If you can even believe it, this morning was my six month post-op appointment with my breast surgeon. It's impossible not to use this as a time to reflect on the last six months and how I am where I am today: happy, healthy and healing. Self-affirmation and kind words from those around me are always nice to remind me how far I've come, but today it's really about recognizing those, sometimes unexpected, friends who have carried me through my recovery and now my mission to spread the word of proactive health. There are so many who have impacted my life in the most positive ways, and below are a few groups of people who deserve all of my unending gratitude.
I truly feel like I've had a connection with Dr. Shaughnessy from the very beginning. My first visit with her, I quickly found she reminded me a lot of my dad, as a medical professional and in her demeanor. Direct, and to the point. Aggressive in her surgical options and not one to leave things up for chance. In the end, why I had so much trust in her and went with her and her team, even if it seemed a little scary at the beginning. The first visit ended in an emotional breakdown, I think because I was realizing how real it all was, and what was going to have to happen to remove every last chance of breast cancer we could. But, after my mom (even though I told her not to) asked her to come back in and talk me down, all was well and she immediately proved how gentle and caring she would be to me throughout the whole process. I was able to respect her knowledge and advice, and obviously things went even better than well. No complications, beating all expectations, and I'm very happy she came into my life when she did. I consider her now a friend and someone I will keep in touch with, doctors appointments or not.
When I started my current job, a lot of my coworkers described the department as a family, and a group that is above all, family-oriented and supportive. That could not be a truer statement. I have gained some incredible friends through the last two years and am so, so very fortunate that through the last year, I've been supported by them both in and out of the office. From the (R.I.P.) Bruegger's runs, to covering for me while I was out, to sending me hilarious cards, care packages and words of encouragement, I can 100% say that I have the best coworkers. I am so lucky to spend eight hours a day with a group so supportive.
I grew up in church. My childhood was spent going to youth group and on mission trips every summer. I truly think I am the person I am today because of my church family and especially those trips every year that taught me who I am, who I want to be and how God can play such an active and positive role in my life. The truth is, living in Mt. Lookout, the 20 minute drive to Montgomery to go to church on Sundays was just not working out. Laziness? Probably. But, after an invite to attend church with two friends in Oakley, I found myself attending more and more and finding a church community that could fill my new neighborhood void. Because when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter to me where I'm physically attending on Sundays, but the feeling I get after leaving a service and having a connection with God. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: I believe God puts everyone in your life for a reason, and especially at a time when you need them. I'm thankful for my faith-sharing friends and their willingness to let me be a part of their Sundays. And aside from my church-goers, I also have to acknowledge the beautiful friends in my life who jam out to K-LOVE with me, have given me devotionals in times of need and continue to pray for me. God is good!
Friends, old & new
I have a few girlfriends, you know who you are, who absolutely always text me the day I put out a blog and continually give me motivation, praise and reassurance. I am SO thankful for you BFFs because you keep me going! I have my friends that are constantly sharing my posts, leaving awesome comments and pumping me up each and every week. My Syca-Chick girlfriends have been my backbone of support for so many years and continue to show me their love to this day. I don't know many people who can say their bridesmaids and to-this-day best friends are all high school friends. We are blessed beyond belief, gfs. My Bobcat girlfriends have always and will always be so special to me and whenever we get together, I am filled with such happiness from all the laughs we continue to share. And last but certainly not least, I have the absolute best group of friends here in Cincinnati that came into my life just a few years ago and have been the ultimate best support system for both myself and Kevin. I can't begin to describe how lucky and grateful I am to have people like you around me. I'm tearing up just thinking about how much you all mean to me!
No matter when and how people come into your life, it's worth taking the time to appreciate the power of friendship. There is always something to be thankful for, and you, my friends, are it.