Where I’ve been…and why


Dear blogging friends. Perhaps some of you have noted that I’ve been completely silent for the past couple of weeks. I have needed to tend to a hurting heart.

Earlier this month we learned that our daughter, Aimee, has breast cancer. I’m barely able to talk about this yet, but Aimee is open and honest with her friends and family, and hasn’t closed herself off to communication.

Social restrictions have made it hard for her to share personally with many of her friends, so she did what she didn’t really want to do, and posted on Facebook. With her permission, I’ve copied her message and hope that you’ll take the time to read it.

Ironically, on the day that I was supposed to go back to the front lines of nursing, I exited the workforce and entered the doors of City of Hope as a patient. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and am in the process of developing a treatment plan with my doctors at this time. In an effort to keep myself and those around me healthy and not delay my treatment, I am currently isolating myself from the general public. I am not on social media often and certainly am not sharing this for any personal attention or need for response. In fact, I’d rather not share at all and would block response if I knew how.
I have to share a few thoughts however. I beg of you to all please take the advice of social distancing seriously.  To all of my friends on the front lines in the Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers, EMS and Public Health, thank you!  My heart is alongside you and your families as you do the difficult work and risk your own health for the sake of others. That’s what we have all been called to do but it doesn’t make that drive into work any easier right now, I’m sure.
To all my other friends and family, please listen to the warnings that are advised. This protects our healthcare workers, our families, our friends and me. One thing that I have learned and experienced much too personally is that we are not invincible.  I have been a nurse for 24 years, yikes! I have taken care of countless numbers of women with breast cancer.  I’m supposed to be the caregiver but will transition to the patient.
I have had friends afflicted with the worst of illness and have held the hands of countless people as they have died from accident or illness. Viruses don’t discriminate either. Just because you feel well today doesn’t mean that the exposure risk is any less for you. We can’t stop the spread of this virus entirely but slowing it down is extremely important so we don’t exhaust resource. Please love on each other the best way we can by staying away from each other. Use this time for rest, quality family time and fill your soul with the things that bring peace to you.  Much love, Aimee

All good thoughts and wishes are welcome. If prayer is a part of your practice and faith, I’d value your prayers on her behalf. My personal faith has never meant more to me. However, I honestly don’t want to create a stressful situation where you feel the need to respond. I just want you to understand my distancing, and to know where it is coming from right now. I’ll be “around” the blogosphere in my own way, and I expect there will be times I’ll find it easier than others.

I haven’t been reading posts, so I don’t know how you’re all affected at this time when we are all attempting to keep ourselves and others safe by adhering to  the recommendations of our local jurisdictions. But I can easily assume this is stressful for each and every one!

Blessings to each one of you and thank you for your friendship. I wonder if others, people who have never blogged before, are learning something of the value in “screen time” communication and relationships? We bloggers have known it for a while now.

Be well. Debra

61 thoughts on “Where I’ve been…and why

  1. Debra

    Thanks for sharing your daughters heartfelt words… her powerful testimony is so exceptionally important in this crises. I’m finding there are still quite a few people in Canada who are not yet completely aware of the over arching danger to the health and well being of society… let alone to the medical community and other essential services, like first responders.

    On the other hand, I have noticed in Canada there are quite a few positive stories….. like a distillery that has converted to only making hand sanitizers and distributing free cases of bottles of them to hospitals, police stations, and other care workers. We do need to come together.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Would you or your daughter consider sharing me her facebook link, so her plea could have a broader voice? In any case, I send my love, solidarity and friendship.


    • Thank you, Bruce. I’ll have Aimee help me do that. I really do appreciate your care and concern. I do think our whole world is groaning and holds the potential to be reshaped into an image that brings something of benefit to us all for what we will have witnessed and experienced together. I think we are watching the good in some people and their creative efforts (like the distilleries) share some of that hope even now. As for Aimee, I am devastated for her, but also aware that she is strong and has a strong personal faith, and I’m believing she will be brought through this with much to share with her two young daughters. Thank you, Bruce.

    • Aimee said she’s more than happy if you can find a way to share her words on your FB or anywhere else but she’s not sure how to effectively link the FB post itself as she’s private in all of her settings. All the technology is a step or two beyond me!

  2. At some stage you’ll find yourself trawling through your blog .. and I feel the urgent need to let you know that I comprehend your dreadful anxiety, you beautiful creature,
    Yours has been a life with more than its share of sorrow, Debra – why this should be is just one of life’s many incomprehensible mysteries ..
    She is not lost to you – not yet and very possibly not at all; and she sounds just like a daughter of yours.
    I send you and her unlimited thoughts of good will and good heart.

    • Thank you, M-R. We are currently waiting for more tests so that information will be clear before moving into treatment. I am thankful we live in an area where specialists and quality doctors and hospitals are plentiful. I’m also keenly aware of the privilege we hold in having good insurance and access to those lifesaving measures. We are indeed fortunate, and we know not everyone can claim that. Lots to think about these days, that’s for sure. xx

  3. Thank you for sharing Aimee’s FB post, Debra. Many of us deliberately got off FB and I never would have seen this post otherwise. My heart is hopeful, and I do know Aimee is in good hands at City of Hope. You all take care.

