Monday, June 23, 2008

5 years of purpose

So, how many of you wondered why June 21st was so significant? From the emails I received, I am guessing that just about everyone knew. However, if you did not, here goes. June 21, 2003 was the date that Sydney was diagnosed with stage 4 n-myc amplified neuroblastoma. I know you can do the math but I just love saying it myself. That is exactly 5 years. Wow! To be honest, its true significance is murky. It does not offer any guarantees. It isn't a date that screams cure or means much more than the day before. However, it is a milestone and one for which we hoped and prayed. Since diagnosis it is a beacon that has sat out on the horizon and it feels so good to be here. She made it. 5 years. Incredible. I can't wait to see what the next 5, 10, and 25 will bring.

Ironically I was actually up at the hospital on Saturday. It just so happens that I was visiting with another family whose son was in transplant. That afternoon 1 or 2 of the nurses from the very first days of diagnosis were there. There we stood and chatted right outside room 3009. The very room she was diagnosed in. Had I stayed until roughly 9:00 PM I would have stood in the very shadow of our family's diagnosis. It was nice to reminisce. After all, so much of our lives were born behind those walls. To this day, I still hate that Sydney was diagnosed with neuroblastoma but I am still (surprisingly to many) so thankful for the experience. Sounds strange doesn't it? I can guarantee that there are other parents that are probably cursing those words. But, it did bring our family together. It made us stronger and, in the end, happier. We have learned to appreciate each and everyday. Personally, it has given my life meaning and purpose. It has transformed us. In this way we have been truly blessed. I am thankful for each and every gift that we have been given - from Sydney's toleration of that first round of chemotherapy to her building a carousel out of k-nex last night. We have been a lucky and blessed family.

I don't know what today holds and I certainly don't know what will lay before us tomorrow. Life offers no guarantees. Until then we will continue to live in the moment, full of purpose and appreciation. We will continue to remember that life is perspective and that we have the choice of how we live each and everyday.

Thank you for five years of purpose. May there be many, many more.

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