for aana

by Amy

i haven’t known aana for very long.  in fact, i wasn’t even aware of her cancer story until this evening as i walked along side people who held her hand during chemo or prayed over her in her pain.  she is electric.

back home, my amazing mother coordinates and walks for a relay for life event every year and so, when Aana asked if i wanted to join her team, it felt easy to say yes.  but as i walked around the track with my new friend, it didn’t feel so easy anymore.  her struggles, just to make it through one lap amidst shooting pain, brought tears to my eyes.  her smile and beautiful laughter as we rounded each curve, were just breath taking.  she fought that cancer…but the struggle still remains.

and i learned something this evening.  i am not sure if many know this but…

cancer isn’t over when the chemo treatments end.

there are medicines and scars and surgeries and anxiety.  there are questions of uncertainty and progress reports and chart and check ups.  there is pain and yet there are days of glory.  it is up and down and awful and awesome, seemingly all at the same time.  even four hours with this beautiful woman and the other people on the track, taught me so much more about the battles that are faced.  cancer sucks.  but these warriors don’t.  they are wicked tough and I am so thankful for their stories.  for aana’s story.

thank you aana.  thank you for sharing your story with all of us in the stuttgart area.  thank you for being real and raw and such a blessing to those of us who are lucky enough to know you.  it was a privilege to walk along side someone as strong and as beautiful as you.  it was an honor to hug you and to cry with you and to pray with you.  it is a true joy getting to know you better with every encounter.

you take my breath away woman.  you really do.  thank you.

the first lap of the event is the survivor lap.  all those who have kicked cancer’s butt, walk the first lap.  cheers and smiles and tears all around.

what started out as a thankful journal turned into a beautiful book filled with notes from loved ones, aana’s own thoughts and pictures of the entire battle.  oh to spend hours in those pages, soaking in her story and how God has moved and worked in and through her life…

aana and her husband.  so much love.

for the last lap, aana requested to form a “wall of life” as she linked arms with her family and team.  she truly is surrounded by love and strength.

thank you aana!  you are beautiful in a million ways.  it was an honor to spend the evening with you!

if you would like to help donate to aana’s relay for life team and contribute to funding cancer research, please visit her donation page here.

grab a cup of tea and find aana’s story here.