What a time to be alive

I’m typing this as I sit on my bed wrapped up in a blanket, taking it easy from surgery. Current song playing on the little Bluetooth speaker, Elton John’s I’m Still Standing — what a great song!

I cannot help but think about how different things could be right now. For starters everyone who makes it in does not make it out of surgery. Yes, I know that sounds so morbid… but it’s the truth. To catch anyone up who is new here… the surgery was to remove a mass that had taken up a significant area in my pelvis. While my doctors always said they didn’t believe it was cancer, that didn’t stop the conversations that came with the possibility. I remember the morning of the surgery, my doctor explaining to me what happens if it’s cancer. There will be another surgery she said. You’ll meet with an oncology team. They’ll go in and take more out. More being more parts of my female anatomy… with this surgery I was already losing an ovary and fallopian tube. What a relief it was to finally know for sure that it was not.

Now in the present, surgery is behind me and recovery has been interesting. A lot of sleepless nights. Part of my body is numb to touch. Walking feels weird. Bright spot though… there’s not a lot of pain, thank you God!

I also have a large amount of time on my hands. This time has given me an opportunity to slow down and really think about the things that matter. Sometimes it’s really hard to do when you’re on autopilot. Or when you’re always trying to figure out how to put out the next fire. It’s been nice to sit back and reflect on how INCREDIBLY blessed I am. So many people have shown up for me in what I’m calling this “challenging time.” While I still have more weeks of recovery ahead, I don’t want to go too much longer without showing my appreciation for my incredible village in Tallahassee and beyond.

Let’s start with the best group of friends I could ever ask for — My FAB 5. They were the first ones to know there was a problem and didn’t miss a beat checking on me. Some of these ladies have been in my life for more than 20 years and I feel so fortunate to have friends like them. We have been through A LOT together and every challenging situation is a lot less scary with them by my side.

I spend most of my time working — which doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. So, knowing I would be out of work for 4-6 weeks was all very overwhelming. I was also overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to tell my boss and my team what was going on. From the very beginning I was always met with take the time you need, do what you need and we’ll be here for you. Once I did share the news with my team, I didn’t expect the emails and texts that I received from people, they touched my soul. As a leader it can be hard to tell where you stand with the room at times. Through this “challenge” this team has shown me just how much they care. I just might be doing something right after all 😊.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with all my Facebook posts… I was chosen for Leadership Tallahassee in the Spring. Being part of this group of leaders… all working to learn how we can be even better leaders in our communities has been more than I ever hoped it would be. For the most part many in this group have become dear friends and in some cases like family to me. Of course family members take care of each other and are there to help during some of the most “challenging” times. My LT family has supported me more than I could have ever asked for. From texts to check on me…. a very well put together meal train (so much food) to just coming over to keep me company. It blows my mind that people who were strangers to me 6 months ago love and care for me so much. I remember shortly after telling my LT group that I was going to have surgery — a statement from one of my classmates that I laughed about.. but it was so true. She said “all you have to do is cough and you know 30 people will be there to do whatever you need.” All FACTS!

While all the outside support has been a God send — no one has played a bigger role in all of this than my mom. She’s been with me every step of the way since last year when no one seemed to know what was wrong with me… until now. My recovery would not be possible without her here with me right now day and night… taking care of me and my sweet pups. A mother’s job really is never done.

It would take me all night to shoutout every person that has shown up for me during this time. Some other highlights….one of my favorite college professors from WSSU sent me a boutique of flowers while I recovered those 3 days in the hospital. Along with both a pre and post surgery check-in. I’ve had friends from all over send me gifts and care packages to make sure I didn’t go without anything. I’ve had people drop meals off at my door who weren’t even on the meal train. My home has been filled with the most beautiful flowers from all over. The text messages, emails and Facebook messages continue to pour in and fill my heart.

I still have a ways to go with recovery but man, what a time to be alive… especially during a time when we’re losing so many people to Covid. Through this “challenge” I’ve been able to see and experience all the goodness that is out there…. surrounded by some of the best people. For that and for anyone who’s still reading at this point… I’m FOREVER grateful!

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