4 Years Later (post #9 in my 30 in 30 series)

me and girls 2011I was reading through the journal I kept when I was in treatment this afternoon, and I was struck by the fact that it was 4 years ago when I was in the middle of all my cancer craziness.  I read entries dated July 2011 that talked about the side effects of my chemo, my feelings of fear and loss, tough decisions to be made, and sweet entries about my daughters’ birthdays (my youngest, Kayla, was born 7/9 and my oldest, Jada, was born 7/26).  In the summer of 2011, they had just turned 3 and 6 – they were 2 and 5 when I was diagnosed.  In one of my entries, I wondered how my illness and struggle would affect them in the long run, so I decided to ask them about their memories of it.  My little one could only remember that I was bald and wore hats a lot.  She does not remember that I had cancer and doesn’t even know what cancer is, she says.  She apologized for bringing up that I was bald and started giggling at the memory.  I told her it didn’t bother me and I read her my journal entry from her birthday 4 years ago.  That made her smile and she gave me a big hug and skipped out of the room.  My oldest, however, had more memories of that time.  She said she knows I had cancer, but couldn’t remember what kind, and that I spent a lot of time upstairs in bed.  She also remembers coming to check on me each morning and evening before and after school to make sure I was ok.  She has good memories of going to the kid’s support group at Gilda’s Club and said she can’t believe that 4 years have past – it feels like just yesterday, she said with a bittersweet look on her face.  I asked her if the experience had changed her and she yes, but her answer was not what I expected.  She said, “I learned that even in the worst times, something good can come out of it.”  I was so relieved that it hadn’t  scarred her for life!  I read her my journal entry from her birthday 4 years ago and she buried her head in my chest and cried a little.  I hugged her and thanked her for helping me through the toughest time in my life and told her I was proud of her.  Tomorrow, she will turn 10 years old – earlier this month my youngest turned 7.  4 years ago, I wasn’t even sure I would be around to see them reach their next birthday.  What a difference between then and now – thank God.

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