"Dear God, Thank you for helping my mom get through Cancer, and please let her never get it again. Amen" This was our 8 yr. old's prayer last night at bedtime. He said it while holding my head in his little hands while our foreheads touched. But the best part... after I said Amen, he looked me right in the eyes and said. "I know those are happy tears mom!" He was right. I love that he knows this, I also love that I no longer have to hide behind my feelings because he sees right through that anyway. Kids see much more than we ever realize. And there love and support is stronger than we could ever imagine. God's gift I am sure. They seem to know the right words at the right times. Simply put. No extras, nothing flashy, just simple. Good. and right on. That's how they roll. So much to be learned there. And my saving grace for the last year.
I had my last treatment today. Love that sentence. I did it. I made it. But really it should be WE did it, WE made it. This was not a journey I took alone. Sure, I was the only one who got the surgery, the port, the chemo, and the radiation. It is such an overused joke now, but still makes me laugh when Ben says after one of these procedures... "That didn't hurt me a bit!" :) I still humor him with a smile. But the truth is it does, and it did hurt him. And he stayed strong. Everyone around me stayed strong. But even stronger than strong. I hear everyday how amazing I am. How brave. How strong. It makes me cry, I don't mean a little I mean waterfalls. I am a weepy mess friends. Because what you see is only a mere reflection of everyone around me. I am only as strong as you. I couldn't have done any of this without you. Sounds like a cliche doesn't it. A bit cheesy I am sure. But the truth. As I sat thru my last and FINAL radiation today I thought about all my support. I thought about the simple smiles of the nurses and techs at the James. I thought about the many laughs we had over the song choices while I was getting my daily dose of radiation. They sometimes had to screen the country songs.. so many country singers want you to "Live like you are dying" or "Love you through it" ... of course not the easy song to hear while you are holding your breath with your hands above your head and truly only thinking about your cancer, hoping you never have to go thru the past year again, and so on....
I thought about the day in June when I drove through Granville for my surgery. I cried remembering the sign at the end of our street that said "It takes a Village to CURE CANCER". It kept ringing in my brain. If I didn't have strength that morning... I certainly found strength from those signs., and balloons. I still do.
I thought about the meal trains, and the amazing amount of people that came together to insure my family was feed, and feed well. The amount of LOVE that went into every single meal made for us. I thought about the families that had prayed together for us, and that continue to pray. How can that not make me strong, brave. I thought about my girlfriends in the lobby of the James waiting for me to come out one last time and RING the bell that I was done with treatment. My support team. I thought about each one of them. And the ones that were there in spirit. My neighbors who mowed our lawn, watered our plants, watched our kids... while I recovered from surgery and chemo. My friend who single handily organized playdates with our kids so every single day in the summer they were cared and loved --- Are you feeling strong yet... b/c even writing this makes me feel it... INSPIRED... BRAVE... these are all words you call me, but don't you see... you made me this way... YOU all made me this way. I think of my family, and the enormous amount of strength they gave to me this entire journey. My parents, my brother, my in-laws,... cousins...aunts, ...I have a cousin who sent me a card in the mail once a wk while in treatment. AMAZING. I think of my friends from college who visited, lifted me up, and kept reminding me who I was... who I truly was. I think of my husband who is my true hero in all of his. He got to see my at my worst, I mean we are talking physically and mentally. And it wasn't pretty. And you talk about BRAVE and INSPIRING, and STRONG. He is this and more. So, here I sit at 4am... unable to sleep because I am still pinching myself that OUR happy ending has arrived... I am absolutely humbled by this experience. It has without a doubt been a journey. One we took together. One I took with all of you. Each day was conquered with the help of each one of you. I love the silver lining of it all. I love the fact we did it. I love that each of you were here to make me strong. I love that God held me in the palm of his hands throughout this. We are blessed.