Friday, November 27, 2015

5 years ago today....

We found out that I had Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Stage 4 is only bad if you realize that Stage 5 is death...We didn't exactly dwell on Stage 5.

There was no time for worrying or crying that day because we had a birthday girl - a fabulous 6th birthday party - complete with Build-A-Bear, Sushi, a fashion show, custom flip-flops AND a sleepover...  Murphy's Law, right?

But that was probably the perfect day to get the news, because it set the pace for the next few years... It reminded us to roll with the punches- because quite frankly there were WAY too many punches - chemo, baldness, 2 blood transfusions, meningitis, a seizure that caused temporary blindness and months of reduced brain activity, erythema nodosum (go ahead and google that) and physical therapy... How the hell did we survive??

We survived with the help of good friends and family, gallons of tears and plenty of laughter.  Oh - trust me -  I screamed and cried when I was home alone, but we found plenty of reasons to laugh together.  Ashley and I laughed when we bought my wig.  I laughed when the girls paraded around in my wigs and hats.  Shane and I laughed when I laid on the cold tile floor to relieve the pain.  I laughed when Shane had to suit up like a Ghostbuster to enter my isolation room in the hospital.

I survive today because I packed up the bad memories and put them in a box on the shelf.  If I think about that time, I only focus on the good memories.  Why dwell on the bad?  People joke that women forget how bad pregnancy and childbirth is - otherwise everyone would be an only child.  It's the same kind of thing...

That time taught me many important life lessons.  They aren't always easy to follow, but I remind myself that the lessons were the gift of the disease.  That allows me to laugh about it - and keep laughing...