It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. We’ve been living our best COVID life, you might say. Chad tested positive and so our household had to be under quarantine. It didn’t affect my routine a whole lot, but poor Libby and Chad aren’t use to being stuck at home with me for that long. Thankfully, we have the best family and friends that checked in on us and delivered supplies when we needed them. Our symptoms were pretty mild, mainly manifesting in some head cold type of symptoms. Eventually, we all loss our sense of smell, which is still so weird. Libby and I never officially went and got tested. We just assumed we were contagious and stayed in. If we were going to be stuck at home, it was as good a time as any, I guess. The pattern of snowfalls that we were stuck in made it easier to just “want” to be at home. It made me thankful that last year wasn’t nearly as snowy, since we were driving back and forth to Riley so often.
Often times, I don’t let myself look at my Facebook memories, but on Valentine’s Day last week, I let myself look. I honestly couldn’t remember where we were a year ago. My Facebook memories kindly reminded me. Sarah and I were in the middle of one of her longest hospital stays. Her tumor had grown and we were trying a different kind of chemo. They were preparing us for a very drastic amputation, if something didn’t change. It would have been a “forequarter amputation” which basically means they were planning to remove her arm and shoulder all the way to her collarbone. The memories came flooding back. It was a hard Valentine’s Day last year. We were worried sick about what was to come and how to prepare for whatever it was going to be. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes I wonder if an amputation would have prolonged Sarah’s life, but I also have to admit, I think it would have sucked the life right out of her. She didn’t want to lose her arm, but I didn’t want her to lose her life. However, knowing how aggressive her cancer was, even with an amputation, her cancer probably was spreading. I know we’ll never know for sure. So, I’ll just have to trust. I know that it played out exactly like God wanted it to. If you know the rest of the story, than you know that her tumor miraculously began to die and shrank back to the point that the surgeon was able to do a complete arm resection surgery. He removed her original tumor and she had 100% clear margins after all the pathology reports came back negative for cancer. Her tumor was donated for research. I guess you could say that there are parts of Sarah’s DNA that are still alive in a lab somewhere. Weird to think about, but hopefully, it will help lead to the end of osteosarcoma in the future.
So, this Valentine’s Day looked a lot different. There was still no romantic dinner or date night with my husband-thanks to COVID. However, it was way better than last year for all of us, including Sarah. When I start to feel sorry for myself because I don’t get to be with her, I just stop and imagine her- whole and healthy-smiling, somewhere in heaven. I’m so glad she doesn’t have to live in a bubble here. I’m so glad she’s not at risk for COVID, or more cancer, or any other disease, or sickness that this broken world can give her. Nothing can ever hurt her again. I miss her so much every day. Ultimately, I feel that God loaned Sarah to us for 15 short years and I’m thankful that He allowed her to sing, play piano, and continue to be her joyful self around us, until it was time for her to go home to be absolutely perfect. Grieving with hope makes it so much more bearable.