First, I’ve been totally and completely blown away by the support of so many people – friends and strangers alike – in the wake of our news. The stories of triumph over this disease and the words of encouragement have shored us up in a way we never dreamed possible just a few days ago when we were in a collective puddle on the floor. The more we learn about how many of you and yours have beaten cancer, the more we believe we can do it too.

Second, I’ve heard from more than a few of you that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to you. I’ve heard it said that cancer helped some of you grow up, show up, pay attention, adjust your priorities, and appreciate all that you have. And I totally get that, although I’m not be quite there yet. Right now, I’m still in the process of processing this curveball that has been thrown our way. I’m spending a lot of time bouncing between joy and determination and fear and grief. But I get it. Already I can see how this diagnosis has adjusted my priorities. The things I was worried about 10 days ago seem plain silly now. The list of things that are truly important just got real short, real quick. And that’s not a bad thing.

However, it has been pointed out to me by several of you that I may actually owe a thank you to the cancer that has set up shop inside me. We knew that our little Magnolia Grace was to thank for allowing the doctors to find the cancer when they did. But it seems that we can also thank the cancer for saving Magnolia’s life. If it weren’t for the mass on my Fallopian tube, I would not have ended up in the emergency room on December 1st with pain that I could no longer ignore. And if I hadn’t ended up in the ER, the doctors likely wouldn’t have discovered the placental abruption before it was too late. Maggie would have lost her source of nourishment, and very possibly her life.

So, even though we hate this cancer – really, really hate it – I guess we also have to thank it. Because without it, we very well could have lost our daughter. And already we can’t imagine our lives without her. Me having to fight cancer is a very small price to pay for her presence in our lives and on this planet.

Talk about an amazing chain of events. When I think of all of the elements that had to fall into place for us to have this beautiful being and for my condition to be discovered in the process, it is clear that the universe has a plan in place that is far greater than anything we can imagine. There are no accidents. I just have to have faith and trust the process. And I’m working on that, a little more each day.

Some friends posted this sign today and I have adopted it as my motto, at least for today.

Photo11

That, and fuck you, cancer. You’ve served your purpose and I’m grateful, but now it’s time for you to go. Love and thanks,

Jo

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