Last year is marked by photographs and calendar entries. Because of my terrible memory, without these helps, the only event I might remember is the birth of my first grandchild, a lovely baby. I can see her in my memory without prompts. She has dark eyes and hair, like her Colombian mother. She has a smile that takes over her face,and eagerly explores her environment, like my son. I was with them throughout the long, difficult labor, as was her Colombian abuela. And I have enjoyed her in every moment time and circumstances have permitted in the six months since.
I have a new loved one to feel sad about. I wish it weren’t so, but it’s true for me that every moment of acute joy is tinged with a bittersweet sorrow. Will this be the last Christmas, the last New Years Day? Will this be the last family holiday where I am able to host a crowd, or take a long walk with the dogs? Even tho I have been an exceptional responder to my estrogen blocking injections, the diagnosis of MBC has no cure. There will come a time when this treatment will fail, and then the next, and so on, until there are no more, or I chose to leave the pain behind.
Of course, there is hope. I hope my PET/CT scan from last week continues to show no progression. I hope that I will still be an outlier next year. I hope that the many small gains in research will add up to a cure in time to change my prognosis. And surely I hope for a life filled with meaning here and now, and an unimaginable future in my heavenly home. I hope the same for each of you.