So, what does it feel like to be told you’re cancer free & you have no restrictions? I have no freaking idea!! I can’t settle myself down enough to even start processing through what happened today.
Before I jump in, I’d be remiss in not first saying happy birthday to my Dad! Totally stole his thunder today but he promises me a cancer-free daughter is the best present he could ever get. And secondly, a huge congrats to our BFF Besties Moe & Sheila on welcoming their son, Nolan David late last night! I’d like to think his timing is everything – he came a couple weeks early just to join today’s celebration. He is perfect & so precious and his mom is a warrior!! I love knowing Nolan will only know me as his cancer-free-Aunt-B!!
I met with both my Oncologist and my Radiation Oncologist, as well as both of my nurses with them. Each conversation was peppered with a lot of this:
- “So you’re telling me I can do anything?” “Yes, Bethany, that’s restriction free.”
- “Does this mean I can work out?” “Yes, Bethany, that’s restriction free.”
- “Wait, so does this mean I can get on a plane?” “Yes, Bethany, that’s restriction free.”
- “Wait, I can finally get a manicure & pedicure!” “Yes, Bethany, that’s restriction free.”
- “Does this mean I can stop washing my hands all the time?” “Well, we still recommend you wash your hands, Bethany.” Haha! ….But perhaps I can finally throw away the 18 bottles of hand sanitizer?! Yes, yes you can.
It’s going to take me awhile to get used to “normal” life again! I can’t quite process it in my mind. My next doctor’s appointment is….get this….June 27th. 3 freaking months away. WOW. That feels so surreal!
So what is going through my mind? A million things. You want a raw look into a newly-crowned-cancer-SURVIVOR, here you go!!
I was so excited to share the news with all of you today. You, our army of support, have no idea the impact you’ve had on me and Kevin. You have walked with us through our darkest days and you have also been our biggest cheerleaders. Our win today is so much because of you. I mean it when I say there’s no way we survive these circumstances without ALL of your prayers, support, acts of kindness, meals, texts, etc. No way.
I can’t believe we are celebrating being cancer free. I continue to ask myself how in the heck did we get here. How is this our celebration. I don’t think we’ll ever have answers but celebrate we will.
I am so PROUD to be a SURVIVOR now instead of a fighter. I am so thankful to be done with treatment. Keep in mind, I was puking my guts out for the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy. I was diagnosed at 16 weeks. I had surgery 3 weeks later and treatment started 5 weeks after that. My body does NOT know normal! It’s been almost a year!! I am thankful that I now have time to heal. I am thankful my hair, starting today, gets to start growing back!! I wonder what normal feels like and I’m pumped to be on the up and up to feeling “normal.”
I am SO thankful for our doctors and nurses. I pray to God everyday none of you ever have to face anything like this in your lives but the sad part is, someone will or someone you love will. Loyola is your place! They have taken such incredible care of my physical body but they’ve gone out of their way to take care of our hearts. No one knows how to navigate this, they tell us that all the time, but every single person on our medical team did it so beautifully. It brings tears to my eyes!!
And lastly, our hearts ache. I can’t stay on this topic much for today, but I will say this…. This celebration, this win today, came at a mighty, mighty expense. I understand conceptually that Hallie was created to save my life but that is really freaking hard to be the recipient of. No child should ever save their parent! For as big as my smile is today, there’s an ever bigger hole in my heart behind that smile. I did my absolute best everyday to remember who I was fighting for. In my worst of moments, I tried to pick myself up by thinking of my daughter’s sacrifice. I fight because she didn’t get to. For some reason God decided it was me and while I’ll always struggle accepting that, I do so in honor of Hallie. I fought everyday to make her proud. I sure hope I did!! Someday I’ll get the one hug & huge high five that I want more than anything — from her!!
Love you all so much, Team Beef. So freaking much.
We are CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!