Today, I remembered moments of sitting in the waiting room, praying to understand. I thought about the moments that would follow, and wondered just what the future was going to bring. I watched my Dad sit in agony, and not speak a word to anyone else that was in the room with us that day. I remembered watching the hospital bed wheel away, with only hope to hold on to what the next few hours would bring.
I thought about the few weeks before that wait in the hospital, and the confusion I felt. I thought about the total emptiness I felt. I remembered how I (wrongly) felt that no one understood what my family and I were going through. I remembered attempting to isolate myself, and doing anything I could to avoid facing what was right in front of me. I remember the outpouring of love from people my family and I hardly knew.
I thought about the relief we all felt after what felt like days in the waiting room. I thought about the fears of the other news that we were still waiting on. I remember it being a terrible, emotional, fearful day. As I remember it now, those fears and emotions were certainly not enjoyable, but I'm thankful for them now.
Because today, I celebrate. 7 years ago today, my Mom became a survivor.
I will never forget hearing the news that my Mom was about to go through. Most importantly, I will never forget her bravery and strength. I know she had to be, but I certainly do not ever remember fear coming from Mom. I remember how sick the chemo made her, and the battle she went through physically. I remember hearing her say how sick she was of being sick. Never once did she say that she was scared. Being a survivor was her only option. I will never forget that bravery.
The doctors always gave Mom goals and how they would decrease her percentage of her cancer coming back. They would shoot for 1 year, then 5 years (the BIG one-so they say), and so on. What we have learned since coming to know so many cancer patients that it does not matter what your percentage of recurrence may be. We have met women who were 20 year survivors that have begun their battle again. While that can was very discouraging for us to learn-it made us appreciate each moment and each year. It has certainly always kept us guarded, but that guard has allowed us to bond in a way that we might not have otherwise. That guard allowed us all to bond as a family, and allowed us all to develop a closer relationship with God.
We have had many fearful moments of the possibility of cancer return over the seven years, and have been so relieved each time tests came back clearly. Because of those scary moments, and because of Mom's bravery, my family and I are so thankful and happy to have her still here with us. I am so thankful for each March that she can add to her survivor years. I am so proud of her for facing such a scary disease with such grace and strength. I am proud to tell everyone exactly why I wore pink to work today. :)
Happy 7 years Mom! Olive Juice.