6 months ago, my life - my happy, perfect life - changed forever. 6 months ago today, Brad and I walked into the Saint Joseph Mercy emergency room, hoping and expecting for an infection and instead getting a stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
It was a day filled with fear, anger, sorrow and pain, but also one of hope, love, and determination. It is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. The anxiety I felt as we squeezed into the small hospital bed, holding each other while we waited for results. The gut wrenching fear I felt as our friend and doctor, Josh - off duty for the night - walked in after midnight to deliver us the news. The numbness and shock I felt hearing “stage 4.” The compassion I felt being told by a trusted friend instead of the random on-call doctor. The unstoppable love I felt from Brad as he held me and let me cry in his arms, assuring me that we were going to be okay.
6 months later, I am not okay.
Three days before that day in October, Brad and I were blissfully unaware, on vacation in the Upper Peninsula. We were celebrating my 4 years of being in remission, wrongly believing that we had already gotten through the worst part of our lives. We spent hours talking about our future - and not just the near future, our whole future. We talked about retirement and the kind of life we wanted as we grew old together. We talked about our lifetime together.
My life is now divided into two completely separate lives. The life that I wanted - the life that I chose - and the life I was recently given. The life I want more than anything to fucking give back.
I would give anything to go back to 6 months and 1 day ago. To go back and have Brad’s pain be an infection. To go back and hold on for dear life to everything I had.
I just want to go back.
Instead I am sitting in Arizona, unintentionally and regretfully staying miles away from where I spent several months for my own cancer treatment, being reminded of what now feels like a faded memory of a trauma I experienced a lifetime ago. In a way it was.
I feel tired, I feel broken, I feel lost. I am at the point where I don’t really want to go forward, but what is there to go back to? If home is where your heart is, how do you go back to a home without your heart? I want to go back to before 6 months ago. Back to that life. My real life.
How do you move forward when all you want to do is go back?