    • Thank you, Gail. Even I went back on FB this week…something I claimed I would NEVER do. NEVER seems like a strange word to use at all in these times. I know how much you care, and your love and concern is deeply felt clear across the country. xx

  4. Thank you for sharing Aimee’s words, Debra. I had to close my laptop and compose myself after reading them. My prayers and well-wishes go out to Aimee – and to you and your entire family.
    It sounds like a plan is in place and that Aimee is in good hands.

    Aimee’s heartfelt words as she faces her time as patient in a place where she has been nurse echo the kind of nurse she is. They are also a clear and clarion call to all who read it on how we can, and should be conducting ourselves during this pandemic. I was struck with how encompassing nursing is and thankful for those who are caring for so many.

    Hugs from this side of the Mother Road. Prayers being said.

    • Thank you, sweet and dear friend. I really appreciate that. She is waiting for some test results before they launch into full treatment mode, but given the diagnosis is only a couple of weeks along, I think she’s been very fortunate to be where she is even in testing. She was literally supposed to start at a new urgent care position within about two days of her diagnosis. So it’s hard for her not to be a part of the medical workforce but at the same time, she is safer at home, and I’m glad for that. We are living in very hard times with rough seas. I heard a quote on NPR this week, “Steady sailors are made during rough seas.” That seems apt! Hugs to you and yours, Penny. xx

    • Thank you, Nancy. There will be some rough twists around the bend, but we will get there! I’m so grateful that she has good insurance, easy access to specialists, and in many ways more support than most. I realize that abundance. xx

    • Thank you, Cathy. It is likely to be a “long haul” through some difficult treatment plans, but we are a strong family unit and will be there with Aimee and her husband and children, making it as smooth as possible. I appreciate your care.

  5. Dear Debra, I left a comment on your Facebook posting. I’m so glad that you posted there and that Aimee’s words are reaching so many of us. Take care of yourself in the midst of all that is happening. Be gracious to yourself. Peace.

    • Thank you, Dee. I find that I am feeling strengthened by sharing with others. I thought I didn’t have what it took to even talk about it, but I have appreciated the love and support. Thank you, friend.

    • Thank you, Frank. We are fortunate in one thing that I haven’t shared publicly. If someone reads this comment now it’s fine. But Aimee and family have been living with us for a while now. They were needed in helping care for another family member and we made that adjustment. Aimee, being a nurse, was instrumental in that caring situation. Now aren’t we glad!! I didn’t talk about it at the time on my blog because I wanted to protect the girls from being identified with our city, or their schools–simply thinking protection–because I’d been so public about where I live. But at this point, we’ve kind of moved beyond that. So in truth, we are all able to be sheltering together. What a godsend. And thank you for your prayers. I need strength hour by hour, but I find a fresh supply every morning. 🙂

    • Thank you, Janis. Yes, the timing makes everything a lot more complicated. I don’t yet know all the ramifications, but we have run into a few. We are simply hoping at this point that she will be able to proceed with treatment without any delay. It’s hard on other family members who can’t be near her at this time. One day at a time! For all of us!

  6. I have a t-shirt saying “Heck, yes these are fake, the real ones tried to kill me.” My best friend died of breast cancer a couple of years ago, but many more women close to me survived and kicked cancers butt. I proudly wear pink and purple highlights each and every time a woman close to me is forced to fight as well.

    Dear Debra, you are going through a tough time, and I wish there would be anything I could do.

    I know you have a lot on your mind, but if you have time, I am asking you to meet Anncredible https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1zTk7ZR_CQ&feature=emb_title

    I don’t like it when people leave me comments with a link to their own blog post, but today I will do the same. https://nonsmokingladybug.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/october-is-breast-cancer-awareness-month/

    There is a lot you can do to help Aimee.

    • Thank you, Bridget. I will keep these links close at hand and I’m sure they will hold meaning to me. Right now I’m still in such a place of hurt and shock (and I admit, fear) that I almost can’t read about other people or connect on that level. I know from other experiences that this will surely change. I also think that once her treatments actually begin, she’s looking at surgery sometime soon, I will feel ready to mobilize my own strength and efforts, and I’d like to think I can be support to others. The waiting is hard. I like your t-shirt slogan! That’s a great way to face the realities with a little humor. Thank you for caring as you do. It means so much.

    • Peace is what I’m most asking for myself, Andrew. Healing for her, peace for me. It is a hard time, and many go through this valley on a continual basis. I’m trying to remember that and feel the “oneness” in that recognition. Thank you Andrew.

  7. Your sharing comes from the heart. My heart and prayers are with you and Aimee, and the entire family. Life is hard and then it gets harder. Hold fast to the outstretched arm of God. He’s got this even though we may not see the full picture…yet. Be strengthened.

