My husband was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it took six months of his life, fighting every single second of every single day to beat it. He did. He is our hero.
Today, he is not a cancer patient, a cancer victim, a cancer-sufferer, or a sick person. Today, he is a dad, a husband, a son, a friend.
It has been 15 years since the dreadful day my husband was diagnosed with a spreading, aggressive cancer.
We were not married then. We weren’t dating. In fact, I didn’t even know him through his early battle with cancer. We met close to his three-year mark of being cancer-free.
But, his diagnoses on the 31st of July 2002, would become one of the most important dates in my life.
My husband vowed to live differently after his treatments. He would seek a fruitful life (hello 4 kids later..ahem, check), a life of adventure, (moving around the world together twice, check) and a celebratory life. That celebration of life, that is where the party comes in.
You see, we flipped that dreadful diagnosis day, and now, it is a celebration-of-life-day.
The day that his world turned upside down, is now a day we look forward to. Because, there is oh so much to celebrate.
Each year on this day, we do something to mark it. From an evening out with family and friends, to cake at home with our boys, to climbing the Great Wall, swimming in the Aegean Sea or running a 5k, we celebrate. This year we are selling lemonade with the kids for cancer research, visiting a cancer center and sharing his story and of course, having a party. Whatever we do, we remember to live with purpose that day and vow to do so for the upcoming year.
Because it is easy to get caught up in life, even after cancer. It is easy to run the rat race and not slow down, to forget how precious life really is and what a gift each day is. While our adventures around the world have slowed for a bit, the adventure of raising 4 boys has not. Life goes on, we are out numbered, over-tired and over spent. But we have life, our home is full of life, and boy oh boy, that is worth celebrating.
So we party, we celebrate the day that rocked his world.We high-five the cancer that almost destroyed our hero. I am thankful for the outlook cancer gave my husband, he is too.
But, most of all, I am thankful he fought for us, before he even knew there was an us.
Thankful that he lived for his future, which became our family and our adventures.
Somebody asked me once if the fear of cancer coming back ever goes away.
It doesn’t go away, but the fear is drowned out by the party and we don’t live in fear, we live in the moment. Now, lets party.
Photo Credit: Nancy Paddison