Alot has been written about “SimonPalooza” over the past few days and those, not attending, are apparently either thrilled to read about it, or completely irritated by it. I wanted to chip in my two-cents worth.
A few months ago, I started seeing postings on twitter about a D-meetup in KC. I live just outside of KC and whenever I hear of a D-meetup, I’m inviting myself along. If you don’t want me there, you’ll have to be brutally honest and tell me so. My take is. . whenever I can meet up with other PWD, share stories, encouragement, support. . I’m going to. I had just started following @STroyCrow aka: Simon, on Twitter and while I really enjoyed conversing with him, I didn’t know him as well as others did. That really didn’t matter to me. The important thing to me? 30 PWD and their loved ones were coming to KC and I wanted to be a part of that. I want to meet the people who have mentioned me in their blog posts, encouraged me through the toughest year of my life and have allowed me to share a bit of myself with them over the past 2 years.
I’d been looking forward to this weekend for MONTHS. When suddenly, plans changed for me and I was hospitalized. As my readers know, I recently underwent surgery; double-mastectomy, left lymph node dissection, right sentinal node mapping and removal, insertion of alloderm and tissue expanders, and removal of a port-a-cath. On Monday, I spent the night in the emergency room with an unknown infection brewing somewhere in my body. By Wednesday, it was apparent it was in my right breast and I had immediate surgery to remove the tissue expander and alloderm on the right side. They would try to grow cultures of the infection to determine the correct antibiotic to use to battle it. However, nothing was growing, due to the antibiotics I’d received IV in the emergency room. My weekend plans were slowly slipping away.
Friday night, the party went on as planned at the Collins’ home and I was stuck in Room 412, knowing that all those DOC friends of mine were having a great time. I was so happy they all kept tweeting! I couldn’t be there, but I sure felt part of the party by following the twitter feed. Pictures were being posted, funny statements were shared. . I was still part of the action. I sat in my hospital room, giggling, and tearing up, and so grateful that social media let’s us be in so many places at the same time. Later that night, I was thrilled to see a post asking if 10am was a good time to meet to go see @babssoup. HEY, THAT’S ME!
I expected a few people to show up on Saturday morning, but just as the DOC does everything. . they ALL came. They ALL CAME together. What an amazing thing to see 25 people streaming through the halls of Menorah Med Center, all headed to MY room. Not because they had to or were specifically invited. . . but because they knew I needed it and they gave of themselves, their encouragement, hugs, support, cheering, laughter. . . everything they have they share. As always.
My Dr. came in with the news that the infection had been identified and an antibiotic regimen had been determined and the room erupted in cheers. The Dr. wasn’t sure he wanted to deliver news to a crowd. . but he was soon feeling like the hero of the day as he announced I could go home and join the party. . . finally.
It reminded me of when Kelly Kunik had her horrible experience with her vision and everyone added an eye patch to their profile pictures. I’ve never met K2 in person, but I was so excited to be a part of something that made her laugh, let her know we are all praying and fighting for her. This time it was my turn and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that one day in which I felt like it was Babsapalooza!
I was finally released from the hospital, came home for a nap and then jumped in to the festivities with wild abandon. We met for the big BBQ dinner at the Plaza. We stayed at the hotel that night and didn’t get to our room until 1am. (probably a bit too late for a surgical patient) We all met for breakfast the next day and had a great time taping our “You can do this” piece, saying our good-byes and really sharing what each of means to each other. All of these people inspire me every day. They are the “rock stars” I admire and look up to. And some of them shared that I have inspired them . . and I am in total disbelief that I have done so. But, why not? I’ve learned from the best. You love, encourage, support, share “lowering BG” vibes with each other, share inspirational thoughts, important scripture verses, all that you are. . you lay it out there and it will be given back to you.
So Simon, my dear friend, thank you. Thank you for making this weekend possible. Thank you for working so hard, so many hours and saving all you could to come to America to meet those people who have had an impact on you. Thank you for sharing your feelings for me and the impact my journey has had on you. Now, I know you and adore you as much as all these other DOC’ers. We are related you know. . children of the king. So brother, I love you and hope the rest of your visit is amazing. I hope you are showered with love in NYC and you take all that home with you and spread it around. Until we see you again in 2013. . .we’ll be sending life and love your way via Twitter.
The one thought I leave with is this:
Scott Johnson made a great point this weekend; you can either be a fountain or a drain. You can either shower others with love or suck the life right out them. I choose to be a fountain. Watch out! You might just get drenched!
Thanks again to all of you for visiting us here in KC! You’re welcome anytime.