  8. Debra – I never respond to your posts but I read every one of them. I am praying for Aimee and I want to let you know that I look forward to your posts and think of all you, your husband and family with all you have been through recently. Xoxo


    • Debbie, I can’t say enough how your words comfort me. Thank you! You are so dear to respond in this way, and I appreciate your prayers and concern. Blessings to you in return. xx

  9. Debra, I do believe in prayer. I pray before I ever respond to someone when I say I will. I already have. For her healing, for those providing her care, and for those who love her. I am so sorry she (and all who love her) are going through this. I understand the silence and hope that your heart and soul are well cared for as well. ❤

    • You’ve brought me to sweet tears, Colleen. I know you mean what you say, and that touches me deeply. I feel the prayers and although I’m kind of walking an emotional tightrope at the moment, I do feel secure when I think of the prayers being offered on our behalf. Bless you.

  10. Debra – my heart and prayers go out to you right now. Reading Aimee’s words brought tears to my eyes. What a picture of faith and wisdom. I know there will be days in the days to come that will test our faith in ways we never experienced or imagined before. I know that no matter how many years pass, our children are our children forever and a mother’s heart never changes. In a very small way, my heart knows the pain to watch a child walk through something we wish and pray we could walk instead for them. Know that I am praying for you and for Aimee, and for the girls and everyone involved in this process. You are not alone in this. You are loved and you are covered in prayer.

    • Thank you, dear Stacey. I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me, and I do know that you have some deeper understanding. Thank you for your continued prayers. I will likely email you soon. A little easier to “chat” about things. 🙂 Blessings to you, too.

  11. Yes, I had noticed your absence and was waiting for you to appear over at mine with your warm smile and kind words. I’m so sorry that this is the reason, Debbie. I can feel the blow to your stomach myself. I know many people who have recovered from this, but that doesn’t help when it’s someone you love so much. Let’s roll the clock forward to her being fit and well, and back caring for others. God bless! 🙂 🙂
    Aside from our blog world, I have a little WhatsApp group of walking friends. We set it up to keep track of many different walking activities, but it has been invaluable these last few days. We make each other giggle, as well as looking out for each other now that our walks are suspended. Sending hugs, hon, and thinking of you with love.

    • Thank you, Jo. It means a lot to hear your words of comfort and I’m doing as much visualizing of her at the end of this journey, fit and whole again, as I can. I can’t focus on where we are today without weariness, but when I remember that she’s soon to be in treatment and has the best of care, I feel that encouragement. I appreciate your understanding. Best to you, too!

  12. Hard times in so many ways. You and your family are in my thoughts; Laura’s too. You have a wide range of caring people sending you their best energy. You deserve every beam.

  13. My dearest Debra… I’m so sorry to hear about Aimee… my thoughts and prayers are with you and please remember that smiling is the best cure! She’ll be fine! I wholeheartedly believe that! So here’s to her full and swift recovery! Many hugs to you and your family! xoxoxo

  14. Debra, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your feelings, along with Aimee’s remarkably centered and powerful words. I can’t imagine the shock and the stress of this personal diagnosis, on top of what we’re all feeling and living in this time of covid-19. If I could, I would bring you a hot cup of tea, wrap my arms around you, catch your tears on my shoulder, and pass tissue across the table while listening to our angst, sorrow and grief. Thank you for letting us know what’s happening in your world. xo

  15. Dear Debra
    I am so sorry it sounds just awful and very hard along with everything else that is also happening. But your precious Aimee Lord please intervene for Aimee and Thank you that she is honest so wise, and Brave. I also wish I could come to wrap my arms around you, and her. May our Lord wrap his arms around you all and walk you through this. Thank you for being so vulnerable and open about what is going on in your life you are now in my prayers and especially Aimee and family. Love Debi

  16. I am sorry to read about what has happened to your daughter. I feel with you, her and the rest of the family. My thoughts are with you. And I wish all the best for Aimee and her recovery. Reading her message touched me deeply.

  17. Oh Debra, my heart is heavy with this news and wish her a healthy recovery. Courage to you, your daughter and family. This is definitely not a path we choose, but hand in hand believe you both with find a turn in this path that leads you to a place where you both will breathe lightly again.

  18. Debra… I have so many emotions and things I want to say. First, I am keeping you and your family close to my heart. It’s a funny thing — not having met bloggers in person, but still feeling we have friends at a distance. I also wish for all of you to stay healthy and strong — and it seems as if your daughter is one tough cookie. Judging by her ability to pack so much into a beautifully written post — which I’m going to say she gets from you — also means that you too are one tough cookie. To get through these days, I’m keeping my distance, trying to stay positive, avoiding the news, and working in the garden. I’ve written one post about embracing the ordinary during these COVID days — and that’s it. I want my blog to be a place of comfort and peace and ordinary joys. You are always welcome there, not to leave a comment, but to just find a few moments to breathe. Please, may you and yours remain safe — and peace always. — Kevin

  19. Just saw this–I’m a bit behind on blog reading. Praying for Aimee and for you and all her loved ones. These times are difficult enough without throwing breast cancer into the mix. I pray that Aimee’s doctors will prescribe the best treatment and that she will recover from the cancer as soon as possible.

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