Fair warning. This is not going to be well edited. First, I’m extraordinarily tired. Second, my eyes are swollen and and I can’t see fully.

I thought it was time to write a bit about what is going on. It helps me to process, and it keeps others in the know. As many of you are aware, I’ve had a series of surgeries to remove a melanoma from my scalp. The good news was that all roof-top cancer was removed. The bad news is that it got into the plumbing. The lymph biopsies came back with “positive cells consistent with metastatic melanoma.” So, on to an oncology team. I have my first appointment on July 26th.

I’ve shared this news with some family and friends and have been overwhelmed by love and support. Offers of meals and help have flooded in. I have beautiful flowers and a fridge that is overflowing.

Right now, I’m still healing from my second surgery. I’m swollen, have black eyes, and am very uncomfortable. Head wounds are not for the faint of heart. I’m also having to process some hard news. I thought I’d be on my merry way through life after recovering from the operation. Now, I being a new journey.

Many months ago I remember seeing a Ted Talk style video with a man who recounted the story of him being delivered the devastating news that he was a paralytic. He said something along the lines of, “In that moment, I made the decision I was going to be the most joy-filled paralytic there ever was.” That struck a cord deep within me.

If I’m going to be a cancer patient, I want to be the most joy-filled cancer patient out there. I don’t know what that looks like yet. I’m still weepy and my emotions are running the gamut. But, joy is my goal.

I want there to be a renewed sense of purpose and expectation for my life. I want to leave a trail of smiles. I also want to encourage all of us to be on the lookout for ways we can surprise, bless, and bring joy to those around us. Let’s not reserve times of sickness for meals and flowers. What if we could start a new trend where we just show up with something beautiful or yummy, just because? Like a random bunch of flowers given to your coworker with a note that reads, “Hey, it’s 101 degrees today. Just wanted to remind you that you’re cool!” Or, when you are cooking something, making extra and dropping it off to someone for no apparent reason.

There is no conclusion to this post right now. I don’t have enough information to make plans beyond my next steps. The weeks ahead seem to be just as blurry as the weeks behind. But, we are in this together. Of that, I have no doubt. Thank you for your love and care. Now, go out and love and care for someone who doesn’t have two black eyes.

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