I think when we were in that ER hallway in 2016, forty seemed very far away. No one should live their life consumed by fear, but I think we always did feel the need to be vigilant about making sure Anne-Marie's health was in a good place after her diagnosis in 2006 and recurrence diagnosis in 2012. Sometimes that came out as fear or anxiety or anything else you can imagine, but a lot of times it was just a concern and a point of reference for why life was more complicated for Anne-Marie than for the average then-36-year-old.
We all have questions when life comes to this, and--if you're like me--I prefer to lob those questions at the doctors to get satisfactory answers so I can sleep at night. How long will this treatment be effective? How long until we get results? When will the pain go away? Or if you take it to the absolute extremity of your situation: How long do I have?
If you look up the statistics, Anne-Marie has beaten nearly all of them. But the actual life you live is not in the odds. God is not a mathematician. The challenge is to find Him, not among the numbers, but among the moments. And that may be hardest thing we've ever tried to do.
We celebrated Anne-Marie's special day with brunch and celebrated again with the family once we could all get it scheduled. Anne-Marie finally got that master bedroom I've been talking about for 2 years and the remodel work is nearly completed. I guess we've been partying a lot, but it's a celebration that deserves to happen.
But the surprise party actually happened 13 days after Anne-Marie's birthday when the oncologist told us that Anne-Marie's current treatment has been so effective that her blood tumor count is now at the level of a person in normal health. Because of this, quarterly scans are canceled for the first time ever.
We don't know what this means long term or next quarter or anything. We're not looking back and we're not even looking forward a whole lot.
But ask us today and right now we are so grateful to the doctors, to the lab geniuses that developed a way to put the PARP enzyme in jail and to God. We've found Him in this moment and in so many places in between.