Inspiration for “Letters to Eleanor”

A few short days after my second lumpectomy, we were off to Florida for our annual Walden Beach vacay (because my breast surgeon is super cool – also, maybe because I’m very persuasive but actually because I pinky swore not to swim in the ocean).

Something about the uncertainty of that second procedure rocked me a bit. Before the first pathology report came back, I’d felt so self-assured that my tumor was so tiny and insignificant that I’d have the one (and only) surgery and then this would all be behind me. Bahaha.

Rebecca with her daughter, the inspiration behind the “Letters to Eleanor” project.

She promised she’d get us the second surgery’s findings asap but told us not to expect it until we were back. As she sent us on our way, I felt the heaviness of a thousand what if’s pounding in my chest.

This is where I thank the good Lord that He made me Type A. Because instead of fretting, I hurled into über-productive mode, spending the bulk of that car ride to Florida typing up an Excel document. 

I filled 52 lines, one for every week of the year, each line devoted to a different topic that I wanted to share with our daughter. I didn’t really believe I was going to come home to terrible health news, of course, but there was just enough uncertainty that I wanted to capture all the things my mama heart needed her to know, whether I’m here to tell her myself over the years or not. 

After the trip and really up until the beginning of 2022, I’d marshalled all my strength and focus on treatments, recovery from said treatments and then just trying to figure out the rhythm of rolling back into normal life again. And happy happy joy joy, I have finally arrived!

So now, I’m picking back up on this new blog series, a little project I have lovingly named Letters to Eleanor. There will soon be an installment for my favorite redhead too, Letters to Everett. 

For me, these heart thoughts are part hard-earned wisdom, part practical upbringing and etiquette, all important things I want this daughter and son of mine to hold close to their hearts always. 

If the essays resonate with you, I hope you will share these Letters with the special children in your own life, be they young, old, or any age in between.

UPDATE – Yes, I have lots more coming on cancer blog topics. But it’s an intense topic to write about, and I need to take a break from it  from time to time. I plan to alternate posts between the Letters series and the Breast Cancer series. So bottom line – more to come!