Two Years

This piece was originally posted by Tabitha Radermacher on the CaringBridge page for her daughter, Bella, who was diagnosed with stage IV hepatoblastoma on April 28, 2017.

If you would have told us two years ago that our life would be flipped upside down and turned inside out to the point where all we breathe and think about is all the medical lingo and exams, we would have laughed in disbelief.

If you would have told me two years ago that I would lose all my current passions and social life, only to slowly find what sparks my interest, I wouldn't have believed you.

We definitely wouldn't have believed you if you would have told us that we would find unimaginable strength in the darkest valleys.

Two years ago, I couldn't have imagined doing medical research when the rest of my family is sleeping, just so I could fully understand what was happening.

I never imagined having my beliefs of natural medicine tested and placed on the side of the playing field.

Bella, after her tumor biopsy, the day before she was diagnosed with cancer

If someone mentioned that Ian would grow up in the hospital, watching his sister receive chemo and other treatments, we would have laughed and said that was a bad nightmare.

Two years ago. What we wouldn't give to go back to days leading up to April 28, 2017, where we thought we were in control of our life's plan and dreams.

Who would have thought that two years ago, we were given the title "cancer" and all the baggage that comes with it- the stares from others while in public; the hair falling out in clumps; loss of appetite; fear of death; medical appointments upon medical appointments; and all the unexpected "bumps."

It's been two years since our oncologist sat us down to confirm what was predicted prior to biopsy results- stage IV hepatoblastoma. The world stopped at that very moment; breathing ceased. How could our seemingly healthy 4-year-old have stage IV liver cancer?

Our journey has been two long years. Our family has been split apart more days than actually together. We have missed countless holidays, birthday parties, funerals, baby showers and weddings. We have grown in countless ways. We have questioned and screamed at God more times than not. However, we have seen Him carry us through the most uncertain times. He's shed His light in the most discreet ways showing us that we are loved.

Along this bumpy journey, we have met some of the most wonderful (medical) families who just "get" it. They have made the hard days, easier. They have been there for the most joyous occasions. They were there when most turned away. We have never would have met these wonderful families without the title of cancer.

Bella during a hospital stay in February 2019

It's been two years since our journey started. It seems like combination of a quick blink of an eye and the longest two years experienced. When we started this journey, we were determined to not allow cancer ruin our life. We were going to take it day by day, focusing on the good even on the days were things seemed grim- some days it was a heavy task to find the good.

We want to thank you for all the support and love you have showered on us in the last two years. We are so loved and thank you for that.

Written by Tabitha Radermacher
Tabitha is mom to two children, Bella and Ian. Bella was diagnosed wtih hepatoblastoma, liver cancer, in April 2017. Tabitha and her husband, Travis, live in Ortonville, Minnesota. Learn more about Bella's story.

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