10 days cancer free. Has it really only been that? Holy cow. It seems like it has been an eternity.
We quietly marked Hallie’s due date together in Galena, one of our most favorite places. It was beautiful. We rented a legit log cabin right on the lake, in the woods. A perfect mix of Kevin and mys dream retreat. It was an odd weekend. We were so happy to finally have a weekend alone away from hospitals and doctors. It was horribly hard for obvious reasons as Hallie was so on our minds. It was odd because you conceptually want to celebrate becoming a cancer survivor as we know it is a remarkable feat – but the only reason we grieve for Hallie is because of cancer. How or why celebrate anything when that’s the expense? Celebrating is almost selfish it seems. And yet you have to celebrate somehow? Who knows. It was all so odd but I am so thankful for every moment of it. Kevin and I were exactly where we needed to be.
I followed that weekend up with a big milestone this week – I went back to the office. Three days, in a row. This body was tested! According to my watch, I walked 5.5-6.5 miles each day. I think I’ve walked a total of 10 miles since October up until that so nothing like jumping right back in! As draining as it was physically, it was equally as energizing mentally. The people I work with, the job we do, it was so easy to get lost in that passion again, right away. The added bonus was long stretches of time each day with zero thoughts of cancer. That’s a remarkable and very much needed feat.
It’s admittedly hard to write these days. By the worlds standard, and by no fault of anyone, a cancer free bill of health brings back normal life and daily activities so therefore life is good. Right?! No. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. What no one tells you is you have no ability to process how cancer changes your life entirely, not just physically, while undergoing treatment. You simply can’t. Instead, dealing with all cancer takes from you starts now. It continues to steal from you!
And that’s if you just beat cancer. Just beat cancer. How is a sentence like that possible? Just beat cancer …like it’s no big deal! The people who “just beat cancer” are the bravest, strongest people I know! But there’s grief. Grief caused by cancer. Grief for your daughter who was lost only because of cancer. Grief over future biological kids you’ll never have the chance at only because of cancer.
I find it hard to write for a million reasons, one being the topic, at this point in time is impossible. It’s impossible for us and it’s just as impossible for you. This is the time where one moment I am silently screaming, wondering why people won’t ask me about it & the very next moment, I am praying it doesn’t come up in conversation at all. Impossible, you see! There is zero playbook for navigating this. I’m told over and over how unique our circumstances are. How tragic it is. How unbelievable it is. I knowwww. And sometimes all I want to do is talk about it. And sometimes I just can’t.
So, moral of the story is good luck next time you reach out? Kidding! Have to find some sort of humor in this. How else do you move forward?
But you do have to move forward. How? Who knows. Right now our world is enjoying our new found freedom. You have no idea how much you take life for granted until you can’t live life normally. It’s making the most of the good moments. It’s sticking together in the really hard moments. Cancer and grief sure know how to test you, that’s real talk. It’s laughing every moment you can. It’s being ok with the see saw of emotions. It’s being so thankful for the insane amount of support you get day in and day out. It’s figuring out how to be ok with not knowing what the next moment will bring. It’s figuring out how to actually have faith. And it’s hoping the Hawks make a serious run for it to bring some levity to it all. 🙂
Have a great weekend all, it’s going to be beautiful!