Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Four Seasons

With each new month and change of season, we've had a new anticipation, a new round of treatment, a new possibility that things could be changing for the better.

Today is the one-year mark; the one-year mark of the day our lives changed, our love grew, our children were more precious, and our time was more valuable.

This time last year, we were fearful as to what the future would bring. We didn't know where would be a year later. We didn't want to think about what could happen. We just lived through it.

And one year later, despite the lack of results from ten months of treatment, despite the uncertainty that surrounds us every day, despite being completely overwhelmed by things we cannot change, things are good.

One year after Chad's diagnosis, I remember foggily hearing "large mass", "quality versus quantity" and "we're so sorry" from nurses and attending physicians in the emergency room. I remember seeing the look in their eyes every time I would ask a question they did not have the answer to. I remember crying so fiercely that my entire body shook. I remember praying so loudly for things to remain the same, to take away these tumors and let us have our life back.

One year after Chad's diagnosis, I remember camping out in the hospital for nine days, and hoping we could go home soon. I remember the hospital smell. The hospital food. The hospital - in general. I remember never wanting to go back there, but also being sincerely grateful for the medical staff that was put in our path. They handled everything quickly, and did not leave me in the dark.

One year after Chad's diagnosis, I remember thinking that my life, our lives, would never be the same. Very quickly, the question changed from "Why us?" to "What do we do now?" And that positive thinking has propelled us forward in days, months, and a year that I couldn't propel myself.

One year after Chad's diagnosis, I know that there's a reason for all of this. I knew it then, but I was too overwhelmed to think of any "positive" outcome. Being overwhelmed was all-consuming. But it passes. We were given people, words and wisdom to help us through the first battle of unknown territory.

One year after Chad's diagnosis, I know that he is healthy. And he's doing extraordinarily well. You would never know that any of this has transpired. You would never know.
And that, is what I am most thankful for.
Our children, for the most part, haven't been affected by such great change. They've adapted very well.

Looking back, I wasn't sure where we would be today. One whole year later.
But we're here. And we're strong. And we hope that we'll get an answer some day soon.
Until then, we just live each day like the day before it. We make memories and do things we've been talking about doing. We better understand how precious time is, and we're doing what we all should do: Living.

Chad's MRI still shows the tumors are there. They have not changed. They haven't gotten smaller. But they haven't gotten bigger, which is a blessing. Chad is quite an enigma in all of this, as we've been told by his medical team. He's doing fantastic...not "in spite of" -- he's just doing fantastic. Period.

We still have no real prognosis. We do know that this is not a textbook case - so no one knows what lies ahead. We do know that today is a great day. Yesterday was great. And tomorrow will be, too.

Chad is taking a treatment holiday, so no chemotherapy for at least three months. We'll see where we stand at the next MRI in February. Chemo could have been stunting growth. Or the tumors could be dormant on their own. There's only one way to find out.

Once again, we thank you all for your unwavering support, positive thoughts, prayers, meals, shoulders to cry on, phone calls to check in...the list could go on! We thank you, sincerely. We've had a year of change, but it's been a great year. And the best part is that it's over! We now know what to expect day-to-day, and our lives are a lot less chaotic than I thought they would be.

Everyday, we achieve a new level of normalcy.
Everyday, we're more thankful.


The Sublett's said...

Skye - You and your family are such an inspiration to us. I look forward to your updates on how your life is going. I feel like a part of your life. And now that we are going through the same life-changing experiences, it's nice to "know" someone personally who has been there-done that. You will continue to be in our prayers as we pray for our family as well. Hugs & Kisses!!

Meg said...

We'll keep the prayers coming. Hugs!

Melissa said...

You guys are truly amazing and I am blessed to have met you. Your strength and courage inspires me to be a better person.

Aunt Carmen said...

Here's to hoping this next year is even better! As always, lots of hugs,kisses and prayers. You all continue to amaze and inspire !
Love You
Aunt Carmen

Steve said...

Congrats on the success! Your both pretty amazing but I wouldn't expect anything less than a fight from you guys :-). Chad's stubbornness and your willingness to put up with him - you make a great pair! :-) I'm looking forward to seeing seeing you guys at the wedding! Happy Thanksgiving if I don't write another comment before then or talk to ya.

Bob said...