One year ago today, on my dad’s birthday, a surgeon removed the remaining cancer from my body. Thanks be to God, that nasty cancer hasn’t been seen around here since.
Today feels like a birthday, because in many ways, Life After Cancer feels so different from what came before. Mercifully different from Life With Cancer, but also not the same as Life Before Cancer. Mostly better that life before, but with new challenges that accompany my now-complicated medical history.
I’ve been reflecting on this cancer-free year, and how it compared to the year that preceded it . . .
A year of making memories instead of missing milestones.
A year of joyful birthdays and other events celebrated in person rather than on video-chat.
A year of being the mom who showed up for everything, not to be an overachiever or super-mom, but just because I live here and have white blood cells.
A year of hearing people tell me I look good and wanting to reply, “You’re just saying that because I have eyebrows and eyelashes again!” 🙂
A year of thinking, “This time last year . . .” and giving thanks for health and normalcy.
A year of friendships with cancer warriors, celebrating healing and miracles, and pleading with God on behalf of those who are still waiting to celebrate as I am today.
A year of emotional pilgrimages back to MD Anderson, but leaving each time hearing: “No evidence of disease, see you in three more months!”
A year of adjusting to the physical, emotional and relational changes that come with cancer survivorship.
A year of struggling to figure out how God wants to use me and my experience in Cancer World for the good of others and for His glory.
A year of fighting the tendency to slip back into complacency and old habits–an effort powered by the Holy Spirit, with failures covered by the blood of Christ.
A year of giving thanks and praise to the Lord for His perfect plan–past, present and future–because of His never-ending goodness and faithfulness. He is all that we need.
Happy birthday, Dad. I love you tons. And happy Life-After-Cancer birthday to me. To God be the glory!
Romans 8:28: For we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.Share
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