Fellow Warriors…

Olson view 2014

I am in the middle of my 5th week of radiation. Tomorrow is exactly two weeks until D-day for me. Two more weeks!! It will be finished, the treatment will be over. I will get to stay home with my family and I will get to begin living again. Not the same life mind you as the left side of my chest will be numb forever, menopause has begun, there are medications to be taken for the next 5/10 years and I have one more surgery to go through to make my chest area not quite so lopsided. Oh yeah, then there is the hair factor. It has begun growing… Yay! But it really deserves a whole discussion of its own so we will leave it be for now.

Even with all of the extras that have been added to my life I am still terribly excited to begin anew. The only thing I can think of that I will miss about this little detour that I have taken in life is my radiation buddies. The radiation process has been interesting. The first few days that you have to sit in the little waiting room area with your pretty hospital gown on are a tad awkward. You are naked from the waist up (other than your gown), the back of your gown is open and it’s always a dilemma to decide whether to tie it or not as you are just going to have to untie it in 5 minutes or so and then retie it to walk in the hallway and then untie it again to put your clothes back on. So half the time you tie it and the other half you just don’t bother. Anyway I digress,  when you are a newbie to radiation you sit quietly in the little (very little) waiting area with your head down and pray with all your might that they come to get you very quickly because you feel so terribly awkward sitting there half undressed with a bunch of strangers. But after a few days the faces in the waiting area begin to become familiar and you begin to chat and find out each others names and share cancer stories. Then you start to show up a bit earlier for your appointment so you have a few more minutes to chat with your new friends that can completely relate to what you are going through. You rip off your wig in front of everyone so you can check the tag on the inside so one of the ladies can get information about where to purchase one just like yours. Our ages range from the mid  70’s down to 45 and there was a lot of knee slapping and cackling  the morning that I shared my wig flying out of the car window story. Melody dried her tears from laughter and said, “I so needed to hear that today!” And Mae said, “I cannot believe all of this ruckus we are creating as we sit here in a state of undress.”

As the weeks have gone by at least one person has graduated back to the land of the living. Karen was super excited to be done but sad to leave her new friends. The rest of us are beginning to show signs of the treatment taking its toll. Mae’s neck is all red as she had a tumor just under her jaw. She is finding it hard to swallow because the radiation is so close to her esophagus, I am very red as well and feel pretty tired. The cackling has turned to more quiet conversation and advice about what we can do to alleviate the symptoms during the coming weeks. These are some special people and I am so glad to be walking toward the finish line of treatment with them.

At the same time, I really miss my family and am ready to see what God has planned for me on the other side of all of this. I am hoping that I will be more intentional about my life and only give my time and energy to the things that really matter to me and that will make a difference not only in this world but in eternity as well.

I was sharing with Mr. Wonderful the other day that in some ways it feels like I have been gone for this whole year. My life has changed, my friends lives have changed, my family has changed. It will be an interesting endeavor to step back into life again and see where I fit. I need to catch up with all that has changed in the lives of those around me, help them adjust to the person I have become and step into new waters as now I am armed with knowledge that I hope someone else can benefit from.

Living… let the adventure begin!

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  1. Yay for the homestretch!!! You are so amazing and strong! The days, months, and years after will be different from before, but the intentionality, thankfulness, and purpose will be strengthened. It’s a chance to live with new eyes and renewed hope. Keep fighting, keep dreaming, and keep living. So much love to you, friend.

    • Tiffany Olson says

      You are so right sweet Julia and you are speaking as a woman who is walking the same road that I am. You amaze me and your resilience gives me strength and hope. Love you too ♥.

  2. Katy Pollock says

    Love you, Tiffany! Sending you lots of hugs and smiles!!!

  3. Sydney Clark says


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