26.

I was 25 and still alive.
As of yesterday, I am now 26 (!!!)

Wow, its now official: I have spent exactly half of my life battling cancer, age 13 being my origin, my first cancer diagnosis. And, come to think of it, back then at 13 years old I only had a 25% chance of survival.

I’m now 26. You do the math. (Or ask my mathematician father)

And yet, despite relapse after relapse after relapse, I’m still here now, at 26. And I can tell you honestly it’s all by God’s immense goodness and graces: the amazing doctors, nurses, and medical team He’s given me, my wonderful family with parents who would drop everything for me, friends whose laughter, comfort and support are deep reflections of His Love, and fellow cancer survivor brothers and sisters who also steady me…you see, it’s all really about relationship as to why I am still here and existing, typing all these things to you.

Age 25 definitely did not go as expected: relapsing again after a year of being done with my last treatments was not part of the plan. I finally felt like I was becoming an adult with a full time job and returning back to my crazy household of roommates. 25 brought sadness with the death of Skylor and uncertainties of trial drugs and treatments and with that days—weeks—of deep angry waves of anxiety, dragging me in hurricane thoughts and worries, throwing me onto my bed for dark periods of time.

Although 25 did not go as I would have expected, I didn’t care about those things at all as I celebrated its end and welcomed 26 into my life last night. 26 brought new experiences already, adventuring to places I had never been to, enjoying free Jeni’s ice cream (who doesn’t like to start a new year like that?!), duck-bowling with old friends and new. My first full day of 26—July 12, 2017—was surrounded by joy. At 26, I don’t feel sick but instead ecstatic joy.

Help me Lord to cling to the joy you give me daily.
Help me at 26 to be marked by this, marking and transcribing the days with gratitude and hope.

2 thoughts on “26.

  1. Jenna, I found this link on an NCH Facebook page. Your story is truly incredible, and so similar to my own. I’m 25 years old and a survivor of multiple relapses of osteosarcoma. I was treated at NCH and now I’m an employee there. Like you, I faced each day by the grace of God–faith is everything. Thank you for your boldness in sharing your faith and allowing God to use you to minister to other people through your journey with cancer. I would love to meet you someday–keep fighting the good fight!

    Like

    • Sara, that is incredible! I would love to meet you! I’m assuming you are still in the Columbus area? It would be such a blessing to meet and connect with you. Thanks for reaching out to me! This is such an encouragement for me and timely!

      Like

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