Two years.

I still have the voicemails from when my doctor called on April 26, 2021 and April 27, 2021 requesting I return her call as soon as possible.

I should have heard the words that changed by life on the 26th, but I waited until the 27th to return her call. I knew what was on the line. Ironically, I had a dream the night of the in-between that I was telling people I had cancer.

I often scroll back to this picture, snapped right before I stepped away to return that call. The final moments before life drastically changed.

This picture makes me smile and equally feel deep grief. I celebrate the girl I see in this picture, but it also reminds me how often I still grieve no longer having what life held before cancer.

Life lately has been a bit hectic. Ten days in Alabama, a few days in Nashville, home for a couple days, down to St. Louis, home for a couple weeks, Arizona for a week, home for a couple weeks, off to El Salvador. Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming, BUT.

BUT. Two years ago today I so vividly remember praying so fiercely to God that He would allow me to someday do all of those very things keeping me busy right now. I honestly did not know if I would ever get on a plane again, be able to travel, even the simple unknown of how many days I might have left.

I have said it before and I will say it again: when you live for any amount of time – short or long – not knowing if the cancer is going to kill you, your perspective will never be the same. Ever.

That said, I am human so there are admittedly days where I feel overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated. On those days I dig deep for the reminder that the very day bringing me challenges is a day I at one point questioned if I would have.

Two years later I can wholeheartedly admit there has yet to be a day where cancer did not cross my mind. Like anything, time has made it feel less paralyzing and heavy which I am grateful for. Though even with time I still find myself trying to navigate the unexpected moments of sadness and frustration of what cancer’s impact means even two years later.

Yesterday I sat with fellow warrior/diagnosis-date-twin/my dear friend Cassie. We carved out some time to get together and sit in whatever emotions might be waiting to push through the flood gates of our diagnosis anniversary. For three and a half hours there were tears, a ton of laughter, stories shared, moments of silence and multiple “gosh, we actually went through that” moments. Cassie is hands down the sweetest silver lining of cancer. I hope it is never lost on me what a blessing it was to have someone in the trenches with me (especially since COVID forced doing so much of it alone). Walking in the exact same shoes. I will always hate we both had to go through it, but I truly think God knew we would need each other (not only in it but just as much “after” it).

There are moments where it all still feels like a dream (not in the sense it was dreamy as it was in fact a nightmare, but a dream in the sense it still almost feels like it didn’t actually happen to me).  

I remember sitting down last year on this very day and typing my thoughts about hoping one day this date would pass on the calendar without me thinking anything of it. I have to admit, my sentiments today vs a year ago are different. I genuinely hope I always pause and remember April 27th.

Pause and remember so I can be grateful for all the time I have been given. Pause and remember so I can count all the blessings. Pause and remember so I can recognize how far I have come. Pause and remember so I can take time to thank people who carried me through the darkest days. Pause and remember to celebrate the miracle. Pause and remember to acknowledge God’s goodness through it all.

Pause and remember.

So what’s life look like two years later? Here’s a glimpse.

  • Being one month away from stepping on the plane to El Salvador and co-leading an incredible team with an amazing friend (something I have been praying for since 2018). For those who continue to ask, yes – you can still support. Click here, select El Sal Community Development TEAM 1, and my name should appear in the dropdown.
  • My hair being back to the same length it was when I chopped it after two chemo treatments. I knew I was going to lose it all, and my oncologist sweetly suggested I consider cutting it shorter to get used to less hair. Bittersweet.
  • Getting a call from the hospital this morning to reschedule my mammogram. Because of course they called today to reschedule the very thing that started the nightmare.
  • Going to Spanish class tonight. I have been taking classes since August. It’s been SO hard, because the impacts of chemo = my short term memory is still shot. But I keep showing up, challenging myself, and I am thankful to be able to do that.
  • Receiving an email from someone who was in my life about 15 years ago asking how to navigate breast cancer, because she found a lump and is going in tomorrow for additional testing.
  • Booking a trip to Portugal with a fellow breast cancer warrior. I cannot wait!
  • Sitting on the phone for an hour and a half a couple nights ago to chat with a gal I have never met, who lives in San Diego, and just finished her fifth chemo. She has the same type of cancer I did. Stepping into her journey to support has been an honor. It’s not always easy, but if it means giving her hope I will pick up that phone every.single.time. I need her to hear she can get through the hell she’s in, and she does not have to do any of it alone. I look forward to the day I meet her (we’re speaking it into existence).
  • Going to celebrate one of my best friend’s weddings in a couple weeks. She and I have walked through our own deep, dark valleys together. As she was coming out of her hell I was walking into mine, and she never once questioned walking through it with me. To this day her friendship is one I cherish most.
  • Sitting on hold for an hour to question a $1,400 medical bill that showed up in my mailbox yesterday. I still do not have answers for what the heck they are billing for at this point.
  • Attending concerts solo! I was at a concert in Nashville at the historic Ryman a couple weeks ago, and I am certain no concert will ever top it. I wish I could bottle up the energy of the room and how I felt, put it in a bottle, and hold onto it forever.
  • Sponsoring a new kiddo through World Vision. You will not believe when I say this, but she was born on April 27, 2021. The details of how she was put in my path seem almost impossible, but here she is. I hope she will be my constant reminder that sometimes new life and light are often woven amongst the hardest, darkest days.

Each day is a reminder of hope, struggle, gratitude, healing, joy, happiness, tough stuff and celebration.

Two years later, all I know for sure is this: There’s nothing left to do but trust God in what’s to come.

With deep love and appreciation,


Ps. I would regret not taking this opportunity to remind you to do your breast self exams and go for your annual screenings. The number of women I have sat with who are living in fear of the lump they found and the diagnosis to follow breaks my heart. Early detection of my aggressive type of cancer and quickly growing tumor saved my life. Please, please, please routinely do checks. Please.

2 thoughts on “Two years.

  1. Blessings always, Sarah! You have beautifully put your story into words showing faith, hope, and trust. You are encouraging and supportive. Prayers continue as you walk through life as a beacon of light and hope for others facing adversity. Keep being you!


  2. I think it sounds like you are navigating this journey in a remarkable way, Sarah.
    Keep living and trusting the ONE above.


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