Monday, March 31, 2014

A friend first, coworker second

For those of you who do not know me, I am one of Kayla’s friends and a coworker at Baker Demonstration School.  I got to know Kayla through swimming at school, and then I couldn’t get rid of her.  I struggled with what to write, because there is a lot to say so here is a tidbit.

After the shocking news that she had cancer, I offered to set up a way for the Baker community to help Kayla and her family during chemo. My idea was, who has the energy to make a meal on a daily basis (not me)?  Therefore, who wants to make a meal after you have been pumped full of chemo?   After nagging Kayla, about what foods she could eat and how to get the food to her, I finally had all the info I needed to start Lots of Helping Hands.   Although, it was a bit of a pain to get it going (thanks Becky), I LOVED that site.  I loved it because I got to see all these generous, loving, caring people that are a part of Baker.  New people to our school community offered to make meals.  They barely knew Kayla, and they brought in delicious meals, and were not upset when it took months (Kayla’s fault) to get back their cookware.  At the end of chemo I merged site with a family from Kayla's class.

Ok here comes a really weird and other side of being a close friend and co-worker of Kayla’s during cancer.  Everyone wanted to know how Kayla was doing all the time.  I was happy to be the person that fielded the questions (and still do), but I struggled with what to say.  Do I tell the truth?  Do I tell a partial truth?  Do I try and make it light and tell a stupid joke? It is, and was, usually a mixture.  I wanted to respect Kayla’s privacy, but she was so open to everyone during the process.  I didn’t want to share things that were told just between friends, but as many of you know Kayla is a friend to many.  At times I struggled to find the right words.  Hopefully I did right by you Kayla.

Ok the next part of this blog is something that I would talk about with Kayla to find the silver lining in all this crapiness.  It was called:  The Perks of Being a Cancer Patient.  This edition is called: The Perks of Being a Cancer Patient Friend and Co-Worker.
  • I got to dress in theme once a week in great outfits.  LOVED IT.     
  • I got to leave work and take a limo ride with Kayla and her dad.  I may or may not have cried…Daughters don’t get many moments like that with their dads.
  • I almost pulled off an epic surprise for Kayla’s last day of chemo. 
  • I did get to meet the guy who is Tommy the Hawk… And now Tommy (we are on a first name basis) knows who Kayla is! 
  • I scored a couple dates with the guy who got Tommy and WGN to come to our school. 
  • I went to California and met the Cali family.  To know Kayla, you need to know the California crew. 
  • On that note, we opted for a convertible because life is just a little bit better when you’re in a convertible. 
  • I got to go to a Ducks game for free. 
  • Ran my first 5K.  If Kayla can run a 5K in chemo then I can do it healthy.
  • Watching the roast of James Franco multiple times.
  • Sleepovers at the Petersen’s.
  • An early morning walk to the beach before school. 
  • My present from Kayla on her last day of chemo. 

1 comment:

  1. what a great thing you did for her! I am so glad Kayla has friends like you!! ❤ ❤