To M.F.G., Thanks for the reminder

It's been three years today - since my diagnosis. It's been a full year since I've last posted. SO much has happened, it's impossible to even know where to begin. Maybe it's easiest to start with today, the three year mark. We spent it like we have in many years past, at the pool with good friends. Only this year, we had an addition to our family. Our little Camden. He's 3.5 months old and he's absolutely perfect. He looks just like his father. Today was his first time in a pool. I can't say that he liked it - but I can say he didn't cry, so I'll take that as he liked it.

"Camden" means winding valley. We thought the meaning of his name was quite appropriate considering the journey we went through before conceiving him. A cancer diagnosis is certainly a winding valley. It's a path that winds between two large mountains. Mountains that you can't see over or see past. You don't know what lay on the other side, until you're past them. And you can't climb over them. Instead all you can do is navigate through them ... along a winding valley, until you reach the foothills again. Once past the foothills, you can see what lies around you, you have an idea of what lay in front of you, but more importantly, you can now see what's behind you.

Oddly enough, lately I've been trying to remember what exactly happened while I was going through chemo. Those few weeks seem really fuzzy. Actually the whole 7 months seems fuzzy. I remember very clearly up to our wedding but my memories after the diagnosis are all cloudy. I've been trying to think of specific things that happened during that time - trying to zone in on anything, just to see if I can pull those memories from the depths. It's hard. It's not like in the movies where suddenly the suppressed memories come rushing to the surface after experiencing some magical trigger. I can pinpoint each chemo session - who was with me sitting in the hospital and how they reacted to just sitting there watching me getting infused. My mom couldn't watch. She took meetings on the phone and walked outside on the patio. She really couldn't handle it. And now, as a mother myself, I totally understand. I couldn't even imagine what that would be like to watch Cam go through that. The thought just kills me, I can't imagine what the experience would do. But when I try to pinpoint what happened in between infusions ... those weeks are just so fuzzy now.

Even though I can't remember every step of my journey through the valley -- I do remember what it took to get through the valley. I remember how I felt when I started to see the foothills on the other side. And I remember when I came out of it -- what I felt when I looked back and saw all that I've overcome. When I look back, I can't see every twist and turn in the valley -- I just see the valley and the mountains as a whole. But just because I can't see every twist and turn, it doesn't mean, on some level, that I don't remember making them. It doesn't mean I don't have scars from the scratches I got when things got a little tricky.

Earlier today I received a comment from a woman whose initials are M.F.G. Her comment actually reminded me that today was my 3 year mark. If she hadn't commented, I honestly would have forgotten. It's a hard thing to comprehend - something so serious and traumatic to a life, is so easily forgotten in the day-to-day but yet it's still so present in my mind every time Cam cries and I can't just meet his need without having to wait for a bottle to warm up.

M.F.G. - this post is for you. This post is for your fierce protection of your own journey ... your own valley. I hope your journey through the valley was memorable and not. I hope what you see around you now is crisp and that the view in front of you is as inspiring for you, as it is for me.


  1. Hi there! I just stopped by and was checking out a few of your posts. I had a quick question about your blog and was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) Thanks : )


  2. melissa -

    loved, loved, loved this post. thank you so much! i've read it over. and over. and over. :) it meant so much to me. you're absolutely right...winding valleys. i haven't heard an explanation of our journeys as accurate as yours. such a beautiful post.

    and...i have a favor. :) is it possible to change the title of post to using my initials?...that way stalkers (haha...kidding, and such) can't google me and see my "past." thank you!!!! :)

    warmly and best,

  3. hmmm...nope, my name still comes up (in the address bar)! :) i annoying, or what?!!


  4. still shows up on google. is it possible to take down and put back up again?...because in the address bar it still says my full name...which is why, i think, it comes up.

    i'm sorry to be such an inconvenience. :(


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