walking winter's lane
leaving sloggy footprints

pressing face to windowpane
breathing out our thumbprints

erasing messages we've laid
story's momentary imprint

tapping the earth's veins
secrets sparkle and glisten

It’s still cold, but perhaps my poem can invoke warmth? Christmas season reminds me of family and memories, probably because there are so many traditions associated with it. We usually make at least a couple trips this time of year to see both sides of the family, and sometimes for an extended family reunion.

Christmas 2019, 8 months pregnant and blissfully unaware that I had stage 3 breast cancer.

Between Christmas and New Year’s is also when I was diagnosed with cancer unfortunately, so that is also a memory that remains in the background of this season. On the evening of Christmas Day, 2019, my husband and I piled our two kiddos and a bunch of presents into the car and drove three hours back from my parent’s house to make my biopsy appointment, which was scheduled for the morning of December 26th.

The doctors had been urgent about fitting me in, which, in hindsight should have been a warning sign, but I’d played it off as no big deal when I told my family that we had to leave early on Christmas that year: “My doctor just wants to check on this lump in my breast– it’s probably related to the pregnancy; no big deal! But you know how doctors like to be cautious.”

Celebrating Christmas 2022 with the boys!

My parents, both of whom used to work in the health care field, nodded, though they were probably already on alert. On December 30th, I got the infamous call, and everything launched forward from there, starting off 2020 on an interesting note. Actually, looking back on how 2020 panned out, it was actually quite fitting to start off that year with a cancer diagnosis. It was a year of mystery, chaos, and infamy.

Since then, cancer has been the faded background track to my life’s melody, though the bass kicks up a notch when the winter days get short. We keep moving forward, though, as we do with any difficulties, and I never let cancer take center stage over the holidays. Instead, my family and I spend December decorating, making new memories, baking cookies and gift-giving, and celebrating everything we are grateful for.

I wish you all health, happiness, and peace on this day and every day. Merry Christmas!

9 thoughts on “Endothermic

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