So Close, Yet So Far

A year and 10 days ago today was when my family recieved the worst kind of news; that something serious was going on with my sister. Just a couple weeks after that, we received more bad news; that it was cancer.

10 days from now, I was planning on celebrating (and by celebrating I mean blogging about) how far we've come in a year. How last year at this time, we weren't sure what the future held. How last year during the holidays, they were bitter sweet. And now, we could put this all behind us. We could truly enjoy our holidays knowing Anna is healthy. We could celebrate the miracle God has given us.

That was the plan... until today. Last week, it was decided that one more test needed to be run before Anna's port could come out. Her scans were clear, but they decided they should check her bone marrow before taking out the port as one last precaution. Today, we found out her bone marrow showed cancer cells were still present. Which means more treatment, more unknown, more fighting, and more praying.

No one, not even her doctors expected this to be the result. We were taken aback and obviously very sad. We had come so far, we thought we had it beat. Now, we start over again. Back to square 1.

My emotions and thoughts have been all over the place today. The main thing I keep thinking is I can't believe we're back here. It was all too familiar: the sad phone calls from my parents, the promises to keep me updated, the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen next, the treatment options, all of it. All of it felt exactly as it did almost a year ago. This year was supposed to be different. This year we were supposed to have celebrations and be thankful for Anna's health. I am so disappointed, scared, and just so sad. Sad for her because she is 17 and a senior in high school. Her biggest worries should be where she is going to college, not trying to beat cancer. This is such an exciting time in her life, and I want her to enjoy that, instead she has a huge burden like cancer weighing down on her. 

Most of all, I hate being away. I am thousands of miles away and all I want to do is give my sister a hug and tell her "it will be ok" "we will get through this" and so much more. I want to be with my family who understands more than anything what I am going through, because they are going through it too. I have a great support system here; my friends and sorority sisters are amazing and supportive of not only me but also of Anna, and that is all I could ask for. But it's not the same. It's not the same as being with my family. It's not the  same as being home. And as much as my friends/ sorority sisters care and understand what I'm going through, their lives move on. They are ok. That's not to say my family is not ok, but it effects family differently than it does friends and close family friends. 

As ridiculous as it is, there is a part of me that feels guilty. Guilty for sometimes ignoring the calendar reminder that goes off every day at 12:12 to pray. Guilty for taking for granted her renewed health and not continuing to pray for continued health. Guilty because I can't do anything to make her better. My Aunt/Godmother and I exchanged messages over Facebook tonight, and she summed it up best "it is so frustrating not being able to do anything." It really is....

As much sadness and unhappiness I am feeling right now, I am also grateful. Which is a crazy thing to feel right now, but thank God we ran this test. Thank God we know that there are cancer cells present which could spread and cause irreversible damage. Thank God we can treat this, that there are options. I am so grateful that even though it sucks she has to go through more treatment, that there is treatment. That she can (and will) still beat this. This is not the end. It is just another beginning, and as much as that sucks, I would rather it be the beginning a thousand times than the end even once. My sister has proven she is a fighter and will continue to fight. This is just another bump in the road. 

What hurts the most is that we were so close to the end, but now it seems as though we are so far. It is long from the end, because we are not giving up. Anna will fight until there is no fight left because she has conquered every battle. I know that. But I would just like to fast forward to that part. 

A friend of hers posted this verse on her wall, and I thought it summed everything up perfectly "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." This should be Anna's motto. We know God is giving her the strength to get through this, and the rest of us strength to get through this. 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. My family & I definitely appreciate it! 

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