Last September while walking around Arlington National Cemetery with my family I received a message from my doctor that some recent tests had shown some abnormal cells and I needed to come in.
I immediately called the nurse back that had left the message and asked, “Are you saying they are cancer cells?”.
She told me she couldn’t tell me any more and would have the doctor call me back the next day.
The next day?
I slowly sat down on a stone wall as I hung up the phone and my family was around me asking what she had said.
I am not even kidding when I tell you the first thoughts that went through my head.
Before I tell you those first thoughts I would like to say that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
I am married to an amazing man, have the children I always dreamed of, I get to use the gifts and the skills the Lord has given me and I get to use them in ways that knocks my socks off. I have beautiful friendships that are deep, silly, supportive and loyal. I am surrounded by a family that sees all of me and loves me just the same. If you would have shown me my future life at 18 years old I would have known that I would be winning the lottery on creative and blessed lives.
I am hoping that it is because of the above and so much more that I first thought this…
“Crap! I am going to die of cancer and I have never dyed my hair red and gotten that nose ring!”
I am not even kidding.
When we got back to Colorado I went in for a second exam and it can back positive that I had cancer cells and I would need to have surgery to remove them.
Last fall I had the surgery and over the past months I have been checked every two months to make sure everything was looking good.
Last month I was told that everything was clear and that the doctor wouldn’t need to see me for a year.
So here it is fall again and for the past five falls I have wanted to dye my hair red.
I can’t watch a movie with Julianne Moore and not instantly dream of red hair!
My hairdresser had always talked me out of it because of all her practical and wise advice like my hair was so blond that the color wouldn’t hold, I’m not good at hair maintenance and red hair is high maintenance and if I wanted to go back to blonde it could take awhile. Each year I said, “OK, just do a regular highlight.”
This year I didn’t let her talk me out of it.
You get what you want when you say, “I had cancer cells cut out of my cervix and I want the red hair.”
She shut up, smiled and said she would do the red hair.
As long as I have wanted red hair I have wanted to get a nose ring.
All of my years of wanting a nose ring was pushed over the edge by their awesome hotness.
( I really wanted the hoop but they said I had to wait 8 weeks to put that in)
One of the main reasons I hadn’t gotten my piercing is because my mom hated the idea and parts of me let that hold me back from doing it.
My mom doesn’t really care but just knowing she didn’t like the idea was enough to talk me out of it.
As I had red dye slathered all over my head I called the local tattoo and piercing shop and scheduled my piercing for the next day.
My heart was pounding and I didn’t feel like I fit into the tattoo scene that day:-) but I stayed, sat down and let Ryan poke a hole in my face.
Sure, Maddy almost threw up but I did it! Kelly thought I looked super hot right away and Ben kept on playing his video game.
I texted a photo to Jack at high school and he thought it was awesome.
It didn’t hurt. At all!
Maybe it hadn’t been my mom but the pain that had kept me from getting it done.
Maybe it was going into a place where I felt out of my element and like I didn’t belong.
I don’t know but I did it.
I am good and I don’t have cancer.
I have a beautiful life in all of the big ways but I don’t want to stop doing those little, fun, silly, brave, crazy things that make life…life!
I don’t want to NOT do things that I really want to do because someone else talks me out of it or because it may not be practical.
I don’t want to not do things because of the opinion of others and what they think is acceptable or lovely.
My heart is in the right place so obviously the things I would want to do wouldn’t be hurtful to others of myself.
I feel like that call that day in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery woke me up to being more me, more spontaneous and more silly.
What have you been really wanting to do and something is holding you back?
If it won’t hurt you, won’t hurt others and is not against your faith…what is holding you back?