It's my birthday, yes. But this birthday is different. I don't get to talk to one of my best friends. I lost her in July to the same disease that threatens to take me and more of my friends and does take #433 a day. That pain will never cease to exist.
I sleep with the unicorn painting we both loved next to my bedside. I still watch facebook posts so I can hear your voice and sometimes I still cry. I never made it up to see you before you went to the other side. But you are my soul sister, Kelly Shannon, I promise I will find you. I've missed you every sing day more than you can imagine. Our talks about dating, our children, our fears, our joys, our sadness, and our hopes and dreams and our secrets. It's really hard without you here anymore. But you are one of the reasons I'm going to keep fighting and keep inviting people into my life going through the same thing. You had a heart of pure gold, not a bad word to be said about anyone. You were there for everyone. I strive to be more like you and I hope I'm making you proud....until I see you again and we can snapchat like crazy. I miss your silly snapchats so much. We talked for a while, because I picked to write about you during Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we hit it off from there. Finally meeting in D.C. for the summit that year, we were like inseparable school girls, I felt like we probably got in trouble some and busted a lot. And I will keep our secrets to my grave. I love you, always.
My friend Linnea Olson just lost a close friend of hers as well. His name was Christian. She wrote a blog about him that made me ugly cry. They were so close and had been fighting the fight together for 8 years. Kelly had 6 and I'll be 6 November 27. Linnea is an OG so I can't even remember how long she's been forging trails. She and Christian were both always in uncharted territory. When something didn't work, they went on to the next. I just want to honor them both today for what they've done for the rest of us.
So, this Lung Cancer Eve (aka Halloween, aka my birthday-I do what I want), I want to start a tradition. I want to blog about someone with lung cancer or who has passed on. I want their lives to not have been in vain and for all of us to be remembered as the generation that changed Lung Cancer. Because WE CAN and WE WILL. I've really been hanging with Chris Draft too much!
So Kelly, thank you for being my soul sissy, my go to person, my cancer buddy, and a piece of my heart. God put us together at exactly the right moment when we needed each other most. I still talk to your dad, I even made sure our names got on the same shirt along with Nicole Russell and so many more.
Like Linnea said, this is a hard road. It's hard for others to understand not just the physical drain, but the emotional damage. I want to thank all of you for your kindness and prayers throughout this journey. I will never be free of this cancer, but I can be treated for a while hopefully, and to me that is enough. I thank God for this time He has given me and want to put it to good use. I hope you read the statistics I put up. And if you read this to the end, I hope you share this one. It's very informative.
Here is a copy of Linnea's Blog. Christian Nataline by Linnea Olson She is such an inspirational writer and wrote this beautiful memoir for her dear friend.