Facebook is the best at reminding you about things in your past. As soon as you open up the webpage, there it is staring at you and you have no other option but read what it’s telling you. Sometimes what she shows you brings up great memories – a date night with your husband, a trip to London with your girls, the first trophy your child earned. But sometimes the memory is one that brings up emotions in you that aren’t fun. The memory reminds you of the fear you experienced in that moment, the questions that were swirling around in your brain, the sorrow that took over your heart. Today that was me.
December 1, 2009
Seven years ago today I took this photo as we waited on the doctor. Cayden was at school and I was alone with my two other kids. Had I known what the doctor would say when he walked in, I would have asked Aaron to be there. Had I known the tears that would fall as I stood in the parking garage trying to explain to Aaron the bomb that the doctor had just dropped on me, I would have asked him to be there with me. How was I to know?
We never know do we. No one walks into a doctor’s appointment knowing that their clogged milk duct is actually cancer. No one walks into a doctor’s appointment for a weird mole knowing that they have aggressive cancer throughout their entire body. No one gets in their car to drive to get their kids knowing they will get run off the road by a truck. No one knows that they will move their family overseas to do mission work, that their child will cough for a few weeks, and then end up chronically sick for years.
We never know.
I posted that picture as we were waiting on the doctor and I had no clue what he was about to tell me. I had no clue that my sweet Deacon would have his first surgery 13 days later. I had no clue that he would have seven surgeries in the two years following this picture. I had no clue what it felt like to wait on your child to get out of surgery. I had no clue what it felt like to cross of dates until the follow up appointment, praying every day for good news. I had no clue what it felt like to explain to your son why we were having another surgery. I had no clue about anything.
We never have a clue.
One thing I’m learning throughout this personal journey that we’ve been on with our son, is that the unknown is one of the hardest things for me to wrap my brain around. I like control. Actually, I love control, and in this situation I have exactly zero control over his life. None. Nothing I can do to add one more day, month, or year to his life.
Of course that’s the truth with all of our kids, but when you have one that has a disease that is incurable, and unpredictable there’s always the wonder in the back of your brain if this will be the year it comes back? As 2016 closes I let out a sigh of relief, that we made it through one more year without this disease showing back up. One more year.
December 1, 2009 was the day it all changed. The first two years were scary with the unknown, and in August of 2011 we got the best news since the diagnosis, that Deacon was in remission. So, that’s where we sit since 2011. Remission. Most days I never think of this disease. It’s not on the forefront of my mind anymore. It’s not high on my prayer list these days. Most people don’t even have a clue Deacon has this. Heck, just last year we told him more parts of this story that we hadn’t told him when he was four because he was too young to understand. We live in this weird place of knowing it’s there, but not hardly thinking about it. I guess it’s good.
I really do trust God with all my kids. At the end of the day, what choice do I actually have. They are His. This disease doesn’t define my child, but yet the hand of God does.
So, as Facebook reminded me this morning that December 1, 2009 was a super hard day, I’m also reminded of all that God has taught us through this disease. That day was maybe one of my hardest days ever, but that day doesn’t define any of us. That day didn’t surprise God, and he’s not absent from this in our lives.