cancer, prison, and a tooth

so.  where do i begin???

i think i’ll begin with a great God moment, that always makes my day better.

to share this coolness, i have to start way back on september 21st.  this is the day i found out i had colon cancer.



dude.  I KNOW. right??!!

so.  there i was all cancered up, when my sweet sister calls from prison.



dude. SERIOUSLY.  i know!

and, the conversation goes like this–

me:  “hi, boobah!!  i love you!  miss you!”

boobah:  “hey, sista love!  love and miss you more.  so…. what did you find out?”

me:  “i have cancer.”

boobah:  “really?? well, i lost my front tooth today.”

yep.  go ahead.  re-read it to take it ALL in.

the quick re-cap shows one cancerous sister and one gap-toothed jailbird, or “jail boobah”.

i guess it could be worse.  IT DEFINITELY COULD BE WORSE.

so, i tried consoling her.  i used the old, “well, in some cultures toothless-ness makes women more attractive.”

breakdown by tooth, yo

she wasn’t having any of it, and i realized boobah may not need me to make her feel better.  she may just need me to listen.  so, i asked her how she was feeling… and, this, sweet ‘skillets, is when boobah broke.  finally.  after more than a year of being super strong, my sister was stripped down by a tooth.

and the meltdown went something like this–

boobah:  “i’m pissed!  i’m pissed i got drunk and tried to drive home.  i’m pissed i hurt two other people.  i’m pissed i lost my job.  i’m pissed i’m in prison.  i’m pissed i lost my tooth, and i’m pissed you have cancer!”

me:  “well, then let’s pray… GOD, we’re pissed.  we’re pissed, and we know You’re big enough to hear our anger.  You’re big enough to take our broken hearts.   You promise that guilt and shame do NOT come from You.  So, we refuse to let those feelings stick.  we know You promise to work all things for our good.  so, we choose to trust You with prison, and cancer, and teeth.  we choose to see ourselves as You see us… we are beautiful children of God, and that beauty has nothing to do with how we look, what we’ve done,  where we are,  or what’s inside of us.  we choose hope and faith.  HOLLA!”

i know this might sound upside down, but it was actually GOOD to hear her confess her anger.  God promises confession will be met with mercy and forgiveness, and  i believe this.

sooooooooo, now we fast forward to my visit with boobah just last week–  the week marked my first chemo treatment, and put boobah 5 months away from her release date.

no tooth, no problem!

and, here’s the awesome truth– my sister bounced into the room with the biggest gap-toothed grin i’ve ever seen!!

to give the best mental picture i can, i have to break down my girl’s appearance:

  •     her hair is super, duper short with boy sideburns.  (picture kate gosselin, the prison version)
  •    her attire is equivalent to a gas station attendant minus the embroidered name tag
  •    her tooth– missing.

i share this just to show how amazing boobah’s spirit is–  she’s living day to day, making the best of her circumstances, without an ounce of femininity or softness in sight.

she. BOUNCED. into.the. room.with. a. HUGE GRIN!!!!


as we visited, she asked me how i was–  the truth of it is, i was NOT good.  my first chemo treatment had hit me hard.  i was very sick, and could barely keep my eyes open from fatigue, but there was no way i was missing this visit.

so, i looked at her and said–

me:  “honestly, i don’t want to do this eleven more times.”

boobah: (holding my hand)  “i don’t want to do 5 more months, but we CAN and we WILL.”

gah!!!!!!  she kills me.  in the best way.  i’m so proud of her.

we had a great, awesomely-amazing two day visit–  full of laughing.  LAUGHING.  her smile, her light even brighter after being stripped down.  God is awesome.  He truly took her broken, angry heart and turned it into confidence in something more than how her hair is cut, what clothes she has to wear, or what she physically looks like.  her confidence and beauty come from her heart, and her heart is His.


this would be enough, but God likes to show off a bit, i think– just to remind me how BIG he is.

boobah has a very close ‘skillet she’s known since high school.  this sweet girl came to visit my sister as soon as the accident happened and calls me to check on boobah’s progress.  this girl also follows me on facebook, so she knows everything that i share there.  wellllll…. this friend, this girl that has been watching and praying from the sideline married a DENTIST.

and, her husband has offered to fix boobah’s tooth, no charge.

this girl is truly boobah’s toothfairy!

super cool 'skillet


free tooth, yo.

dude.  FO’ REALZ. i know!

that’s all i got.  i mean, i can’t follow a free tooth.


2 thoughts on “cancer, prison, and a tooth

  1. I’m glad to hear God is present in the lives of you and your sister. It’s amazing how he can take us from our brokenness and make us new again. I will be praying for you, and for her, and your continued growth and ability to tackle those obstacles!! Stay strong, and thanks for the update. Missed your voice in the blogosphere.

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