My most recent MRI and Pet Scan results, in October, were split. Since finishing radiation in July, I've lived with a slight fear rooted deep inside that it would come back to my brain. I'm more than thrilled to announce that the MRI of my brain showed that everything is clear! It is a giant relief only slightly clouded by the fact that my PET scan results were not as gratifying. Unfortunately, there are signs of increased activity in the areas that the cancer already resides and additionally, there are three spots on my liver. It wasn't quite the homerun that I was hoping for, but it is also nothing to get in a frenzy about. Spots have appeared and disappeared from my liver before and I'm confident that the change in medicine will bring about a positive change and better results in 3 (now 2, I know... I'm late...) months. In fact, I am already able to sense a difference in my body and I'm feeling more like myself again. I missed myself. I didn't realize how hard my brain surgery, radiation, and other events had hit me physically...and emotionally. I got caught up in big frightening medical words and I tripped. But, I'm here now and I've gotten back up and dusted myself off. Although, it gave me a lot of time of reflection of just how precious life is, for us all.... The delicate balance makes me think a lot about being a mom. I can't even remember what my life was like without Avery in it and if I only had today to tell her as much, this is probably what I would say...
I'm stuck. I'm stuck between wanting time to slow down and wanting it to speed up. I want to live in the present and not wish away precious moments of your childhood. But... I am also terrified that I won't get enough days with you as you grow up. That is what I am most afraid of, my sweet girl. It's an unfortunate gift that cancer has given me, to consciously live in the moment and never take a day with you for granted. You have the most beautiful way of loving life and having it love you right back. I hope you always have that zeal about you, with your blonde curls shaking furiously back and forth as you confidently assert your opinions. And when those opinions are not of the majority, your attitude takes charge. Your attitude translates into a strong will and I have no doubt that it will help you leap effortlessly over any obstacles you face in your life. Be sure to use your strength to help other people, when you can, and to hold unwavering to what you believe in. That being said, your strongest belief must always be in yourself. You can do, achieve, or be anything that you want in life as long as you always believe in yourself.
Your big inquisitive blue eyes and soft still-baby skin are only a sliver of what make you beautiful. You have to match that beauty with a loving and giving heart. You must always say please and thank you, there are no circumstances where using your manners or showing gratitude will be out of style. Always be patient and kind, with a heart for helping others. If someone falls down, be there to help them up; and, be assured that if you fall down, I am going to be there to help you up.
Life is certainly not easy and there will be heartache. I wish that you won't ever have to know what that feels like, but it will rear it's ugly head throughout the seasons of life. Just always remember that we don't count our challenges or struggles, instead, we focus on our blessings. It took me 28 years to understand exactly what that meant, but then I met you and now I know. I know how to find the positive in every day and I know the sun shines brighter on my side of life because you're here. I know. You are special and I was meant to live this life with you. I wouldn't change anything about the way things have unfolded because the love I have for you is so much bigger than cancer and so much bigger than a lost love.
I know how lucky I am to have been chosen as your mom. I know that you are like me, in a lot of ways, and I am humbled to be worthy of being that example for you. Though, I am most excited to watch you become exactly who you are meant to be. I know that life isn't promised and each day is precious. I promise to live in the present moment with you, to envelope all the giggles and catch all the tears. And, every time that I kiss you goodnight, I will continue to thank God for you and I will pray for the mommys and daddys that don't get to do the same thing.
I love you today, tomorrow, and always.Oh, and 65,000 kisses worth, my Avery J. ;)