The week that forever changed our lives is upon us. Last night, I posted a picture saying, “The week Jordan and I have been dreading is here.” I received many comments to celebrate and rejoice. I realize ‘dread’ is a strong word, but it describes much of what my heart feels. Of course, there is celebration and joy – look how far my girl has come in a year. AND I would not be doing her story or my heart justice if I did not embrace the sadness that comes with this week, the week of her cancer diagnosis.
The days leading up to her diagnosis were ominous, filled with signs. I knew in my ‘mama gut’ something was wrong. In fact, on this very day one year ago, Marjorie, Jordan, Manning and I were at our best friend’s pool. I was showing my best friend’s mom Marjorie’s distended belly. Everyone confirmed it had to be gas, constipation, etc and then gave their tried and true remedies. I wanted to believe them. I really tried, but I knew something was going on. I just had no idea that ‘something’ would be cancer.
This week marks the days prior and then signals off the days, weeks and months that followed the diagnosis day. The tears, the gut-wrenching moans of sheer disbelief, the unbearable pain and yes, the laughter. The laughter through tears brought to us by our friends, family, nurses and you.
I will most likely be writing quite a bit over these next few days. It is the only way I know to settle my heartache. Jordan likes to look ahead. I always tease him that he ‘shits rainbows’…and he does, which is a big reason why I love him so much. I, on the other hand, have to reflect and (re)feel the days and memories. It is a big part of my healing process, one that I have worked hard to cultivate since my eating disorder recovery. I do not dwell in the past, but I do honor it.
Reflecting the past, gives me the ability to look back with different eyes. In this case, the wounds of last year are still pretty raw. It will be quite some time before they heal and I am not sure if they ever completely will. It feels like cancer put a dent in my soul.
And while my soul may be forever dented, it is not damaged. My dents and scars are signs of life, of living, of defying the odds. My wounds heal because I work to heal them, I absorb the painful grief, remember the past, live for today and push forward to tomorrow. I don’t believe in ‘forgetting’ the past. The past created my future, it shaped my soul – dents and all.
So as my family and I walk through this week and the coming months, I invite you to walk with us, soaking in the memories and yes, even the pain. While there is much to celebrate, there is also much left to feel. There are many tears to be shed and many belly laughs to jiggle out as we look back to what has been the most defining year of our lives.