It’s March 1. Today marks one year since Corey was given the initial diagnosis of cancer. In some ways it seems like only a month has passed. In others, it seems like a decade.
I’ve become fluent in a language and adept at reading test results I never thought would be a part of my world. There are considerations now I never thought I’d have to make. Corey’s been sick this week and what I would’ve dubbed the “man flu” a year ago (likely accompanied by a snarky “Suck it up, Buttercup”) now has me checking his temperature and wondering if I should call the doctor every 30 minutes.
Welcome to our “New Normal” – I suppose.
A year ago at this point we were both feeling pretty numb. That first week crawled by in super slow motion and almost seemed like we were watching someone else’s life story unfold before us. But nope. It’s not someone else’s story. It’s ours.
Nothing anyone could have told me a year ago could have prepared me for what the past 365 days have been like. None of the appointments, none of the descriptions, none of the personal stories, could have prepared me for the whole bone marrow transplant experience, for instance. And now, post-transplant, working through all of the side effects, living with all the precautions we’re supposed to be taking, all the considerations, but without any of the benefits of the transplant (which just didn’t work, incase you missed the news) is, to be honest, kind of a bummer.
I’m not one to dwell on the “what ifs” or wallow in the “I can’t believe that didn’t work” pool, and I’m – slowly – mentally wrapping my head around living with cancer and what that looks like. I think the post-transplant fog has begun to clear and I’m beginning to see the landscape ahead of me. Without really realizing it, I think I headed into the transplant thinking, “OK, we’re at Point A. Our destination is Point B. I can see it ahead of me and, yes, it looks a little rocky, but I can see the finish line and we’re on the right track. Strap on that pack and those boots and let’s get ‘er done!”
My approach for this season though is a bit different. I feel like I’ve arrived at Base Camp and have spent the past couple weeks assimilating to the altitude and sizing up and analyzing the trails ahead. Rather than a day-hike in Yosemite or one of the trails here in the PNW, I’m on a mountainside in Kathmandu sizing up Mt. Everest. Rather than a conquering posture, I’m looking at this with a bit more reverence and humility, knowing the mountain is going to do as much to break us as we are going to do to conquer it.
I won’t lie. It’s daunting. The thought, “I have no idea what to do here, how to manage all of this!” has entered my mind more than once. But it’s in those moments that I remember that we’re not heading up this mountain alone. Not only do we have an amazing team of Sherpas around us, helping to carry the load, providing guidance, wisdom, assistance, rest, love, support and encouragement, but we know that “He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 1:6) We know Who is at our right hand and in Whom we believe and Who gives us the confidence to be UNSHAKEN. So while there may not be a lot of sprinting and pushing and full-throttled “get ‘er done” moments in this season, I think I’ve come to terms with the slow, steady, sure-footed, even-paced mindset that this climb will require.
So bring it on, Season 2. I’m pretty determined not to let you break me.
I think I’ll make this my anthem for Season 2: