Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a year in a life

This week has been on my mind for its memories of where I was a year ago at this time.

One year ago yesterday morning, I got the phonecall that changed everything. Suddenly, I was not only with child, but with cancer.

One year ago this afternoon, we met for the first time with Dr. T., the surgical oncologist who got the ball rolling and removed my tumor — for good, I thought.

And next Friday, the day I go to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion on my treatment options, will be a year to the day (though not date) after I had my surgery.

It's hard to believe so much has happened to turn my life over in just a year — good and bad. As horrible as this cancer has been, Ben's new presence in our lives has been as much of a blessing.

When I think of my cancer, I think of it in two parts.

Part 1: Last August and September, when it was in my abdomen, removable through surgery, and I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy with Ben.

Then a lull, where I healed, nurtured my pregnancy, gave birth to our beautiful baby, and tried not to think of worst-case scenarios.

Part 2: This April, when Ben was just three weeks old and I learned the cancer had metasticized to my lungs and hip. That was when chemotherapy and radiation entered the picture, and low success rates and the very real prospect of my odds.

And here I am now, still waiting, still not knowing what will happen, still scared, yet still living my life and loving my family. Cancer is not all I am. But in the past year, it has shaded our life in ways that we can't turn back.


darcie said...

oh Em - know that my family and I are thinking of you...wishing there was something I could do...

Jamie said...

It's hard to believe it's been a year. Those anniversarys stay in your mind, and I think they serve a very real purpose of reflection.

You continue to be in my thoughts.

Christina said...

Just the other day I was thinking what a whirlwind of a year you've had - and how bravely you've handled it all. Your response to those 365 days inspires me, Em.

What I admire is the fact you noted, that you've continued living your life - a beautiful, rich life, a writer's life, a family life.

Anonymous said...


The year has gone fast. God bless you, Steve, Daniel, and Ben. May you have years and years and years ahead of you.

--Laura S.

Madwoman of Preserve Path said...

As usual, you speak truths so eloquently. You HAVE had one helluva year. But you know, Emilie, you probably learned more about yourself, your life, your everything in this one year than you have in any other. And you've passed it along so generously to us. Wisdom is certainly earned, isn't it? No turning back now!

Roxy said...

what a year.

you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Emilie, I remember very well. I pulled up your blog the morning I got to work, as usual. I remember your previous post, about Daniel's 1st birthday party. Anyway, I pulled up your blog, and your new post said something like "Please, don't let it be anything bad."

I'm crying as I write this, not because I'm feeling hopeless but because this post, one year later, summarized the emotional roller-coaster we've all been through, especially you and your family, Em. Good luck at the Mayo clinic.

- Susanne

Piccinigirl said...

oh Em, you are always never far from my thoughts. It's funny how everything in life is seperated into halfs for me lately too.

you write so beautifully and I know that Cancer is not all you are, you are an inspiration..pure and simple.

Hugs my friend

kristine said...

roxy about summed it up. really.

sue said...

Hi Emilie,

I have been following your blog for a few months now (I found out about it at Cribsheet) and I feel a connection to you because I have a son around Daniel's age and another baby on the way. I try to imagine what you and your husband must be going through - thinking about how life will change so much going from one child to two...only to be diagnosed with cancer.

I wanted to share something that happened to me a couple days ago. I was thinking about you and how you seem to be such a wonderful mom and how your family needs you so much and then I heard a voice in my head that said "She will be fine" and I felt very peaceful. I have no idea where this voice came from but I wanted to pass this hopeful message along to you.

Take care!

Geohde said...

I cannot imagine how intense the last year must have been. I cannot imagine living with such uncertainty. You're truly impressive.