One of my favorite movies is Jerry Maguire. I love the plot, characters, music, excitement, and the line “you had me at hello.” One of the greatest lines ever, right? Well, I have another favorite part, which is my inspiration behind this blog post. I only hope I can do it justice!
The characters I am specifically bringing into this blog are Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, and how about the arrogant Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr.?
Well, I love the part when Rod Tidwell coins the line “You are my ambassador of quan.” He wanted Jerry, his sports agent, to “Show me the money.” Rod desired fame, material items and most of all, money. In the end, his success wasn’t just about money; it certainly helped, but he realized there was so much more. It was about feeling loved, cared for, noticed, respected, and united by a community for something he was passionate about. Jerry Maguire realized that success is nothing, unless you have someone you love to share it with. We are created for one another, where we can share the good and the bad.
I have an army of people God sent to rescue me. They have been “My ambassador of quan” – they have shown me love, care, humanity, respect, community, courage and more abundance than I could have ever imagined possible. Through the suffering, I have received so much kindness shown to my entire family. Even through trials, we can find joy and live abundantly. Thank you for all of your acts of kindness! It is impossible to name everyone, but you all know who you are! Maybe you brought a meal, sent an arrow prayer, participated in a rosary, or reached out with a card, text, note, or phone call. Maybe you were a caregiver, driver, or you just had a simple thought of me. I felt it all, and will continue to feel your love build me up as I go into the next phase of healing, reconstruction, and treatment.
After my surgery, I had to let go of my pride because I had to rely on help from others. I needed to be driven to all appointments and pharmacy visits. Caregivers were necessary to create spreadsheets for medicines, drainage data, exercise, and breathing treatments. There was one friend who drove me to every appointment (and there were and still are a lot of appointments), she took notes, and helped me ask questions because I was so overwhelmed.
My KU cancer team consists of two surgeons, an oncologist, lymphedema nurse, clinical nurse, one nurse for each of the three doctors, radiologist team, and a pathology team. I had four drains stitched to my body that a friend had to manage by measuring my drainage three times a day, and then record data of the amount of fluid and color from the drains. I had help to wash and dry my hair, and even get dressed. My four children had to step up and help take care of me. I counted on carpools and meals from my community, prayers, petitions, and cards from friends. The students at St. Michael the Archangel even sent me cards that each lifted me up as I read through them.
Pride, the one sin that seems to be the start of all my negative thoughts and resentment, was taken away by God. He gave me no other choice than to allow my “Ambassador of quan” to help me. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart!
There are three physical items that helped my recovery most, and still do, in my healing process after my bilateral mastectomy. The Healing Chair, “notes to self” socks, and my zip-up hoodie (friends paid $50 for it) were key elements to my comfort and mood. My hoodie is unique because it has pockets sewn inside where my drains stayed hidden, and more importantly, weren’t pulling my skin. I wore it every day while I had my drains!
As I was sitting in the waiting room to see my my surgeon, I looked around at all the women just like me, and noticed there was one big difference. I could see their drains safety pinned to their clothing or hanging from a lanyard around their neck. There was not one woman in the waiting room with the zip-up hoodie that I wore. This is when I had a call to a bigger mission.
My mission was to gift anyone going through this type of breast cancer surgery to have an opportunity to wear a zip up hoodie like I was wearing. It would have the normal pockets on the outside, but also pockets inside to disguise the tubes and drains and keep them from pulling on the skin. The hoodie will have an abundance of pockets, hence, the “Abundant Pocket Hoodie” was adopted.
So, after all of this love and support I have received, I decided I needed to “pay it forward.” I am selling T-shirts, with a logo I have designed, for just $15. For every three T-shirts I sell, after the cost of the T-shirt, I can gift one “Abundant Pocket Hoodie” to a diagnosed cancer patient getting ready to go through surgery.
My nonprofit was born and is called Living in Abundance. This “Abundant Pocket Hoodie” will have the same logo from the T-shirt I designed.
So, my fellow “Ambassador of quan,” how can you help me? If I could be so BOLD to ask, this is what I would like for you to consider.
1) If you have bought a T-shirt, please wear it!
2) If you haven’t bought a T-shirt, please consider doing so via email until I get a payment button set up on my blog. I am going to be totally “old school” and ask you to email me directly with your order and size and we can work out the details.
3) Beginning March 1, 2019, if you know of someone having surgery for breast cancer that will require drains, please have the patient request one of my complimentary “Abundant Pocket Hoodies.” The only cost to the receiver will be shipping. This can be requested on my nonprofit website starting 3/1/2019.
4) Finally, please pray that I am successful in my efforts to “pay it forward.”
There are a lot of great things in the future, so please continue to follow and share my blog. I believe we can all live in abundance, and I know with courage, a gift from God, all things are possible!
These pictures I am sharing with you below show what it was like with just 2 of the 4 drains I originally came home with. The first picture was taken 16 days after my surgery.
It goes without saying what a gift one of these jackets can be for a diagnosed breast cancer patient undergoing the surgery of a mastectomy. This also shows my designed T-shirt that could be yours for just $15!