In 2014 we made two additions to our family; our son Eli, and The House with That Awful Pink Door. We were so excited to buy our first home as a family, and spent hours dreaming of improvements we could DIY together. Painting the door was first on my list of things to do. But with moving and holidays and cold weather and three children under 3, painting kept getting put on hold. Then, at the beginning of 2015, we faced the biggest obstacle yet....I was diagnosed with Stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer. IBC accounts for about 5% of breast cancers, and is the most aggressive and lethal. There is no early detection. Treatment is very aggressive. I immediately began chemotherapy in Spokane, WA, two hours from our home. The kids and I moved in with my parents in Spokane; Jason spent his weekends visiting us there. As my health permitted, usually about once a month, we came home to bond under our own roof as a family. We didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s when the Pink Door started becoming part of our family. The kids would say, “We’re going to The Pink Door House!”
After eight months of chemo, I traveled to MDAnderson in Houston for a modified radical double mastectomy followed by twice daily radiation. I stayed in Texas--first with Jason and then my dad--from mid October to December 23rd. After spending Christmas in Spokane with family, in January I finally returned Home. For good. In the spring I was declared NED, No Evidence of Disease. Meaning that while undetectable amounts of cancer may be present, cancer is not an immediate threat. I'm a Survivor. We are moving forward into a new season in our life.
As my strength returns, we’ve dusted off that DIY list.
And the Pink Door?
The door finally got that fresh coat of paint. Pink paint. We couldn’t bring ourselves to change the color. It’s part of our story. Our bigger-than-life pink ribbon. For us, it represents coming home, having hope, and accepting life with a bit of humor.