Last time I posted I wrote about how Gavin's next MRI had crept up on me and how I am usually acutely aware of how much time we have left before the next scan. Well, it may have been delayed, but it's here.
T minus one week until the next scan. And I am officially acutely aware of it.
This time feels different though. I wouldn't call it "scanxiety." It has not been driven so much by fear, but instead ushered in by a strange kind of sadness. I will try to explain, although until you've been forced to walk in shoes like these it may not make sense.
It comes in waves. One moment I feel secure. Gavin will be five years out from his diagnosis of cancer in March. That's a long time in the AT/RT world and I'm grateful that Gavin has done so well to this point. He has overcome the odds that were stacked against him. He is thriving. And I believe he has beat this thing for good. I trust that God has truly delivered him from cancer.
The next moment is quite different. I'd describe it as an underlying grief. It's a not-so-closed-up wound that knows all too well what the initial injury felt like. It's a sadness that recognizes the fact that we could potentially be just one week away from our lives coming to a screeching halt once more...just one more week. It's a yearning to make it all better, as if cancer had never really entered the picture. It's a guilt that maybe I'm not doing this survival phase well enough, knowing I may have regrets of not enjoying the here and now enough if the whole things goes south once more. It's a plea for God to help me with my unbelief, to heal Gavin of any cancer cells that may be looming in his body, and to prepare me for whatever the future holds.
It's so many emotions rolled up into one mom's heart. The words I use to try to describe it just don't do it justice. Another cancer mom wrote me an email earlier this week. Her son has been off treatment for quite awhile as well. She put it so perfectly when she wrote that "there are things each day that still seem like they have cancer on them." Kids pay such a price to survive cancer. The treatment necessary to rid them of the cancer is so much more toxic to their small bodies than it would be in the body of an adult. So, even on the best of days, there is a subtle reminder of what this small child has gone through, what it continues to cost him, and the fact that there are no guarantees in the world of childhood cancer.
I pray next week brings another clear scan under Gavin's belt. I pray that he continues to flourish despite it all. And I pray for freedom from the grip that cancer has had on us, even after all this time. Hope cannot lie in the goodness that earthly life brings alone. I must put on eternal lenses if I wish to see this mortal life with clearer focus. Because God knows what He is doing. And Gavin's life was intimately planned out so long ago. God has carried us to this point. And He will continue to carry us every step of the way, even when we struggle at T minus one week from the next scan.