Exactly one month ago we sat in the Neuro-surgery exam room and we got Jackson's diagnosis. One month ago Brian and I held each other in that tiny exam room and we cried together. One month ago our family took our first step down this path of cancer.
Tonight as I sit in the hospital room I have many emotions. Tonight as I sit here, I am less overwhelmed with some things, yet more overwhelmed with others.
Over the last month so much has changed, but surprisingly so much is still the same. Our life has changed, but those in our lives that make it worth living are still here supporting us.
I have more knowledge about certain chemotherapy drugs now, because I have seen them in action. I have more medical knowledge about cancer treatments, drugs, and procedures. I know more about blood than I ever did before. I can almost read the results of a CBC now with out help; and I know the important numbers without help. I have met many nurses and doctors, and I have come to love some of them and I am still learning to love others.
Our lives are different now than they have ever been. Our living arrangements are a bit confusing now- where exactly do we live? Most of the time I don't know what day it is; I am surprised how quickly time flies at the hospital.
Home is something that I used to take for granted. Home. I can not wait until my entire family can sleep under the same roof again. I long for the days when we will once again get to eat dinner at 6:30 around the kitchen table. I am looking forward to being able to perform mundane tasks for my family once again- laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning. I am excited to kiss both of my children good night and tuck them both into their beds and be under the same roof. Being together is something that I hope to never take for granted again.
Over the last month our lives have changed. Obviously. But the part that amazes me the most about the last month is the amount of love we feel from every direction. People coming to visit Jackson at the hospital. People reaching out and giving gifts to brighten Jackson's day. Meals brought in several nights a week. Kind emails and text messages often make me cry. Our yard has never looked so good- and we haven't lifted a finger. Talks of fund raising dinners and 5K's and Luau's. People ordering shirts, hats and bracelets all saying "Go Team Jackson". All of it amazes us. We are grateful for all of it, and yet there are no words gracious enough to express our heartfelt thanks.
I have learned over the last month that I am stronger than I thought I was. Over the last month the pride I have for my son has grown so much that it is now immeasurable. Over the last month the love and admiration that I have for my husband, Brian has increased beyond my imagination. And over the last month I have seen my daughter adapt from a very structured life to a very chaotic life, and yet she is still flourishing beautifully.
Over the last month my testimony of charity has grown so big that it is bursting at the seams. I have heard my entire life about charity being the "pure love of Christ". I never understood charity until now.
The last month has changed me, and although it has been insanely difficult, I believe that this change has been for the good. I am stronger because of the trials that we are going through. I am so grateful that I have a firm foundation to stand on.
It all seems so long ago, yet it is all so fresh in my mind. One month has passed and we are still spinning, but somehow we are making it. And somehow we are managing to find joy in our journey.