Cancer is a Catalyst
Cancer changed EVERYTHING.
The moment I heard the words "you have cancer", spoken to my Mom, a nervous energy took over my body. I was paralyzed. That's MY Mom. The universe got it wrong. I felt myself immediately pleading to God..please don't take my sunshine away. My heart broke wide open. I was paralyzed.
Navigating through what I call cancer-land is the worst. It begins as a whirlwind of testing and doctors, sleepless nights and so many tears. The middle part is mixed with treatment and hope. And the end is simply impossible. It makes me cry every day.
Cancer-land left me looking for hope EVERYWHERE.
Someone please tell me this will be ok. Give me a shooting star or a shiny penny...give me a positive fortune cookie...please God, give me hope.
I remember a specific moment when the oncologist commented on my Mom's beauty..that she had a glow. Mom replied that she was choosing to surrender and be alive for the journey. That this was the next piece of the puzzle and she was open and ready.
As dark and terrible as cancer is/was, I was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with my Mom. I became her caretaker...an honor, I would say to her.
In the beginning, I didn't know anything about medical leave or what any of my possibilities were. I just knew that I was going to be with my Mom in this journey. I didn't know if I would lose my job, I didn't know how much time we had... I didn't know what I was supposed to do I just knew It was up to me to navigate this journey with my Mom. We were going to war together...
Cancer changed everything. It's so much bigger that the body it's attacking. It's paralyzing. I knew after my Mom passed that there was NO WAY I could go back to corporate America and leave my sister to fend for herself and marinade in her own anxiety. I knew that my new role as Kate's caretaker would require some changes in my life. I also knew that it was important for Kate and me to find some way to move through ...Cancer became a catalyst.
Saturday, Kate and I have a decluttering gig for A Space For Kate, a business we designed. This will be our third visit with Ali Sheppard. She has been AMAZING and so hands on learning the process of decluttering, detaching and creating a space that feels like a hug. Selfishly, I feel so good inside that we have taken an idea and turned in to a business. The journey is humbling.
For the past thirteen years I had been working in corporate America as a Graphic Designer. I had a 401k, insurance, a few friends...the corporate gig did what it was supposed to. I was financially stable...and I would have continued on that path if it weren't for the fact that my Mom got cancer. (God I HATE cancer).
The awareness that I could not go back to my life before cancer, left me to ask the universe: What now? I literally sat on my Mom's bed, gazed to the sky and asked for guidance.
I eased my thoughts and thought simply about Kate's strengths- she loves organizing. What if?
I wrote a blurb on Facebook asking the female entrepreneur group Girl Tribe what they thought of this idea. By the next morning, there were 100 likes and a message from a news
anchor interested in our story.
Ok universe...I hear you. (And thank you for your quick reply).
A Space For Kate was born.
Kate is "high-functioning special needs". (This is my go-to line whenever someone asks). Simply put, she needs support when it comes to things like taking care of a home, paying bills and driving. She has a subtle speech impediment and certain concepts are difficult to grasp. She is also the kindest, most authentic soul I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She feels everything. If you had a bad day- she feels that. I think she's magic. And now, she runs a business. Boom.
Love and peace,