On my lunch break yesterday, I took the Double Stroller that has been taking up space in my apartment to the gas station down the street. I needed to fill it up with air so that our awesome nanny can walk both Maddox and Peter. (I nanny share with another family so that Maddox can have the luxury of being only 1 of 2 kids instead of 1 of 4 in a daycare center).
Double stroller back story: Kami watches two kids. How the hell do you walk them both at the same time when they are two over sized boys and a crazy Napoleon-complexed dog? She has been making due with putting one in a baby Bjorn, the other in our B.O.B (the G-rated BOB…LOL) and Kimo on a leash attached to the stroller. I mentioned that maybe we’ll get her a double stroller on Craigslist. But then she figured since one day she wants to have at least two kids, that if me and the other mom could pitch in a small amount she would pay the rest and then keep it. BRILLIANT! And so that’s what me and the other Mom did!
Double stroller arrives and it’s awesome! But, needs air in the tires. I kept saying I would take it to the gas station, but never found the time - until yesterday. At lunch, I finally put that double wide thing in the back of my car and drove down to my local gas station by the Bristol Farms in UTC. OMG! That place was packed! Everyone was getting gas, getting a car wash, or trying to get lunch. Where is the damn air pump station??? AHA! There it is! UGH! There’s two cars already waiting to use it!
As I park next to one car, I see this shaved-down close to the scalp head pop up from the other side. The young girl was wearing a cute sundress with a wrap and sunglasses. Ah, I admired her shaved head! How there have been many days lately where I’ve wanted to get a crew-cut myself! I absolutely loved it when my hair was growing back after I finished chemo. The GI-Jane look was HOT (and not temperature hot..HAHA) It was so easy to maintain too! I will admit, a lot of peeps came up to me telling me how awesome my “haircut” looked. I just went with it ;)
As I hop out of Kiana Kia, a wave of tropical humidity flushed over my face. Geez, it’s hot and humid today…ew. In my cute work attire, I grab the over-sized stroller out of the back of my car and pop it open. ”Nice stroller” the guy who was second in line for the air blurted out. ”Thanks! Needs air though…this air station is a hot commodity today!”
The shaved-head girl comes back from asking the gas station attendant to start up the air tank. I notice that her head is bald…not shaved. Then I see the “Radiation Oncology” parking sign in her front car window. AHA! She is a cancer patient….wonder which kind. I was excited to get her attention to ask. As she finished with the air pump and handed it over to the guy next in line, I knew this was my chance.
"Hi! Excuse me! I noticed your radiation parking sign…may I ask what type of cancer you had?" I had a feeling I already knew the answer. "I am going through breast cancer." My body filled with a sort of delight - which sounds TERRIBLE! I should not be happy or delighted that another young girl is affected by a crappy diesease, but it was more of a feeling of…OMG…let’s be friends, let me introduce you to other young survivors!
"I’m a 5 year survivor too! What stage were you? What….?" And that’s how I met Justine. She was a happy girl - very spunky. I told her a little bit about my story and about the Young Survivors Coalition. I gave her my business card and told her about the golf tournament fundraiser that will be in October. "I love golf and play" she informed me. "Great! Then you can come out and play in the tournament!"
At this time, the air pump shut off. Justine volunteers to run back to get it turned back on and the guy stretches the pump cord and holds it in place so I can cautiously bend down to fill the tires up with 30 PSIs and not flash the whole world my thong underwear. Trust me, it would not be a pretty site right now…Asian pancake butts ARE NOT IN! The three of us chat for a few minutes…”This air pump is like the water cooler at work” I joke.
I thank the guy and wave to Justine as she drives off.
As I drive back to my place I can’t help thinking how random that all was. But, life is random. One day you could be partying it up in Miami, the next you could be told you have cancer. Random! Even after opting out to freezing my eggs before chemo - I get “pregnant” and have the cutest baby! Random! And a simple task as going to fill up tires I meet a free-spirited girl who is going through cancer and is going through it with a smile on her face…ok, meeting her - RANDOM…smile on her face - STRENGTH!
In the end, it was great to see both boys in the stroller! And here is what it looked like: