So after my appointment with the surgeon, I called my dear friend, Kendra. We dove together for a year in college, and have remained exceptionally close over the years. She has been a faithful, feisty friend. She has more character packed in her barely 5 foot tall frame than anyone I know. Throughout all of my interesting health stuff, she's always known when I need gentle encouragement, and when I need to be told to "buck up." And in this case, I definitely needed to be told to buck up. ;)
Back when we were freshmen, one of our swimming teammates, Stephen, always seemed to hang around the diving well after he was done with practice. He finally asked Kendra out, and in 2010, they were married. They began their life together, excited for what the future would hold. Stephen is in school to become a physical therapist. Kendra just found out that she was accepted into a master's program, to begin in January 2012. Stephen came out here to Texas in May to complete an 8 week internship, while Kendra remained 1,000 miles away.
The three of us at a Tech football game, fall 2007:
Several months ago, Kendra began having some concerning GI issues. Just when she began to think she should get checked out by a doctor, her symptoms would improve, so naturally, for one reason or another, making an appointment would be postponed. She eventually saw a doctor and began having tests run in May. After numerous tests, confusion, and misdiagnosis, Kendra was officially diagnosed with cancer, Follicular Lymphoma. It is incurable, but treatable. Her life for the past several weeks has been a whirlwind of tests and scans and doctor's appointments, all while her husband was across the country.
Hence, one of the reasons for my sporadic posting lately. My health issues simply seem a bit unimportant in comparison. ;)
Anyways, I called Kendra, and told her about the horrible things they were going to do to me, and how I was not excited to have yet another surgery. Kendra politely listened, then said, "Hannah. Man up. You know you have to get this done. This has to happen, so you are going to go have this surgery and get through this."
Kendra has cancer. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get this in remission. It's not an option. She can choose to not like the chemo, but she is still going to go in and get infused every time, no matter what. I need a surgery - one surgery - to FIX a problem, hopefully for... forever. It's not a choice. So I'm going to do it, too, like my brave friend...
Please pray for Kendra, Stephen, and her doctors as they make choices about her treatment. I am confident that God will use this to bring them closer to Himself. Even in this, God is still good.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Me, Kendra and Stephen on the beach, New Year's Day, 2011: