So. Much. Love.

When I was a little girl, I loved to write letters. In between visits, my cousins and I would write back and forth to each other. During summer breaks, my closest friends and I would write to each other every few days; often making our own envelopes out of another sheet of paper. Sometimes we would fill them with confetti, which would cause quite a mess when opened! We would even look up the address to hotels and send letters to each other during family vacations. I remember excitedly checking the mail each day in anticipation of the arrival of a new letter addressed to me. There is just something so wonderful about receiving mail.

Although Jacob doesn’t know it yet, I’ve started (try) to pass along this love of letter writing to him. Each holiday, and every vacation, we send him a letter or post card. The letters usually have $1 in it and we share with him a few thoughts, words of wisdom or an event that occurred. We address it to him and mail it out – many times from our own mailbox. They are sealed and stored in a memory box for him to open sometime. We even did this when I was pregnant – addressed to “Baby”.

Where we live now, there aren’t mailboxes (in the typical sense) at each house but instead a large, metal mail box at the end of each road for all of the houses on that street. Typically, it takes a few days for us to check it because it isn’t right in front of our house. Since beginning this journey though, it has become a nightly tradition for us – something that I look forward to doing together. Jacob is strapped into his Radio-Flyer tricycle and we take a family walk to the mailbox together. Most days, that metal box is filled with a letter or a card or a package. Someone reaching out to send their love, their thoughts, their prayers or a surprise gift to let us know that they are thinking of us and that we are not alone in this journey.

Twice this week my husband returned from picking up little man with a gift for me; the first a gift basket filled with goodies from coworkers to remind me how strong I am and today an embroidered tote from daycare filled with goodies to keep me comfortable during treatment. This week, which is the hardest one for us, we have also been given a meal each night so we don’t have to cook.

And the list doesn’t end there – the calls, the texts, the fundraiser, the visits to see us, the prayers. So. Much. Love.

Writing this out, I can’t help but cry. I like to think that words come easy for me when writing but I don’t think I can properly express how much all of your kindness means to us. This is, by far, the most challenging, life-altering journey that we have ever been on and you have all done so much to help us through this. Each and every one of you. We are so humbled and so incredibly blessed with all of your love. There are so many different ways that one can demonstrate kindness, love and support…and I feel like we have seen every single possible way.

A dear friend said to me, “Our prayer is that this helps you and your family, even if it’s just a little.” Oh, but a little it is not. It is so much bigger than that.

Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Day 4 – DONE!

Day 4 - DONE

Better late than never, right? Treatment #4 is DONE! It feels super awesome to see the progress and have only 2 remaining aggressive treatments. So. Close.

I’m beginning to feel better today, though still quite tired. The fatigue hit a lot harder this time around and I tire easily when moving around. But I’m getting through it and that’s what matters.

I saw my oncologist today, as I do every week. I expressed concern that the tumor and my lymph nodes don’t appear to be shrinking lately. He examined them both and agreed, though he also doesn’t feel like it is growing, which is good news. While it is not typical that the tumor would stop shrinking with the treatment that I am undergoing, we don’t know what is happening inside the tumor. It’s possible that there is a mass of dead cells hanging out in there, waiting for surgery to remove them. I’m disappointed that I can’t feel the progress being made like I did in the beginning but I am confident that my body is reacting the way it needs to. I also feel, as my oncologist does, that I need to continue on the course of treatment that we are on currently.

So. Though this isn’t the greatest of news that I have to share, I will not let it deter my faith that I will beat this horrible disease. I took a moment in the car ride home to dwell in my anger at the situation and now I’m done. I won’t let it bring me down and I won’t waste my energy worrying about it.

Because today I ate a cupcake for breakfast that didn’t taste like metal.

Because today I picked out little man’s school pictures – and his shirt wasn’t dirty!

Because my husband is running out to grab me a strawberry milkshake.

Because tonight I will catch up with a dear friend when she brings dinner for my family.

Because I am grateful for today, and every day.

Because I am doing the very best that I can and that’s all there is to it.