Wednesday, June 10, 2020


I'd hesitated for weeks/months leading up to this day over whether I'd write about my 3rd anniversary or not. Before Covid I wouldn't had given it a second thought. But since the quarantine started, celebrating seemed selfish. People are dying and I'm going to celebrate that I beat cancer? That seemed unfair. Now the protests and rallies - will I sound insensitive if I celebrate and not discuss those? WTF is the right thing to do?
I don't know. But now here I sit with just minutes left of my big day and I'm finally writing down my thoughts….about cancer. Not politics, not racism, not police brutality, not Covid...well a little about Covid. I'm pulling the selfish card and waving my teal and white cancer ribbon and shouting from the rooftop (not really because my kids are sleeping) I'M 3 YEARS CLEAN OF THE CANCERS!
"Oh my goodness, Lesley, how did you celebrate your big day?!?!" I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat...
Today was a quiet day. Not quite how I imagined I'd celebrate but there's only so much you can do during a quarantine. I worked all day, but I was home to hear the sounds of Nerf bullets being fired in the backyard and the giggles and screams from the kiddos in our little blowup pool. I took a break from work and shared a sushi lunch with my kids then laid on my hammock while overhearing my daughter narrate the lives of her Barbies. 
Later on we chatted over tacos for dinner (it's Taco Tuesday, duh). Then we packed up the car and spent the night socially distanced from several other families who share something in common with us: Cancer. It was Camp Good Days night at the Drive-In. We watched Dolittle (and some fireflies) under the stars and under some blankets. Once the kiddos were in bed, the night was topped off by slow dancing in the living room to one of our favorite songs. Do you do that? If you don't, then you should. A year ago today we were in Cleveland listening to that same song being performed live. That day I sat in the crowd and sobbed big happy tears. Today I smiled and breathed and felt calm and happy.
Today wasn't the perfect day. It wasn't the ideal celebration. But then again it kinda was. These last few months have been quite the experience. Part of being 3 years cancer free this year was going to be riding my bike 500+ miles across New York State in the Empire State Ride, a fundraiser for Roswell Park. That giant organized ride has turned into Aaron and I riding 500 miles on our own during the month of July. I'd be lying if I told you I was ready to sit my ass on a bike and ride that far. Covid-19 for me means Covid+19lbs. I'm not one to throw around the word blessing, but having this ride postponed to next year sure was one for me. Working from home the last 3 months and homeschooling two elementary school aged kiddos while not being able to function normally in society sure puts a damper on your mental and physical being. 
Speaking of mental and physical being….I might not actually be cancer free. Not being dramatic, just stating a fact. I was supposed to go to Roswell for a check up in March around prime Covid time but they moved my appointment out to the end of June. This is the longest I've gone without getting checked. So while I'm celebrating being a cancer survivor today….I don't technically know that I'm cancer free. I mean I hope I am….and I probably am...but NO ONE KNOWS. Fingers crossed.
This isn't how I thought my 3 year update would sound.
This isn't how I thought I'd celebrate.
This isn't how I imagined the summer of 2020 going.
But this is kind of like how cancer works. It just screws with your life and you figure out how to survive and make the best of it. 
I'm surviving. I'm happy. I'm healthy….overweight at the moment, but healthy otherwise. I'm still taking on life one adventure at a time. And I'm still relying on my red shoes and the support of those around me.
Thanks for getting me through 3 years, All.
Cheers to many more! 

St. Louis, Missouri  2020

St. Louis, Missouri   2020
Layla & I
Photo courtesy of Aaron Pike

Palmer Lake Resevoir in Palmer Lake, Colorado  2020
Photo courtesy of Aaron Pike

Camp Good Days - Family Drive-In Night  2020