It’s crazy to think that a full year has passed since the day. I vowed that I wasn’t going to memorialize that day, but as the month of June rolled around, I couldn’t help being drawn to the 20th.
I remember it like yesterday, I remember what the day before was like. One year ago, I got the phone call that shook my world. I remember struggling to get the words out of my mouth to tell Dave and with each person I spoke those words to, it felt like I was giving away my reserve air. I waited, hoped, and prayed that the doctor was going to call back and say they misread my results, but that call did not come. My every thought was consumed by the news; I could feel myself becoming paralyzed with fear.
A good friend of mine recently told me about an author who talks about our reactions when God calls us into challenging seasons. The author comments that we can tip toe and draw out our getting into the water or we can gather up our faith and cannonball into the depths. “I watched you cannonball, and I am so proud of you”, she said that sunny morning exactly a year later. To be honest, I’d say it was more of a belly flop, but as I look back it was the support of my family and friends that made my dive possible.
Today is National Pink Day, 3 days and a year after I became a member of the “pink society”. In a year, I have truly found my tribe. I have been surprised by those who have stepped up and stuck with me, and by those people who have been silent or absent during this season. I am genuinely grateful for every single day since June 20, 2016. I couldn’t fathom the next day, let alone the next week, or year this time last year. I do remember that about the time I got the news, my sister and her family were in Orlando for a volleyball tournament. In an effort to distract myself, we headed down to join them. After watching a few tournaments, we were back at their condo enjoying the sun and sand, my sister and I cutting up as usual. In those moments, cancer was on the back burner, partially because my sister specifically didn’t want to talk about it. It was then, that I began to see that my diagnosis did not have to consume my thoughts, my days would look like what I made them. On the anniversary of my diagnosis, I sat court side by my sister cheering at a volleyball tournament. Other than my being bald, breast-less, and the mother to one more child, this isn’t much different than last year. My sister still doesn’t like to talk about it, and we still are cutting up. This year there is little to no fear as I anticipate the future. I know there is still a lot of work left and maybe some not so fun days with chemo and surgeries, but I know God’s got this. In just a short year He has blessed me immensely, drowned me in love, and given me my own tangible miracle as a steady reminder, that He is the giver of grace and life.
I probably won’t ever celebrate it, but I won’t look down on June 20th, it was the day I was called to edge of all things that scared me and the unknown, and instead of dipping my toe in and running scared, I surprised even myself and took a running start and plunged into what will be the most exhilarating chapter of my life’s story.