I’ve almost been avoiding sitting down and writing out my feelings on the “3 year Cancer Diagnosis” anniversary.
All the follow-up surgeries happened over a year ago. Doctor appointments have slowed down. I’ve gotten to a point that ‘cancer life’ truly feels like a bad memory. Which isn’t a bad feeling. And I like to avoid bringing it back to full consciousness.
However, there are still reminders. I can go days, weeks now without thinking of cancer, but there are always things that bring me hurtling back.
Like how when he gets sick, it takes him 2x as long to get better. We both came down with a stomach bug a few weeks ago. It lasted like 2ish days for me, he was feeling crumby for 2 weeks.
Like how he is FINALLY feeling like he can get into shape to run or be active without injuring his leg, getting burnt out, or using too much energy.
Like how he wakes up at least every couple weeks with bloody noses (why I still insist on white bedding is beyond me, ha).
Like how his nose is ALWAYS stuffy and he can barely smell anything.
Like when we eat sandwiches and I watch him smash his down as little as possible and then still have trouble opening his mouth big enough to take a bite.
Like how anytime he is stressed, physically or emotionally, his eye doesn’t drain well and it hinders his sight.
Like when anytime he feels a little ache or pain my stomach drops, the anxiety rages, and I automatically assume that it’s Cancer. (As of his last scan, he is still 100% cancer free!)
Like when I attended a funeral for my dear friend that I visit taught, (Relief Society Visiting Teaching) who passed away a couple months ago from brain cancer. I thought it wouldn’t be hard to attend her funeral, but I was a sobbing mess (had to get up half way through and run to the bathroom cause I was crying so hard). Crying for the loss of my friend. Crying because of survivor’s guilt (still one of the hardest things for me). Crying because of the ‘what ifs’ that kept running through my mind.
Like when I think about having more kids & our future together there is that thought way back in my mind that asks, “but what if the cancer comes back and he doesn’t make it?”
These are all things that I wish would disappear and never return. But they are things that will never disappear. We will ALWAYS have reminders of cancer. Though the raw cancer life has passed (hallelujah), our lives will ALWAYS involve cancer.
And sometimes, that is really, really hard.
But most of the time, it is a very special reminder how amazingly blessed we are and have been.
Just yesterday we ran into some old friends and they asked how Nate was doing. After he replied that he is doing great, one of them asked, “How does it feel to be a part of a miracle?”
Part of a miracle.
That is what Nate’s life is…a miracle. Scientifically he shouldn’t be here with us today. So every day he lives, our lives together, all of it – is a miracle.
I need to remember that more often; need to not take a single day for granted.
This cancer life we live has 100% changed us for the better. I KNOW now that God loves us more than we can comprehend and is aware of every detail of our lives. I care about people a whole lot more. I have come to truly love spending time with people and try to make it a point to put my family and friends first. It’s a lot easier for me to see what truly matters in life. Which in today’s world with SO many distractions, both good and bad, is such a blessing.
I am DEFINITELY far from perfect and struggle with things all the time. But I feel like being dragged through some tough life for a couple of years have opened a few doors of understanding. And little trials, distractions, and temptations which used to be so hard, are now a lot easier for me.
Nate and I have spent a few late nights talking about different things and issues in our world today, and at the end of one of these discussions, a scripture popped into both or our heads at the same time,
“O be wise; what more can I say?”
(Book of Mormon: Jacob 6:12)
I’ve been thinking about that scripture as it pertains to a lot of things going on in our life and world lately. And now as I am writing this post, I feel like that is one of the greatest blessing that we have received through the trial of cancer; wisdom.
Now again, I’m not free from being dumb, making mistakes, and etc. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes I now feel like I have an 80 year old mind stuck in a 27 year old’s body (more than just my love for 20’s music & Charlestons Chews, that is).
Sometimes I don’t even like it, I want to not have all these eternal questions and thoughts on my mind and just live youthfully.
But most of the time, I realize that it is a huge blessing.
So, thank you, cancer for providing me with some of the best blessings in the worst way.
Lastly I, of course, have to give a giant shout out to the man, the domiNATE himself. Nate truly is everything good; to know him is to love him. He loves us deeply, cares more than he likes to admit, and is one tough hot daddy. He is one of the only ones that can instantly make me cry laughing and the only one I want to cry to about tough stuff. You won’t meet another as athletic, crazy smart, good at everything he does, or handsome. I love, love our life together and couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Love you always, Nate. Thanks for being the one dragged through Hell and turning around to be the one allowing me to cry to you about how scary, anxious, and sad it makes me just having to watch it all. You are just incredible.
Last, lastly, thanks to all of you for still asking how we are doing and being angels on earth. It still means a lot that people still care. You guys are the real MVPs.
3 years down, eternity to go!