This past weekend Jarrod and I were lucky enough to go to a retreat for couples affected by gynecologic cancers. It was an amazing weekend and we connected with some incredible couples. I’ll write more about the experience later, but for now, I want to say that it felt like exactly what we needed. It also made it easier this morning to remember what was two years ago and what was three years ago.
Two years ago today we learned that my cancer had come back for the first time. However, instead of focusing on the pain and heartache of that day, I remembered the good things. I remembered our pastor ducking out of a celebration of her wife’s installment at her new parish to talk and pray with us. I remembered Jarrod driving me to a beach near that church so I could sit on the sand when I called my sister and mom to tell them. The ocean and the sand grounded me when I told them the news.
Three years ago today was my first ever chemotherapy treatment. It was a long day with a lot of suck. However, I was able to focus on the great view I had out my window and how diligent Jarrod was in taking notes during chemo class. Plus, a lot of people sent cute animals or other forms of encouragement so I was surrounded by love that day.
They’re not necessarily happy anniversaries, but there were good parts of those crappy days and I feel more able, because of this weekend, to not let the awful parts overshadow the good.
I’m still here. I’m still here three years after starting chemotherapy and two years after learning my cancer had returned. I’ve had some awful moments in those years, but I’ve also had so many glorious and wonderful moments full of humor, love, kindness, and joy. Rather than focusing on my anger over the awful, I think I’ll focus on gratitude for the good.