"You'll need coffee shops, and sunsets, and road trips. Airplanes and passports and news songs and old songs. But people more than anything else. You will need other people. And you will need to be that person to someone else. A living, screaming, invitation to believe in better things."
The past couple weeks have kind of been a blur as I've been out on the open road with my favorite sidekick Lodi, making trips back and forth between Omaha, Iowa City, Des Moines, and home to LeMars/Okoboji. It has been a great privilege to feel like I'm actually able to just pick up and go. I remember being at treatment in Arizona just wishing that the people I love were closer than a plane ride away. Now that they are and now that I feel like I have a good grip on things, I am taking full advantage!
So yesterday I woke up at 6 AM to drive back from Des Moines to Omaha for a day full of therapies. I woke up feeling groggy with a bit of a swollen throat, and a very sleepy puppy. It took everything in me to just get up and go, when all I really wanted to do was just pull the covers over my head, cuddle Lodi, and pretend the appointments didn't exist. But, I had re-scheduled twice this week already, so I figured I'd better go.
I pulled into Omaha and stopped at Lisa's to drop Lodi off before leaving for my first appointment of the day at Whole Health Omaha (formerly named Alternatives). I was all worried I wouldn't be on time, but I made it there with ten minutes to spare. Usually when I walk into the infusion room for my appointments I'm the first one there, and sometimes the only one in there for the duration of my treatment. However, yesterday there were two ladies already sitting down in the chairs, one of them getting an IV. As I sat down to prepare for port access and to be hooked up for vitamin C, my nurse had a very sly smile on her face. She said with a perky voice, "You two will sure have a lot to talk about today." I didn't really know what she was referring to so I started making small talk with the other ladies. I introduced myself and they did the same. The woman getting the IV introduced herself as Alecia.
Neither I nor Alecia had any idea that yesterday would turn out to be such an amazing experience and one of the most honorable gifts God has granted me.
We started with small talk. Her friend joked to the nurse that she would take an IV of french vanilla cappuccino. I was basically salivating at those three words and sarcastically remarked that I'd take two of them. (I might have actually kind of been serious). I asked Alecia if the IV's made her tired like they do for me. She replied that the IV's take her pain away and allow her to sleep. I was curious as to what kind of pain she was in, so I asked and she said that the pain is a result from triple negative breast cancer.
"Aha" I thought, "So that's what we have in common."
The conversation automatically sparked and lasted the duration of the two and a half hour treatment. It was as if we automatically connected, like we knew each other for years. She went on to say that she had heard about me and my blog weeks prior and was hoping she would meet me someday. (Keep in mind, I was suppose to get treatment on Tuesday and rescheduled twice. You can't tell me God didn't have a hand in this!) Alecia thanked me and I was not sure what for. She said "You are touching the lives of people that you don't even know" as looked up at her IV bag. She then explained to me how she had been searching for a place to infuse a "cocktail" of therapeutic levels of vitamin c paired with therapeutic levels of zinc for the treatment of cancer. No where would grant that for her, not her doctors she had worked with or anyone in the area. It was not until I brought my protocol from Oasis to Alternatives/Whole Health in Omaha that it was available anywhere near her. Whole Health notified her that they were now willing to honor the same protocol for Alecia that they do for me. Alecia experienced great relief as she could now receive this IV treatment close to home, which meant she was able to be with her two children. Goosebumps covered my entire body as I too looked at our two IV bags, realizing they were the exact same. (I'm not sure how I didn't pick up on that prior). From there the conversation sparked even more. She asked me about my journey and I started from the very beginning, describing even the most intimate details. Alecia did the same. What made us both bring out our inner feistiness was the topic of "expiration dates." She shared with me a story about a certain oncologist that told her that her life was going to be taken from this cancer if she did not do the surgery recommended. Alecia explained to them she was going to use the vitamin C and zinc IV's, intense detox therapies, and diet/lifestyle change to cure her cancer. The woman told her, "In all of my 40 years of working in oncology I have never heard of that working for anyone else." Alecia exclaimed with the biggest smile on her face, "But I didn't listen to her because of you!!"
My world lit up.
To know that my journey has had that much of an impact on someone else's life, even that it has just allowed her to receive the treatment she feels best for her body, was absolutely outstanding. I was so honored that God brought us together, face to face, to meet one another and cross paths.
We discussed all of the difficulties in going the non-traditional route and how much pressure it can be. I shared with her how my experience at An Oasis of Healing released a lot of the stress of figuring it out for myself. She was so incredible in the way that she listened to every word I said with a sheer glow upon her face. I could see such a genuine soul with a giving heart of gold. After our IVs were done dripping, we exchanged numbers and agreed to schedule our treatments together because we had such a wonderful time.
If you asked me when I woke up yesterday what kind of day it was going to be, the last thing I would've said was wonderful. Which goes to show that you never know what God has up his sleeve for you, and at any moment, someone can come into your life, making the ugly parts a little more beautiful and the dull moments a little more full of life.
I am already looking forward to our next IV date, Alecia. I will never forget yesterday's experience and I continue give God thanks and praise for connecting us. I know it has been tough, but I am cheering for you.. always.