I've never experienced the feelings people have on the anniversary of a loved one's death or of a traumatic event. It is hard for me to understand the specific struggles and emotions that particular day obviously brings. It isn't that I am feeling insensitive to or belittling their feelings, I understand them to be real, I've just been lucky enough, so far, to never have experienced them before.
But this week, I am beginning to understand.
This week is the one year anniversary of Sirri's cancer diagnosis. Of course, our story has a truly happy ending and for that our family is eternally grateful. That is why my extremely strong and absolutely heart sick emotions this week have surprised me so much.
This past week our lives and activities have been nearly identical to one year ago. The kids started soccer, we've celebrated birthdays, we attended the same family reunion in the same park, we had a doctor's appointment Monday morning. It has all been so eerily familiar that I have not been able to help but feel a bit of dejavu.
Rarely does a day go by that I don't think about Sirri's cancer. The majority of those days I laugh in the face of fear and relish in the fact that we kicked cancer's rear end. But then there are moments that the thought of a return diagnosis paralyzes me with horror. At times I can not help but think how lucky we were to dodge that bullet and I'm just waiting for the next round to strike. I hope that as the years go by the degree of dread will lessen, but I also imagine that I will have a bit of fear in my heart until the day I die.
This week has been full of those days of dread. The days that I am terrified simply by the word, "cancer." This week has been full of days with my children that are too short and long sleepless nights filled with worry. It has been a week reminding me that our lives will never be the same.
But, during Relief Society on Sunday our teacher taught about having faith through adversity and if we replace fear with faith we will feel less discouragement and heartache during our times of trial. This was truly a message from heaven for my aching heart.
As this week is winding down I'm beginning to feel more calm. Sirri had a CT scan on Monday and a visit with her oncologist today. All is still well and her prognosis continues to be that the cancer is unlikely to return. We are blessed. Truly blessed, I know.
This week I have also reflected on the people in our lives who were our life line when we needed it most. We are so blessed with wonderful family and amazing friends who may as well be. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over my family. I am thankful for the reminder this week to continue to celebrate life. I am thankful for my sweet Sirri and the rest of my family. I am thankful that this challenge, in the end, has made us stronger.
As the American Cancer Society would say, "Happy first birthday, Sirri!" Here's to MANY more.