Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jacob's Thoughts on One Year Ago

(Posted January 3, but written January 2)

Wow. That is all I can say after exactly a year of being diagnosed. Wow to lots of things but mostly wow to the fact that as i'm looking back I have no idea how I actually managed to get through this. Looking back I've realised how hard it should have been when In the midst of it all I hardly thought any-thing of it. I just felt it was normal every day stuff, and now I'm going into after-shock realizing how hard it really was. But so many good things have come of it that I can honestly say getting cancer Is one of the greatest things thats ever happened to me. I've learned so much and I now have a much different outlook on life.

Now Reading back over my moms early posts I feel so strange and I've realised how calm I was in those first four days when I had every reason in the world to panic. Looking back on treatment I think that the hardest week for me was the very last week of radiation when my mouth and throat hurt so bad that I ate nothing and I'd lost 17 pounds. Now exactly a year later it is 11:40 pm and got out of bed twenty minutes ago because I really felt that I needed to wright this now before the day is over. Well I'm almost done all that I have left to say is thank you. Thank you Dr. Afify and Dr. Million. Thanks for all the nurses at primary childrens. Especially Irish, Mitch, Karen, and "The Guy" Ben. Thanks for all the great radiation techs at huntsman especially Troy, Glen, and someone else who's name I cant remember now. Finally thanks for all of you people who didn't even know who I was and had never met me but still kept track of my progress and prayed for me despite not knowing me, thanks for all of that. It has been a hard but great year for me. Good Bye.

Friday, January 2, 2009

One Year Ago . . .

I was somewhere between leaving Primary Children's, picking up Matt, Emma, and Spencer from friends' houses, and sitting them down to tell them that their brother had cancer.

Today is a better day :)

Jake asked if I was going to post today, so this is for him:

I actually didn't sleep well last night. Hardly at all, in fact. I read until 1:00 a.m. and then played solitaire on my iPod until 2:00 a.m. and then lay in the dark staring at my clock until 3:00 a.m.--at some point after that I dozed but I kept waking up. When I woke up at 5:30, I couldn't go back to sleep. It was 5:30 in the morning last year when Jake was admitted to the surgical ward to await a biopsy.

There are, at least for me, only a handful of moments in time that stand out as "My life will never be the same." My children being born is the first to come to mind . . . but I had 9 months to think about that.

10:30 a.m., January 2, 2008 is a moment I never saw coming. I didn't ask for it, I didn't want it, but there it was. Standing in a hallway with a surgical resident whose name I'm not sure I ever knew as he told me, " We found the tissue sample from the dentist. The pathologist has finished his report. I'm sorry, it is cancer."

That is the only time in my life where I remember thinking: "From this moment on, everything changes."

I was only half right.

What hasn't changed? I'm still ecstatically married. I'm still the mother of four children. I'm still a writer and a friend and a woman of faith. I still live in the same house and go to the same church and send my kids to school and balance the checkbook and do laundry and read.

What has changed? Everything is deeper. Everything is clearer. Everything is more precious. Every breath I take I treasure. Every breath my children take, I give thanks.

Oh, here's something else that's changed--I listen to Matt and Jake's music (okay, more Matt than Jake. I'm sorry, Ozzy Osbourne is never going to make my list, Jake!) This summer Chris and I went with Matt and Jake to see Angels and Airwaves in Salt Lake. My favorite song of theirs is called Rites of Spring. Here's the chorus:

If I had a chance for another try . . .
I wouldn't change a thing, it's made me all of who I am inside.
And if I could thank God that I am here and that I am alive
Every day I wake I tell myself a little harmless lie . . .
The whole wide world is mine

Would I change this day a year ago if I could?

I can honestly say no. I wish I could take away all the fear and grief and the pain and the uncertainty that Jake in particular has had to endure. But I cannot wish undone "all of who I am inside". And I cannot untangle that from Jacob's cancer.

Bless all of you who have prayed for Jake. Bless all those children who suffer tonight, from cancer or anything else. May the blessings walk hand in hand with the trials and may we always have the wisdom to see both.