This was my last week before the looming surgery. Despite what everyone says, I can’t help but stress over the idea of getting things at work line up for me to be gone for so long, getting the house ready for company to live in next week while we are gone, and getting our family prepared for me being out of commission. Throw in Race for the Cure, Halloween and soccer practices…well, it was a busy week.
But I’m not saying that to complain. What I realized is that all of this busy-ness has kept me very distracted. I haven’t focused on the scary stuff that comes with surgery. Until yesterday.
When I officially “clocked out” from work on Thursday, I put my main focus on pre-op appointments, whether the doctor has gotten insurance pre-authorization for surgery and, well, surgery itself.
It’s getting real!
So, sitting in the OKC airport, reality set in. My mood wasn’t too great — weight in my stomach … shoulders so tight they might as well be in my ears.
Our flight got delayed to Dallas, and a super-friendly American Airlines rep, Debbie, called my cell to let me know that she would be picking us up at the gate in a cart to drive us to the connecting flight. There was a chance we wouldn’t make it so she had already booked us on the later flight. (insert major plug for American Airlines Priority program — because how awesome is that service?!?!)
I felt antsy the whole plane ride to Dallas. Just in a bad mood, really. I came off the plane looking for Debbie. The first thing I saw was a man holding the sign with my name. I figured Debbie got busy and sent someone in her place. But as I got closer, I noticed that this man had the #TeamJenny logo that my KochComm peeps designed. Whaaa??? As I approached him, I realized that he was not alone. There were two other men and a little kid … and Debbie!
Turns out that Will, that extremely generous guy I mentioned in the last post who arranged for me to get a free trip to Houston, is actively involved with a group of executive platinum fliers, including these guys. So, these guys, who don’t know me at all, took the time out of their day to meet us at our gate with personalized signs.
They are our newest friends and team members — Ray, David, Richard and Ian.
They had planned on hanging out with us at the Admiral’s Club, but since we were running so late, they climbed aboard the cart that Debbie drove and escorted us to the next gate.
They even applauded as we boarded the plane.
You know, I’ve always been skeptical of the home-field advantage in sports. How could having the crowd cheering make that much of a difference? But, I’ll tell you … having a welcoming committee cheering you on as you board … well, that was pretty awesome.
I’m pretty sure that I was grinning ear-to-ear for most of our connecting flight into Houston. That, and shaking my head, saying, “I just can’t believe that!”
This cancer thing really sucks. Seriously sucks in so many ways. But, every single time I turn around, someone is doing something so thoughtful, so helpful and so selfless. You make it hard to be sad or mad. You make it impossible to have a pity party for too long. You make us realize that even though bad things happen, good people are there to help you through it — which is how I think God intends things to be. And, we are really grateful to be completely surrounded by good people in our lives.
I guess what I’m saying is that you guys are making kicking cancer’s butt a whole lot easier.
PS – I did learn a valuable lesson during all of this: even if you are going to a city where you won’t see anyone you know…wear makeup. You never know when you’ll take a photo in a golf cart in an elevator in an airport.