This has been an incredible, horrible, exciting, and difficult weekend for me. Tomorrow marks 1 year since the worst day in my life. Moments from the past year, both good and bad, have flashed to mind this week – today and tomorrow especially. It’s at one time completely awful to relive these memories, but it’s equally amazing to be with Christi on the other side of them. I have been incredibly blessed this past year.
Christi, so far, is still doing fantastic. Average survival for someone with her cancer is only 17 months; today finishes off month 12. The side effects from treatment have remained manageable, and you’d never even know she had cancer if you met her. Even her hair – while short – has grown back.
She is the strongest person that I know. Since day 1 she has remained her up-beat and positive self, focused on getting well, focused on raising our beautiful 3 year old daughter Cailyn, and focused on Jesus and the blessings He’s given this family. I don’t deserve her, she has been absolutely amazing.
It’s both a wonderful and horrible thing to face death closely – to focus you so specifically on how you live you life. It’s horrible to be reminded – taunted – of our inevitable end, and it’s wonderful that it has focused our family on each other, on our friends, and on our faith in Jesus. Easter Sunday reminds me of second chances. Whenever God does take Christi home, I’ll know that’s where she’ll be. home. but until then the greatest gift God has given me will be treasured.
Our most important decision this past year has been to continue to live our lives despite the cancer. Don’t let it rule us. Don’t let it distract us from our baby girl. Don’t let it distract us from each other.
During this past Christmas vacation we made a promise to each other. Every weekend we had together we would spend time together as a family. 2 Saturday’s a month we’d take Cailyn somewhere and have a 100% family day – the zoo, children’s museam, art store, somewhere all day. 1 Saturday a month we’d hire a nanny for the kid, and Christi and I would have a lunch+movie+dinner date. The last Saturday of the month Christi’s usually on chemo, so we’ll stay in and enjoy a family dinner together.
If life is cruel enough to give Christi and I only the average 17 months together, then 5 months from now we want to look back with zero regrets. And if we’re blessed enough to live a lifetime together, then I look forward to filling it with uncountable family weekends together, symptoms and side effects be damned!