Confession: I was tempted to go barefoot to the cancer center. No, it wasn’t because I’d just gotten a fabulous pedi I wanted to show off…. (Hello, it’s fall, in Michigan, my toes are quietly entombed in shearling waiting for the thaw.) Nope. it was because I knew what shoes I had to wear: The Cancer shoes. (Okay that’s what I call them- but they’re actually- my awesome Movember Tom’s) I ordered matching Movember’s just about a year ago. Right after my husband’s diagnosis with prostate cancer. Shoes of solidarity- cause that’s how I roll. Well- that’s how I roll and as much as I love him- I’m not shaving my head if he loses his hair….But, I will wear matching shoes. (Trust me- I don’t do matchy… it’s a sacrifice for me.. ask my friends…) To every appointment.

 Movember is an organization devoted to mens’ health awareness.   Movember Tom’s are a partnership between Movember and Tom’s– to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues.

Of which Prostate Cancer is just one of many ….but- at my house? Prostate cancer dominates like the Tigers. (Rawr- go Tigs!)

The truth is- I love my Tom’s. They’ve carried us to every appointment from radiation appointments- to urologists. From physical therapy sessions to surgery and recovery. Every time I saw that little ‘stache on the side of my shoe- just below my inked reminder that God is with us even here…. I knew he was, and that we weren’t alone in walking these steps. Other’s care. Other’s have been here. Other’s have been cheering us on.

That is- they reminded me of that-until my big toe started poking through the end of my Toms. (I told you- I’ve been wearing them. A lot.)

When I saw that tango tangerine toenail polish- I felt a little panicked. cancer does weird things to your thought process’. To be honest? Somehow- over the course of that year of appointments- my shoes started to mean more than solidarity. They started to mean hope. That tiny hole in the toe-felt like a hole in our hope-balloon.

The thing is- we still need hope. The clock has been quietly ticking all summer. Radiation ended. Life continues and one of the most important appointments loomed.

The post radiation- PSA test. (If you hear ominous music in your head- you should. It’s scary. PSA is a blood test that can give a window into the body’s response to treatment. Or whether there is a risk of Prostate cancer- as an early detection screening. FYI? Don’t care what the government says about whether it’s economically viable—- an early PSA screen is what caught my husband’s cancer. Get your men checked. I said so. I’m more trust worthy than the government. duh.)

Anyway- I reprimanded myself that my hope is not in a pair of shoes. I know that my hope is in a God who loves us and carries us every step of the way- regardless of our circumstances. But, you know what?  Sometimes you need a reminder of that hope.  Which is what those shoes have become. I tried to tell myself they were now: holy (hole-y) hope. I didn’t believe myself. (I’m not a good liar.) I went online and tried to order another pair. OUT OF STOCK. (I cried. seriously- hope should never be out of stock. Just saying. However- Movember Tom’s are a limited edition collection each year- they sell out fast, buy more than one pair. You’re welcome.)  In desperation, I tweeted Tom’s about my plight. (more…)