I'm still here

9.23.2014

I scheduled this post - by the time it is published I will hopefully be sound asleep in my hospital bed, with my newly reconstructed boobs. I will have had a double mastectomy and reconstruction - one of the last big hurdles to overcome in my personal fight against this disease.
I want to share a poem that I've been carrying with me for a few years, a poem that tells it like it is, that sums up the loss, the bitter fight, the pain, the scars. Beauty - yes, it exists in the eye of the beholder. It was written by Jen Hoffman in 2008. Unfortunately lost her battle with cancer a few months after this was written.

like a marred and tattered canvas - i stand
as if an unfortunate embodiment of an artist's satire
formerly known as youth and beauty

a road map of scars marks the long and winding roads of a journey
each one telling unspoken tales
and serving as a reminder of an uncertain future

the left breast - perfectly sized and eternally perky
nearly flawless but for the absent nipple
and the faded scar sweeping diagonally upwards

accompanied by tiny, nearly indiscernible circles
along the left side of the body where drains once existed
each mark whispering softly of a girl in her twenties

who had made mistakes - lost her way
and endeavored desperately to find meaning and hope
in what turned out to be the wrong places

the taut yet never impeccably flat abdomen seems a figment of the imagination
replaced by the still fresh marks left after removing traces of the demon
and the assurance of children never to be conceived

perpetual souvenirs of the ironically life-saving masses
that screamed for attention and started the whirlwind
that tested the body and soul once again

murmurs of a girl in the twilight of her thirties
who had taken the road less traveled still learning to heal scars deeper
than those able to be captured by a photograph or a paintbrush

untimely evolution of metabolism and elasticity
potentially unseen by observers
all too apparent to the soul that resides in the metamorphosis of the body

the alternate voice of these wordless tales spoken by the corporeal road map
tells of skin tougher than an ancient elephant's hide and
brass bound resolve to emerge the victor of each battle

only the closest observation exposes the eternal flame of hope
burning in the eyes that have seen more than they have ever wanted
sharing the quietly thunderous roar of faith and life and love with the willing beholder

Breaking even

9.22.2014

Oh baby boy, you are becoming such an incredible human being. Lately you are kind of clingy but I secretly love it that you only want your mom at times. You and your dad are best friends...you love it when you two play a bit rougher than what your mom would like. Your laugh is the most beautiful sound on earth. We are so lucky to have you.

Eight Months

8.28.2014

This blurry photo perfectly captures your being right now. You are crawling, baby! You love it so much to discover the world, it makes us look at it with new eyes too. We love your energy, your sense of humour and your strong will. You still love baths but you hate getting dressed. There were also a few blessed nights where you slept right through...keep it up little man.

Seven months

7.17.2014

Finn,
You bring such a tenderness to this family. We enjoy you so so much. The past two months have been incredibly difficult, yet you manage to light up our darkest days with your beautiful smile.

Six months

6.21.2014

Sweet child of ours...
Bath-time is your favourite! We love how you enjoy this. Two pearly whites also made their appearance (with all the consequences that involves teething). You can sit on your own and you really like chatting to the dogs. I think they love it too.

Five months

5.17.2014

Beautiful Boy,
You are getting so big. Each day with you is a total blessing - you have such a sweet and gentle soul. A lot has happened this month - you started to go to daycare and your mom started work again this week. You are such an easy-going little guy, your caregivers call you the "smiling baby". They take such good care of you and I'm sure you enjoy each day as you learn and play. You came down with a fever yesterday and I got totally flustered - this is the first time that you've been sick. And yet you were a little rock star at the doctor - he even said that you are a happy baby. You didn't even cry once and have quite an ear infection and tonsillitis.
We love you more and more.

Three years ago...

4.30.2014

...we said yes. It was a great great day and I always look back with fond memories. Three years, many adventures, some heartache and a beautiful baby boy later, I'm more and more thankful for this man with his rock-steady personality, his honesty, his patience, DIY-skills, love for his son, eye for detail, and most of all...his love for me. Happy anniversary, my Liefie.

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