Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Did we just become best friends?!

I found out Kayla had cancer last June, when she made a late night (and I imagine frantic) phone call to my boyfriend, Kyle. I wonʼt ever forget where I was, how my heart felt, and the questions I asked. “Kayla, you mean Kayla thatʼs our age?” We were equally dumbfounded. As we drove home that night, he told me that she did not deserve this, she was an exceptional person. My faith really felt shaken. I cried, hard, about a stranger.

I want to capture the dynamic Kayla and I have, but in order to do so, I have to quickly share something about myself. I have a bit of a tricky problem... Hypochondria, of the severe nature. Itʼs something that I think a lot of us joke about, myself included. Unfortunately, despite knowing that my problem is selfish and often senseless, I donʼt have a lot of control over the matter. I see doctors and counselors, I am sometimes heavily medicated, and I go through lengthy waves of crippling fear.

Unlike the rest of the guest-bloggers, you all may be shocked to know that I have never physically met Kayla. My whirlwind romance with Kayla is based in its entirety on text messages and hilarious snapchats. Selfishly, I considered the possible consequences that would follow my first interaction with Kayla, “Letʼs be best friends.” Part of my condition involves being dangerously curious. I had so many questions for Kayla. I was fearful of the answers, fearful of my reactions to them, fearful of her situation, but the strangest thing is, I was never fearful for Kaylaʼs life. Her fighting spirit is insanely evident and the thought of her losing this battle seemed an impossibility to me.

That being said, knowing Kayla throughout her fight, I think she was often helping and encouraging me rather than the other way around. That is so wrong, but it is also just Kaylaʼs nature, to help. I was going through a sketchy ta-ta situation of my own (adenosis) and Kayla walked me through the whole thing, biopsy and all. Rather than do what I wouldʼve done otherwise, (be absolutely consumed by fear) I focused a lot of energy on prayer for Kayla. Thursdays were important, cancer KILLING days. I wore pink to work and my coworkers often joined me. We all celebrated as Kayla finished chemotherapy.
Thatʼs exactly what itʼs like to know Kayla, honestly. She gets you thinking on the positive side of things. She brings love out of the woodwork. Kayla was out LIVING. She never gave any indication that she was feeling anything short of a million bucks. The fact of the matter is, her spirit cannot be broken. While I am proud to be among the many warriors behind Kayla, I have no doubt that she wouldʼve been just as graceful regardless. She is just that kind of person. I have only known her during her fight, and I had to often remind myself that she was fighting. She kicked cancerʼs ass like it was a measly head cold. She was stunning the entire time. She did it with finesse. She is pure energy, and she has shared her courage with many of us.

Kayla, I am so incredibly grateful that you are in my life. Thank you for shaking up my faith enough to reignite it. Through you, God has answered so many of the questions I had. “Why did this happen to Kayla?” Well, because she could handle it, and because sheʼs going to make a positive difference in many lives because of it. Thank you for

making me more brave, and being so open with my relentless questions. Thanks for being my pen pal. Thanks for being my friend.

Kayla, I am so ridiculously, crazily, stupendously proud of you. And happy for you. And just generally grateful that you are in my life, helping me face my fears every single day without even knowing it. Love (seriously does) conquer all. 

**Note from Kayla: I have purposely not commented on any of these guess entries because what I find so important about them is that they have given others a chance to share their cancer journey. That's right. While none of these people have been diagnosed with cancer themselves, they have fought cancer, battled the emotions and exhaustion it brings, and as far as I'm concerned they are a part of a special team of individuals that have survived cancer. I mention this on Leigh Ann's post because her story is so unique and what I believe to be the best lesson we can all learn from any of this. It's to love one another. Leigh Ann and I have never met but she has been a beautiful reminder to me of how we should treat each other, regardless of relationship. She sent me handfuls of pick-me-up packages, made herself available to me anytime I needed someone, and took on this fight like it was her own. Which is why I say that so much of this victory is hers too. What if we all could love like this? And not just to our friends and family but to strangers, just like Leigh Ann did. Be thoughtful with your actions and words to and around others. We all need to be loved. We all need smiles and hugs. We're all different but we're all the exact same. 
I pray that we can find it in our hearts to love like this lady does. To all- everyone you meet and everyone you don't.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

**Just incase this post ended a little too emotionally packed for some of you I'm including a link for 31 life changing ways to eat french toast**

1 comment:

  1. So I defiantly saw the post for french toast first & thought that was Leigh Ann posting it & was like...we should be friends! haha After reading her post I know we should be! What an amazing story...Kayla you have touched so many people's lives in such a good way! We are all here for you! ❤ ❤ ❤