As explained in my last post here is a post from a great person and fantastic friend, Davidson.
“You know there are some memories that seem to fade and blur over the years, then there are some you will never forget. I’ll never forget being at Kim and Spencer’s house for a party the night before Kim started chemotherapy. At one point in the evening, Kim and I were standing in the kitchen when she looked at me and said, “I have no idea what to expect Davidson.” How do you respond to that? Was there anything I could have said that would have given her any kind of comfort?
Before Kim, I have really only had a couple of brief encounters with cancer. When I was in high school my youth leader had liver cancer that took his life very quickly. Also, I had a fraternity brother that was diagnosed with testicular cancer and after a few procedures was cleared and now lives a cancer free life. Both of these events happened while I was fairly young and honestly neither had much of an impact on my life. Cancer was never anything I thought about until May 2011.
I was traveling for work regularly during 2011 and was only home about one week per month. It was always tough watching everyone jump in and help when I was 2,000 miles away and couldn’t be there myself. I felt like one thing I could do was let Kim vent about anything she needed to get off her mind. There were a few candid emails exchanged, new frustrations, knowing people are filtering what they say around her. On my breaks back home I was able to spend some one on one time with Kim. We would talk about everything including her cancer. I would typically let her bring it up because I always felt by the time I came back around she was tired of talking about cancer. I looked forward to those chats every time I came home from traveling. It gave me comfort to see her being very positive in such a negative world. Not once did she ever say she wanted to just give up.
Her situation has influenced me quite a bit over the last couple years. It has made the things I complain about seem a bit pettier. I do find myself holding back when talking to Kim about my stresses at work. She worked in the same field as me so she always understood what I was dealing with. Now I feel like maybe my challenges should be easily overcome. However, it has helped me realize what is valuable in my life. I realized I don’t have to just deal with things in life that make me miserable, that I actually have the ability to change even the largest components of my life.
My perspective of lung cancer has changed since Kim’s diagnosis. I always thought it was a smoker’s disease or an old factory worker’s disease. When someone asks me about my green bracelet I still catch myself saying, “she’s a non-smoker too.” Then I’ll explain how lung cancer isn’t a smoker’s disease anymore. It’s amazing to see people’s reactions when you tell them some of the general statistic about lung cancer and how it compares to other types cancer. I would say it was similar to my reaction when I learned the same facts.
Kim has always been a very important person in my life even though I don’t live in Portland anymore. She was the one that introduced me to some of the best friends I have when she talked me into bouldering after a couple beers of course. I admire her and Spencer for the way they’re handling this situation. I don’t know if they realize how much they have influenced me, and everyone else who reads Kim’s blog. Friends are the family you choose and these guys will always be a part of my family.