Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reflection

Two years ago today we found out that Tim's cancer had spread to his lungs. We went into that appointment thinking that perhaps it was back in a lymph node or maybe there was the remote chance that it had spread to his liver but nothing could've prepared us for the shock to come. That day ended up being the biggest turning point of my life.

When Tim was initially diagnosed in January of that year I knew it would be a tough road ahead for a few months, maybe a year or two but then we could put all of this behind us as a bump in the road. I thought that years from now we'd look at this as some terrible nightmare and chalk it up as a life lesson. Now I know so much more as Tim will be on chemo for the rest of his life or until they find a cure for cancer (which they are getting closer and closer to each day).

We've learned how to interweave chemo into our routine  and how to prevent it from being a hinderance from living our lives. We've learned that some days we just have to stop, let everything continue around us and take it all in, feel sorry for ourselves and just be. We've also learned that we can't live life with this constantly in our heads and feeling sorry for ourselves, we have to pull ourselves back up and keep pushing forward just as hard the next day.

I've learned lots of humility and patience (although I still have a ways to go with that one) as well as that sometimes I can't be in control of every little detail (my OCD is constantly fighting that lesson though). I've learned to let go of the little things because in the grand scheme they really don't matter and that the little drama of what others may think or how my actions may be perceived are insignificant. What really matters is how I make others feel.

Tim & I have learned to give and take in our relationship. We've learned so much about each other, what makes the other tick (and the best way to get under each other's skin) as well as how to support one another through the worst circumstances life has to offer. He's learned that sometimes he has to take my opinion into consideration and I've learned that sometimes I have to let him make his own decision, completely independent of what I think, even when every bone in my body screams against it.

We've learned what a tremendous gift it is to have a network of support and how it really can make a difference to your soul to know that there are so many out there praying for success. We've learned of the generosity of our community and the kindness of strangers, people are inherently good in this world. We've learned just how much our friends and family truly mean to us and what a pivotal role they play in our lives, especially in the darkest of days. We've also learned how much it means when someone reaches out to let you know they are thinking of you just as you've reached the end of your rope.

Two years ago today, when we found out Tim's cancer had spread he asked what it meant in terms of how much time he had left. The answer was that statistically, two years was the length of time. I know Thanksgiving was a week ago but today I'm thankful that statistics are just numbers. I couldn't be more thankful that Tim is here and he is thriving. Don't get me wrong, I still worry about what could be every single day but I know he is surrounded by an amazing medical team and a tremendous network of friends, family and even strangers that give him the ability to keep fighting day in and day out. For that I am so very thankful.
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