I had lunch with a friend at work today. She is a fellow cancer crusher and beat the crap out of some breast cancer last year. Unfortunately due to the timing of my recurrence, the holidays, traveling, busy work schedules, and what have you, I was never able to tell her that I had recurred. In some respects it was harder for me to tell my cancer-crusher friends about my recurrence. I feared that I would trigger any lingering fears they had regarding their own medical challenges. It did not feel right to just send something like this through a work email:
Subject: Womp womp
Any fun holiday plans coming up? Oh by the way I have cancer again. How are you?
Keep it classy,
Your pal Jess
Needless to say, Judy ended up finding out through my blog. Two months later we were able to meet and talk about it. Now something you should know about Judy is that she has a phenomenal perspective when it comes to illness. We share a similar viewpoint that all of this chaos has to serve a purpose. With her insight came a bonus gift:
She said that this is a very special pine cone. It came from a Sequoia tree.
YUP this kind of tree:
Judy explained to me that in order for this little pine cone to turn into a massive and beautiful tree, it must burn. In order for Sequoia trees to regenerate, they must be exposed to the extreme element of wildfire.
The pinecone is now in my possession to remind me that through the chaos of the fire (cancer), I am on the other end determined, wiser, and stronger than before. No longer a mere pine cone.
What a beautiful metaphor.