Proceed with Caution

I had a conversation with a dear friend the other day. We were both talking about our plans for the near future. She was asking me specific questions about my plans and I was continually at a loss as to where Joel and I will go from here. For the past year any plans that I had personally were thrown out the window and our sole focus was getting Joel well. Our only conclusive plans were doctor’s appointments and chemo dates. Nothing else was ever set in stone because life changed from day to day-sometimes minute to minute -all depending on Joel’s health. This use to not be the case for me, I had always been a planner.  Ever since the beginning of our marriage Joel and I always had a plan for where we wanted to be, how long we wanted to be in our first home, when we wanted to have children, how much we wanted in our savings, places we wanted to travel etc. I found safety and security in those plans and never thought they would deceive me. Then one day, almost a year ago, life took my plans ripped them apart, crumpled them up into a ball and threw them in the trash. For the longest time I was reeling from the total and complete lack of control. I never knew what would happen in the course of a day. Ask me my 5 year plan and I would just have to laugh-sometimes I didn’t even know my 5 minute plan. Yet here we now stand. Chemo will finish in 10 weeks. What happens next? The truth is I don’t know. I do know that a large part of me feels very afraid. I am afraid to start to plan for the future, afraid to wade back into normalcy. Our ordeal will never truly be completely over-our lives will never truly be the same. For the first few years Joel will have frequent tests to be sure that this disease doesn’t return. It will be 5 years before they consider him truly in the clear and even then tests will be a part of his life for the rest of our lives. It is always at the back of your mind, because you never forget how in one moment-one bad test can change everything. In the next few months we will have to make some really important decisions on how to rebuild our life, get Joel well and back to work and figure out how to prepare for our future. There are still questions about jobs, savings, children and many other things that I don’t even know how to properly tackle yet. What I do know is that we can’t live in fear. We can’t put our entire life on hold until we hit the 5 year cancer-free mark. We can’t worry about what’s to come because the truth is you never know what will happen from one day to the next because none of us are ever guaranteed the next day. On that point alone I was living in a false sense of security. Bad news like what we faced puts in perspective that we can make all the plans that we want but sometimes life has other plans. You learn to deal with that because you don’t have any other choice. So as for our future I still don’t really know. What I do know for now is that I am very thankful for each day. And I am very thankful for even being able to talk about our future because for a really long time we didn’t know if we would be able to have a future together. So we take each other’s hand and move forward each day into the unknown-just thankful for the gift of another day and for every moment no matter where it takes us. Our life certainly hasn’t worked out according to our plans in almost any way, but I am ok with that. I am not in control, and I am ok with that, because I never really was. You know that quote “I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future”? Well it couldn’t be any truer for us. And I’m at the point now where that’s all we really need.