For the last five years this website has been Loving Lorelei, a place where my family and I posted updates about my fight against cancer. You may have noticed that our posts are coming fewer and farther between. That’s because my health has been stable and there are fewer updates to share. *crowds cheer* *trumpets sound* *unicorns rejoice*
I will always view life through the lenses of cancer survivor glasses. Even though I am cancer free and am not on any chemo or radiation regimens, I still fight the effects of cancer in physical and emotional ways almost every day. But this blog is about really living life after cancer. I am a young wife, a senior in college, a gardener, a communications coordinator, a dog owner, and a blog writer. Oh, and a cancer survivor. Introducing: Living Lorelei.
Only a few short years ago I was in the throes of battling cancer, and occasionally I ended up on TV. Make-A-Wish was to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, and I was a guest commentator on the Thunder Live broadcast before playoff games. I served as the spokesperson for blood drives and did news interviews at multiple TV stations. Even my grapple with Blue Cross Blue Shield over denying my bone marrow transplant made international news.
I like to think of Oklahoma City as a booming metropolis, but the reality is that it’s a pretty small world here. It was a common occurrence for me to meet people who had heard of me through their small group or had seen me on the news.
Sometime last year I went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. I waited in line and shuffled my way to the counter to place my order.
“Name for the order?” asked the manager.
“Lorelei,” I replied, anticipating providing the spelling. He withdrew his hands from the screen and pointed.
“You look very familiar,” he said.
I smiled knowingly and suggested, “you might have seen me on TV.”
“No… that’s not it,” he said. His voice lingered.
“Oh, well, I come here a lot,” I replied quickly as I glanced around.
“That’s probably it,” he determined.
How embarrassing, I thought. He probably thinks I’m a weirdo. *mocking tone* “Oh you’ve probably seen me on TV.”
I have been cancer free for four years now. However, because of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) and other complications from my transplant, I have only begun to venture toward normalcy within the last few years. This encounter with James, the manager at my local Chick-fil-A, launched me toward normalcy in the best sense possible. Outwardly, I was embarrassed that I assumed he had seen me on TV. Inside, I was thrilled to be just another customer.
Currently, I live in this gray area where some areas of my life are entirely defined by cancer, and others are completely normal. I have friends who prayed over me when I was diagnosed and peers at school who do not know I was ever sick. Living in the gray area between cancer fighter and long-time survivor sometimes leads to awkward interactions at Chick-fil-A. But, hey, it’s living!
Posted on Sat, August 26, 2017
by Lorelei Ross