Since Jackson has had a couple of sets of clear scans, I get asked alot "When is the party?" or "When can we celebrate?".
Let me be clear: we feel VERY happy and blessed and thankful and elated that Jackson has had not only one set, but two sets of clear scans.
However, we are not yet at the party stage.
Well, because it's not over.
When will it be over?
When he is old enough to miss soccer games or Algebra class for his scans instead of his pre-school gymnastics class, it won't be over.
When he is old enough to drive himself to his scan appointments, it won't be over.
When he has to come home from college for scans, it won't be over.
When his wife gets the call before me about the results, it won't be over.
Get the picture?
Just because cancer is gone NOW, doesn't mean it always will be.
That is the very harsh reality of the disease.
While I would LOVE to plan a party, we just aren't there yet. Maybe as time goes by and we (hopefully, prayerfully) get more clear scans we will feel more in a party mood. But at this point, we are still very aware that things could take a drastic turn in July, or October or January.
We have to be constantly vigilant about Jackson's health. Some of the chemo he received will not have a negative effect on his body for 10 or 15 years. To quote our doctor "Right now we worry about the disease and it coming back. In a few years we starting worrying about what we have done to keep it away."
Jack may not have a tumor anymore, but he has a scar from his groin to his knee.
He may not have a port anymore, but he has three scars from insertion and removal, along with permanent needle marks from numerous port accesses.
We may not go to the hospital every week for chemo anymore, but we go every ninety days for multiple scans...and if they see a single bad cell, our lives are upside down again.
For us, and so many other families fighting childhood cancer, it's just never over. I know some people can't understand that, they can't understand why we "can't move on".
And that's ok. Because you know what?
They may not have experienced what we have, or hurt as deeply as we have...so I can guarantee that they haven't loved and lived as fully as we have either.
We remain happy and thankful for every minute of every day. Even the days that aren't full of unicorns and sunshine. Those are good days too. Because they aren't promised to us.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.