Going back to Mayo Clinic today came with a crazy set of nerves. The entire week leading up to today was filled with anxiety, tension and fear. From the first blood draw in March, we’ve received “bad news” every time. So of course our natural expectation for today was, well, bad news.
Today they drew blood to check if the cancer is spreading. When we were delivered the news, we just sat there – emotionless. It kind of shocked me, I figured we would either cry with sadness or jump for joy with happiness, but neither happened.
As I drove home, the tears started rolling. I still couldn’t quite articulate what I was feeling. That’s the strange thing about dealing with cancer…because it’s so unpredictable by nature, it produces the same unpredictability in emotions as well.
After about 30 minutes, I got a silly text from Brien. We started bantering back and forth, lightheartedly and free. My final text to him before writing this was….”It feels good to laugh.” His response, “Yes, it does.”
So here is what the doctor told us. Brien’s PSA level is 0. That means that as of today, he is cancer free.
Although we will continue to monitor every 3 months for the next couple of years, for today we got what we’ve been waiting and praying for…..a dose of good news.
I have a mad love for the number zero right now.
Thank you to The Tee-Shirt Shoppe of Anthem for creating our awesome T-Shirts!
I’ve written several posts over the past few months about our experience with cancer. It’s true, this situation catapulted my gratitude for my husband to new heights, but it does not define our relationship or why I love and appreciate him.
Today is our 9th wedding anniversary so I can’t think of a better time to reflect on our union and just how magical the journey has been.
Brien and I starting communicating online via Match.com in the Spring of 2005 . Neither of us was really looking for anything serious. I was just a year out of a divorce, while Brien was about 3 years out from loosing his daughter (Jordan) at birth and wife (Marci) to cancer. When I got the request to chat from him, I thought, “why not…he lives in Phoenix and I live in Albuquerque, this will not lead to anything.” I was intrigued with his profile – he was very handsome, but had a gentleness about him too. I didn’t suspect an ounce of arrogance in the way he presented himself and I was really impressed with his open love for God. We started chatting and before I knew it, we were a real live version of the movie, You’ve Got Mail. He quickly became that person I wanted to talk to every day, my best friend.
If you ask Brien, he will tell you that I grilled him on every subject imaginable. I wanted to know his thought process and what made him tick. We had such easy conversation and because we were in different states, neither of us was trying to impress. We were being our true selves and found that we connected on a deep level.
After about 9 months of a strict email relationship (with maybe 1 or 2 phone calls), we decided to meet. I worked in pharmaceutical sales at the time and had a meeting scheduled in Phoenix. I knew Brien lived in Phoenix, but wasn’t sure where. When I found out he lived in Anthem, the same community I was staying in with a friend, I realized that I was starting to see a series of signs that this might be more than an online friendship.
I remember the night we met like it was yesterday. It was December 2005. He was wearing jeans and a black jacket. I matched him well in flared black capri’s and a two toned silk blouse. He brought flowers for me and a bottle of wine for the friends I was staying with. I felt at home with him right away. From his fresh smell and clean, organized car, to his respect and thoughtfulness with every move – everything about him was just classy. We went to dinner at Tonto Bar & Grill and from that night on, I knew I was in for something special.
He came to visit a couple of weeks later for New Year’s. It was the first time he met Noah and he showered him with belated birthday gifts. Bringing some cute Nike outfits and a tiny Nike soccer ball for my boy who had turned 2 in October, was just about the sweetest thing he could have done. Noah was a reserved child. It took him time to warm up to people and I don’t ever recall him giving a complete stranger a hug, much less a hello. But with Brien? Well, he ran right into his arms and acted like he had known him forever. We later found out that Noah was conceived the exact day that Marci passed away. Coincidence? We don’t think so. We are big believers in great cosmic experiences.
Without going into the fine details of all the challenges we faced over the next year, I will just say there were ALOT. The cards were stacked against us but God had a plan and against all odds, we ended up together when I moved to Phoenix in October 2006. I will never forget how scared I was leaving my family, friends, job and everything I knew to move to Phoenix where I knew only one person other than Brien. I remember driving with that U-Haul and my 3 year old son knowing that I was doing the right thing, despite my fears. We moved in with Brien in his small house in the Anthem Country Club and began our new life.
The next couple of years we learned each other’s patterns and navigated the waters of merging our worlds and the baggage that came with them. Brien went from being a full-blown bachelor to suddenly having a live in girlfriend and her son. We found our way.
We got married on September 14, 2008. We had a quaint wedding in Sedona with immediate family only. It was my fairy tale wedding, with horse & carriage and all. I had the honor of having my Father give me away and my son carry the rings down the isle. The pastor from our church traveled up to Sedona to marry us and we had every member of our immediate family there as we exchanged vows at the Chapel at Tlaquepaque. It was the perfect day.
The day after our wedding we decided to go see a psychic, because well – that’s what you do in Sedona. On the way to see her, I mentioned to Brien that I really like the name Charlee for a girl. He agreed that it was a cute name but reminded me that he absolutely did not want any more children. When we got to the psychic she immediately told us that a little soul was wanting to come through and encouraged us to not stop her. She looked Brien straight in the eyes and said, “Ready or not Daddy, here I come.”
That night, I witnessed something spectacular. As we were lying in our room in Sedona, I saw 3 orbs of lights entering the room. One large, one medium and one very small. I had no idea what it was at the time, but it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
2 weeks after we were married I found out I was pregnant. Brien had me take a gazillion pregnancy tests because he was in utter shock, but once he saw the word PREGNANT on a digital test, he realized there was no error. I then knew what the orbs were…..two angels delivering the newest spirit to our tribe.
Charlee came into the world on June 2, 2009 and brought so much healing to Brien and our family. We went from a broken, single mom in Albuquerque and a widowed man in Phoenix, to a happy family of 4 (with 2 dogs and a cat).
Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Has it been worth it? You better believe it. You see, before Brien, I had no idea what it was like to have that partner who unconditionally loves you. I had no idea what it was like to have a partner believe in you so much that you could take huge risks like leaving a job and starting a business. I had no idea that you could love someone so much that you would leave life as you know it to start over in the name of love.
When God made Brien, he must have been thinking of me. He is the wind beneath my wings and my perfect match.
So thank you Match.com – for providing the medium for two souls to connect and create their happily every after. Although we are 12 years in with our relationship and celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary today, our story has just begun.