The invincible light

There are certain days in our lives that will forever be embedded in our minds. It can be amazing days — days when you receive your first kiss, days when your significant other declares their love for you, days when you finally receive that big promotion or get that spot on that team you’ve worked so hard to earn. It can also be not so amazing days — days when a loved one perishes, days when you miss that opportunity you’ve been waiting so long to get, days when you receive the life changing news of a terminal illness. Good or bad, you remember the significant days, the days that really mean something, that really affect you. While I have my share of glorious days and many marked dates that hold a special place in my heart, this past week held a day that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It was the day that I got sick.

Last year on April 15, 2012, the beginning of my sometimes seemingly endless medical journey commenced. It was the first night of many more to come of confusion, pain, and worry. A night spent in the emergency room, the doctors had believed my liver was enlarged and thought surgery may have been necessary. A month later I had my gallbladder removed for insufficient productivity. Seven months later, I had brain surgery. It’s been quite a year.

Looking back on all of it now, the whole situation seems so surreal to me. I know I’ve said that countless times, but honestly it is hard for even myself to believe that only almost four months ago I was laying in a hospital bed, barely able to walk, with three IV’s in one arm, two in the other, and a multitude of drugs flowing through my system. Sometimes it almost seems as if it is all a dream, that parts of the last year are just some crude and unbelievable nightmare my brain somehow deviously constructed on its own to torture me. And then there are other times when I am so overwhelmed with the blessings and transformations God has put into my life I am literally brought to tears. In other words, I am just one big hormonal teenage mess. But I have it good.

When I was going through the worst of it all though, which mostly consisted of the days immediately preceding and succeeding my most recent surgery, oddly I was never that scared, or really even worried about all the things that could have gone wrong. I think now, reflecting back on it all, is when I have better realized the severity of my situation and just how close to so many dreadful things I really was. Getting through that surgery with the success and nonexistent complications that I had is incredible. As my mother puts it, Dr. Shahinian was on his game that day, performing flawlessly and ultimately saving my life.

So it’s April again, and one more year has come and gone. My life is entirely different and has been turned upside down, sideways, and turned round and round multiple times since this time last year. I’m not the same person that I used to be, and I can honestly say that I have changed for the better. My experiences and trials have shaped me into the young woman that I am today, and I’m proud of who and what they have made me. As this time of year will always remain extremely significantly for me, I am confident that I have an infinite number of much happier, rewarding times awaiting me. And even when the inevitable adversity arises, I know now that nothing can defeat me when I have the strength of my faith and family and friends behind me. As Albert Camus said, for in the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. May the sun shine forever.