Let’s get down to it. I received news that my one year post-transplant bone marrow biopsy came back cancer free earlier this month. Over joyed, relieved, thankful and appreciative is an understatement. However I walked around pretty numb for about a week or so. It’s weird. I figured I would be on cloud nine. I assumed I would be popping bottles of champagne and celebrating my face off. But I couldn’t bring myself to do so. Rather I felt like all I did was check the one year box. I reminded myself rather quickly that I still have four more years before I’m “cured.” On top of that – I felt an immense amount of guilt. Not everyone makes it a year. Not everyone makes it 471 days past their initial diagnosis date. Much less with completely clear bone marrow biopsy results.
When you’re given what feels like a second chance on life you start questioning everything. You question why? You question what you did to deserve those clear bone marrow biopsy results. Is there a reason? I know people always say “everything happens for a reason.” My favorite and least favorite saying of all time. In my situation it makes me feel like I have to now figure out what my reason for survival is. I feel as though it would be selfish if I waste this second chance at life. But on the flip side it makes me mad. Everything happens for a reason? Then why did my mom pass after her battle with cancer? Why did I survive and she die? What is the reason for that?
I believe some things do happen for a reason. Like my long-term six year relationship ending so Aaron could walk into my life. Angel boy Aaron. Things were perfectly timed and so perfectly laid out that I will appreciate the solid “everything happens for a reason.” But for people who are grieving or have suffered such a substantial loss in life you have to be careful throwing that around. Don’t be surprised if they shoot back a hurtful, “oh yeah, what’s the reason for the loss of my mom?” It will leave you stunned. Shocked. And speechless. Which is exactly how those who have suffered a significant loss in life feel. You cannot even begin to fathom what the reason would be for someone to be taken from you so suddenly. So tragically.
So what’s my plan now? I plan to make the best out of every day I am given with this second chance at life. I plan to figure out how I can help those who are also randomly hit with the “you have cancer at 26 years old for no specific reason.” I plan to figure out how I can help others when they hear the words “your mom has terminal cancer and is going to die.” And although heavy, with a lot of soul searching to come, I have a lot of living to do. I get to marry Aaron in 292 days. We get to jump into our next adventure of marriage, kids (hopefully) and growing old. I get to spend more time with my friends and family – something I so longed for while sitting locked up in the hospital. I am so beyond blessed to get to look to such an exciting and happy future.
And to those of you who have diligently followed along my journey, reading every blog post, sending your well wishes along the way I just want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the support I didn’t know I needed. Thank you for always send me comforting texts. Thank you for believing in my strength when I didn’t believe in my own. I am not what they consider “out of the woods” yet but it’s looking pretty dang good so far. My Dr. informed us that with how great my labs look and hitting the one year mark my chance of relapse plummeted down to less than 10%. WHICH IS HUGE. I promise you all to spend the rest of my days trying to leave the world a better place. To help those in need and offer any guidance, support and love to those who walk a path similar to mine later down the road.
Love to you all.