Monday, May 30, 2011

Scaling a Wall Called Cancer

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When I first met her, I didn't like her.

She had long straight hair--swingy hair--the kind that curly-haired gals like me only dream of. (And she was constantly swinging it, LOL!) And her figure? Well, she was like a Barbie doll come to life. She was athletic and sporty, and she was a risk-taker. She actually scaled the brick wall around the courtyard of our dorm at Middle Tennessee State University once, jumping from the top of it to then climb in the open window of the lobby on the second floor. (Why even attempt this? Because, she said, she had been thinking about it...she came up with a plan, and once she knew she could do it, she just did it.) Despite the coveted hair, the enviable figure, and the lapses of sanity, we became best friends, then roommates, and a couple of years after she introduced me to her older brother, we became sisters-in-law!

Karla with children: (L to R) Baylee, Summer, Luke
Karla and I have been friends for over 25 years. We've been sisters for 23 of those. We have argued, laughed, and prayed together through a lot of living--marriage, babies, raising our families--all the stuff that goes with being a woman and a mom (and Karla is a stepmom, as well, to her husband Doug's older kids, Christi and Jon). Recently, we've started another journey together. A journey no one wants to travel. A journey we never expected to travel.

About three weeks ago, Karla found a lump.

Several doctors' visits later, her diagnosis is breast cancer, stage 3. So, in just a few weeks' time, life has changed. It's changed a lot.

As she approaches chemo and after that, surgery, there are a lot of things that will be changing. The beautiful hair (which has gotten curlier over the years, actually) will likely fall out. The figure will be altered too. As for lapses of sanity, upon experiencing "Karla on Valium" after her biopsy last week, perhaps the best is yet to come, LOL!

But that risk-taker?
That sporty competitor who was the first girl in her town to play Little League baseball...
A tennis pro...
A never-say-die card player...
A wall-scaler...
That doesn't change.

Karla, this is how I see it: This time, the wall you're scaling is called cancer. You've been thinking this through for a few weeks now, mulling it over, thinking about how success will be accomplished. Now the plan is in place for this wall. Every time you think about it, you go back over the basics, step by step, in your mind: The wall is high, but not that high. And the window on the second floor, well, it stays open all the time. It might be tricky, that leap from wall to window sill, but all you have to do is grab it and hang on. Your friends will be there to pull you in the rest of the way.

You can do it...and while I might have let you scale the dorm wall on your own, we'll do this wall together.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:7-8, 14)

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musicalmary said...

I am praying for your precious friend and sister, Karla. What a blessing to have you on her side!

Kay Smith said...

Praying 4 u sweet friend!

Kris @ WUHS and Eclipsed said...

I'm praying for Karla, Rebecca.

Jenifer said...

Just saw this! Praying for sweet Karla. What a sweetheart. Will continue to lift her up. Please keep us posted on her success at climbing this wall!

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Thanks, everyone!

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