Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Lessons of Life and Death

Over the past week, our family has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I sometimes think that this rollercoaster happens at such an accelerated pace for us that we don't even notice it anymore.

If you've read Ryan's blog lately, then you know that that MRI results we received last week were much better than we could have hoped! He has some pictures on his blog as well (link to his blog is to the right of this) which show the differences. Basically we want to see no white enhancements, as that is the tumour and inflammation. If you look closely, you can see that the reduction in that white area since November is large! He will have another MRI and we will keep hoping for more and more darkness in his pictures.

Right after this appointment, I went to go for my checkup. It started off really well and then we talked about a little area that I had noticed near my recurrence site. It was a small bump, but the doctor agreed that we better check it out. On Tuesday afternoon I went to get it looked at and the ultrasound confirmed that it's a 3 mm cyst that has no malignant properties. All good - small and doesn't look like cancer. But they still would like me to go review this with my surgeon. Probably for a very good reason, they are extra careful with me now.

Friday evening, a friend and fellow breast cancer fighter lost her fight to this awful disease. Heather was someone I met because we shared the same oncologist and would run into each other often at our appointments. What I really appreciated about her was her fighting attitude against all of the odds and her passion to continue to live life and do things that people didn't think she could. About 2 months ago, she is the one that wanted me to go to a deep water workout class with her! The girl was using a walker to get around, but was still working out in DEEP water. That is determination.

Ryan also heard word that a friend he knew lost his battle with brain cancer. To find out that two such amazing young people who were such fighters lost makes us both so mad at this disease. But it also continues to reinforce for us the lessons of living life and of course makes us more committed to helping find a cure.

Friday morning started a 5 day birthday celebration for Talyn. With many visitors and different parties for school, the dayhome and then at home he was definitely glad to be turning 4. We also had some friends over that had helped us through the past several months and it was nice to have everyone together. Thank goodness we had all the grandparents there to help with the large invite list and my mom cooked up a bunch of things to keep everyone fed.

Sunday evening was the launch of our Live, Laugh & Learn event for Rethink Breast Cancer. The reason I first started volunteering with them was the void that I saw in support for young women here in Calgary. So it was absolutely amazing to see it all come together and make a difference in people's lives.

This past week has been filled with many lessons that we continue to get thrown our way to enjoy life and give back. The rollercoaster continues for us but I wouldn't change it if I could. The lows are what make us appreciate the highs at such a greater level. Keep that in mind for the challenges you run into every day, if you didn't have those would you truly appreciate all of the good you also have?