see even more similarities in our paths and backgrounds), and see you’ll be in Seattle for a while. I’m in Portland and would love to connect and/or help out in any way if I can (personally)! Drop me an email if you’re interested and I can explain more via email. Safe travels, stay strong, and good luck with your treatment! Kick cancer’s butt to the curb!


  2. Amy Braun, née Roberts says:

    Oh, and I have several dancer friends with big hearts…. Let me see what I can work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Braun, née Roberts says:

    Katie – we are in Seattle proper. I work in south lake Union, already gave Tom some ideas. This big City is pretty awesome on all things medical. They saved Adelyn, who was blue at birth, gave a cousin a heart transplant, and another cousin had heart surgery at two days old. We welcome you with open arms. I’ll send Tom my number as well. Go kick some cancer ass.

    Love amy and Denny braun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That definitely inspires a lot of confidence.


  4. contactflora says:

    I love that you are embracing dance through this all. I have always found dance to be incredibly healing and able to bring me joy like non other. You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got to spend time with your family this past week. They are simply the best.


  5. Dianne Davis says:

    Hi Katie, I am one of Joe’s cousins who lives north of Seattle in Bellingham. I have been following your blog since another cousin, Shelby Kuenning, let me know about it. You are an amazing young woman!! I would love to meet you while you are out here in Washington. I would be happy to help you with anything you might need. If you would be interested, please email me at Hugs. 💕💕 Dianne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katie, I think you’d love Dianne.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes! That would be great! Let’s make sure that happens.


  6. Cindy cunningham says:

    Katie, please let me know what hospital is radiating you.
    And if you need a place to stay with beautiful people. If you are at a Swedish Facility, my friend may be a resource for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m at SCCA. Thank you for the offer!


  7. Dennis Newell says:

    I will be praying for you. Stay positive and remember that so many people support you and your fight. You are truly an inspiration to many beyond what you likely know.
    Your fight makes me even more motivated to complete my own evolutions and struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really really wonderful to hear, Dennis. Thank you.


  8. Kim Downing (Schoenheit) says:

    Katie I’m fairly close to Seattle (compared to your family in Montana) so if you ever in need of anything I can get to you in a few short hours. I wish you were coming to Portland so you were closer and I could be of more help. Good luck and kick some ass in this next step in beating this bitch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope to get to Portland at some point to visit another friend. Perhaps we could meet up then?!


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