Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friends Through The Fight

Four years ago I was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. I was told I had up to five more years to live..... looking back, I think that my diagnoses was a catalyst to start really living. I have been more than blessed by the friends who I have in my life. They have made it possible to live many of my dreams. They support me, guide me, love me, humor me, and are often my "partners in crime". 

When I first got sick, I was devastated. I was in my late 20's, just earned my masters degree, had an amazing job that I loved, and was just getting to know some wonderfully fun friends. I was going to see live music every weekend, going on road trips, and just having fun. I thought that all of this would just simply stop as I got sicker and started treatments. I had no idea how awesome my friends were (are). They stepped in and made my life even more amazing. When I was really sick, I had people bring me food, magazines, books, etc. But when I felt good, we still had happy hours, still went to shows,still took many fabulous road trips, still had many long patio dates that involved drinking drinks with umbrellas and eating tons of queso. If I was in a funk, I usually had a friend show up at my doorstep with wine and a movie. I even had a surprise Christmas tree set up in my house while I was out one day..... complete with presents! I came home to my friends drinking wine and singing Christmas songs with a beautiful tree- just for me.

Two years ago I moved to Colorado. Living in a small mountain town in Colorado was always on my bucket list.... so, why not??? I am lucky that I have a job that I can do from anywhere.... so lucky. I was a little worried that I would loose touch with my friends because of the move.... that DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL! In fact, I have gotten even closer to some people, and I have made so many wonderful friendships here in Steamboat. I know that this is where I am meant to be.

I have also been lucky enough to become better friends with some of my old high school buddies....the first birthday I spent in Steamboat, I had 3 friends from high school come to see me. It was awesome. We really had the best girls weekend ever.... margaritas, hot springs, dancing, sangria, and so much laughter.

I guess what I am saying is that I am so blessed to have amazingly wonderful, kind, generous, loving, very supportive friends..... so blessed. In the last four years my friends have been there through the hard times and the great times. They have gone on cruises with me, skydiving, hot air balloon rides,touring china, music festivals, road trips, Las Vegas, fishing, hiking, skiing, dancing, Mexico, out to wine tastings, beer dinners, movies, Alaska, helicopter rides,  and other various shenanigans. They are in on my future adventure plans as well.... Tibet, another cruise, a half marathon, and whatever else I may get inspired to do! 

They have also traveled with me to the mayo clinic, hospitals, doctors offices, and they have held my hand through so many hard times. They have shaved my head, taken care of my puppies, cleaned my house, and just plain listened when I was loosing my sanity. They bring me soup, comfort me through all of my fears, and tell me that they love me. That I am not alone and that I will never be alone. 

I really don't know how I got so lucky to have these amazing strong people in my life. I know that because of them, I am living the best life I can. I want to give these experiences to everyone who is struggling with cancer. My dream is to have a charity for young adults. A young adult make-a-wish, if you will. I want someone who is ill to be able to take her friends on a three day weekend to Vegas before her treatments start. Or someone to take her friends on a cruise to celebrate the fact that she is still alive and kicking. Or someone to be able to take his friends to New York and see the ball drop on New Years because, hey, this might be his last year, or get a puppy for someone and pay for food, vet bills, etc,.... you get the point.

Starting this charity is on my list of things to do before I can't. I always talked about that this is what I wanted with my life insurance money when I'm not here anymore. BUT, I decided to start it now..... why not??? I am calling it Friends Through The Fight. I have a fundraiser in February at Rex's Grill and silent auction. I have an amazing photographer who is going to take pictures for posters and for publicity.... I have big dreams and hopes for this. I know that if I have my friends backing me, anything is possible. 
My tree from my friends the first year I was diagnosed.... and Millie as a puppy:0) 

Sweet Lisa shaving my head for the first time.

Katie Bug just being an amazing friend and telling me that I was beautiful even with no hair and burn on my head.

Just having fun with some of my girls at one of my many goodbye Texas parties......

amy visiting Steamboat! 

Erica on one of her many visits.... celebrating my birthday! yay for friends and birthdays! 

Amy and I on my very first cruise! 

Me and Cindi hiking to fish creek on her 2nd visit.

right before i took my first hot air balloon ride~ so fun! 

The Paytons first visit. Can't wait until March for them to come again! 

I stayed in a YURT in Alaska. A dream come true. 

My first heli ride. 

MeXiCo. I want to be there right now. 

China with Whitney. :0)

These are just SOME of my amazing adventures I have had with amazing people. I look forward to many more..... and I look forward to helping others get to have adventures with their friends. Here's to making wonderful memories with wonderful people. 

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