When my clock turned to 3:45 today, all I could do was picture my parents and my sister sitting in the doctors office, hearing the news of my dad's test results. I put myself into prayer mode and waited for my phone.
"It's excellent news", she said.
As she began to tell me about the tumors shrinking, tears formed in my eyes. I wanted to cry, I wanted to run around and skip, I wanted to scream. I was beyond thrilled. I am relieved beyond measure. I am more grateful than I have ever been in my life.
This means its working. The medicine is working. My dad is fighting hard, and he's kicking ass!
I was shaking when I hung up. I was so excited. I also happened to be in the middle of an e-mail to my coworkers about something else. So I quickly added a little paragraph about my dad, and immediately I got responses from people saying how happy they were to get this news. My coworkers have been extremely supportive of me throughout this entire thing, so to share my good news with them was something I wanted to do, and I was very touched to see all of their responses.
This good news is a big step for us. It is a huge weight off our shoulders. It is a hug from God. It is a blessing. It is, as my dad would say, a small miracle.
I think back now to how totally terrified we were that first day that my dad was in the hospital, and how far we have come since then. Obviously we had a right to be scared, and that fear still creeps in sometimes, but now we can celebrate and be grateful.
We have had so many people on our side. Some who we don't even know very well. It is a beautiful feeling to know you have a team of people cheering you on and praying for you. To each of you that have prayed, called, texted, e-mailed, and stopped to ask how we are doing, millions and millions of hugs going out to you. Millions.
This is not the end of the road- my dad will continue to have these test frequently. We know that, and we are ready. We can take anything on. We are #carolinstrong .
The most important lesson I have learned through my dad's diagnosis is this: hold your loved ones close. Do not ever hold back your love for them. Tell them, frequently, what they mean to you. Also, do not underestimate what your kind words can mean to someone else. So many times through this whole thing, just a simple hand squeeze, hug, or "how are you doing?" have meant the world to me. Oh, and one more thing: little, silly things that bring you down? They don't matter. Do not let them consume you.
I love you all.
PS: Yesterday in my letter to Laurence I asked him to give me some U2 songs today as a sign of comfort. He gave me three. It really was a...drum roll please...Beautiful Day.