How do I begin to tell you how happy we are? How can I tell you what it is like to be done? To know that I never have to implement "steroid rules" again, or wake Brinley up to take her oral chemo, or watch them inject poison meant to kill her blood cells into her veins, or explain why most of the rules don't apply to Brinley when she is on chemo? Or to know that I will never, never have to look at her "chemo eyes" again and be helpless, or that in two weeks, we won't be gearing up again for chemo week, or that when we tell people she BEAT cancer we get a happy reaction instead of telling people she HAS cancer and getting a sad one.....I could go on and on.

Brinley has been running around like a little happy wind up toy. David and I have a theory that her oral chemo (that she has been taking for almost 2 years) had put her in a constant state of not feeling well. In the beginning of it she was nauseous a lot, but it eventually went away. We have decided she must have just gotten used to not feeling well because she is clearly acting very differently. She is just so happy. Brinley has always been a funny girl, but she has had us laughing more than usual, mostly because it is nice to see her so happy and silly.

Truly, we are stuck up in some cloud right now, I believe it may be number 9, and I haven't seen it for quite some time. It reminds me of right after I got married, how happy I was, or after every baby. The kind of happy that doesn't last forever, because then it wouldn't mean anything. You only get that kind of happy a few times in your life. This is one of them for us, and I am trying to bask in it before it leaves.....and gets replaced with a general "happy" that I will also be grateful for.

I am finding that many people don't realize what I mean when I say my daughter just went off treatment for cancer. I have been so anxious to shout it from the rooftops, and some of the reactions are "oh, cool." Eh? Did you NOT just hear what I said? I can't blame them really, unless you watch a replay of the last 2+ years how could you possibly know what that means? The battle that has been fought by a 2 year old, all the way to 4 year old. No, I couldn't possibly expect people to understand. So many times I keep it to myself. At the grocery store, when the checker says "How are you?" I want to reply with "I am superbly, fabulously, wonderfully, gloriously happy. My 4 year old just spent more than half of her life battling cancer. She has been to hell and back. We all have. And now, well now the burden has been lifted, and I realize how heavy it was because I feel so light I could float away." (I picture myself rising in the air as I speak.) I can't give that speech for an "oh, cool." So I usually just say great, I think that goes over better.

I can tell the difference you know. Between a person who is truly happy for us and someone who is just going through the motions of congratulations. Not that it even matters, but I love the sincerity I have seen too, from someone who "gets" what going off-treatment means to us. So many wonderful friends, family, strangers, who can catch a glimpse, even if you haven't been through it, of the marathon we have just run. I hope you know I am grateful for that.

We went to the HopeKids movie on Saturday and it was a full circle moment for me personally. Here's why: the very first HopeKids activity we went to was a movie, and before the movie, this man with a funny hat and a microphone (hi C.R.:)) had a little girl stand up who had just finished treatment. I had never experienced this before. Brinley was in the beginning phases of treatment and it was a hard place. I was moved to tears of happiness for her. It was the most sincere happy I have ever been for anyone in my life. And she was a complete stranger. Brinley got to go into two FULL theatres full of cancer families to announce her off-treatment news, and they cheered for her, and I knew that they were as happy for her as I had been for that little girl two years ago. Even if they are in a hard place....

(Just to get this out of the way, if you care enough to be reading this blog, I would group you in the "get it" group. Just wanted to set that straight in case you are sitting there thinking "which group does she put ME in?")

So we are just happy right now. Ready for the next phase of life, whatever that may be. And if a curve-ball gets thrown at us, so be it. We have this time, right here, right now, to be the happiest we have ever been and I will cherish and thank God for it forever. No matter what.