Friday, January 9, 2015

3 years post treatment

Getting scans near your birthday is a bit risky, but I scheduled Steven's for today without thinking.  Thankfully, they looked good, and we are thrilled.  Each one he passes, I just feel a bit more secure that the cancer is gone for good.  It's true and it's not true--I watched cancer sneak up on my little sister just when she was done with scans and done with worry.   But still, even if we are biding time, at the very least we have six more glorious months without cancer fear.

That is, cancer fear for Steven.  All week I've been a nervous wreck.  Alisa had scans also this week and learned that her cancer is growing despite the treatment she has been taking.  It is a devastating blow and the combination of scanxiety for both of them and bad news for her has been rough.  But nothing compared to what she is going through.

Yikes.  Cancer, I hate it.  For me it inspires fear like almost nothing else can.  And sometimes the fear is crippling. I think it is part of my challenge to go forward and overcome this fear and go forward with faith that things will somehow work out.  That is a whole lot easier to write than to do.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Goodbye 2014

Christmas and the start of a new year always leave me reflecting on the old year.  I wonder if we really progressed.  Did we meet any goals?  Are we better off now than a year ago?   I haven't been updating to this blog much and so I decided to share some thoughts and things from the past year here.

We started off this year with a mini disaster.  It was our first Sunday with 9am church.  I was teaching that day and was distracted.  I put a pot of dry beans on the stove to pre-boil and soak them.  I never turned it off and went to church for three hours.  Longer, actually, because Steven had an interview with our bishop to get the Aaronic priesthood.  We came home to a house full of smoke.  Luckily, there was no fire, but he smoke damage gave us a run for our money.  It was months until the smell finally left (if it even has).  Overwhelming!

After devoting weekends to smoke remedy, I begged Rob to redo our basement bathroom.  He obliged and spent 4 months of Saturdays on the project.  Here are some before and after pictures.  It wasn't functional as a shower before the project, and we only had one bathtub/shower.  This one is in the basement.  I'm sure someday someone will wonder at the handicap accessibility in a basement bathroom, but it has been really nice for Steven, who sleeps in the basement.  It's made a huge difference and Rob learned a lot in the process (mainly that he should say no when I ask [tell] him to do a project and also not to buy an old house).

The rest of the year is harder to put my finger on.   So many good things happened, but hard things too.  To name a few, Steven got braces, my youngest brother got married, my youngest sister got home from her mission in Spain, Steven started Jr. high, Laura started first grade, I started my first year as a stay-at-home mom without any kids during the day.  Addie turned eight and was baptized.

One hard thing that has happened and is happening is that my sister, Alisa, has had her cancer come back and tried an out of state treatment and had relapses and all kinds of cancer problems and miracles.   But she is hanging in there and teaches me every day about moving forward despite trials (and because of trials.)  And I am learning all over again about hope.  

Among the noteworthy things, there have been lots of the normal stuff to fill up all the time in between:  homework, appointments, practices, school, scouts,  the occasional sibling fight, projects, yard work, dog walks, work, grocery shopping, meals, and the ever present house work.  Sometimes it's hard to find importance in these things that seem kind of tedious, but together they make up the year, and this year will be filled with stuff like that and together they will form our lives.  

And in the meantime, we are growing up too fast.  This year I want to work harder on enjoying the everyday and making more memorable moments.  The older my kids get, the more I realize just how good I had it when they were small.  And that makes me  think that someday I'll think I had it so good!  Why didn't I enjoy it more?  So here's to 2015 and joy!  I hope it for all us, I really do.