One Year Later…


This photo was taken one year ago today. December 31, 2014. It had been a very long week, of trips to Eugene, an MRI, a few ultrasounds and a biopsy. The end result was a diagnosis of breast cancer and “a very large tumor.” The whole holiday season had been quite brutal before I even discovered the mass. We had a lot of changes going on in our business, an office remodel and my favorite time of year had well, been a total dismal disaster. Our 11 year old daughter single handedly decorated the house, the Christmas tree had been an after thought and then I found this strange mass in my left breast on Christmas Eve.

Mr. Wonderful and Ryan (Aimee’s husband) met me at the boat launch near our house. We needed to process and regroup before we faced the kids. The season had been so horrible that I remember saying through choking sobs… “Well if this was my last Christmas,  it was the worst f—–g Christmas ever!” Yes, I have a way with words. Mr. Wonderful chuckled a nervous chuckle, half in shock that the “F” word just came flying out of my mouth and the other part trying to soothe my fear that this was not indeed the end. Ryan, who is as gregarious as me normally, was stoic and quiet and patiently reminding me that I was not Aimee and that I was going to travel a different road than she did.

If you have been following along for any length of time then you already know the rest of the story. For those of you who are new feel free to go back to posts from the beginning of last year and share in the story of one girl’s adventure through breast cancer treatment.

This Christmas was so very different. I had time to read through Advent, we had several adventures with friends at various community events including an epic sock fight during the snowball scene in the movie Elf at a local theater. I was able to attend the kid’s Christmas parties in their classrooms and although our youngest sported a fever for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after, it was peaceful and we were together and there was no fear or worry or sadness.

A lot has changed in a year. I am not the same person that I was. I have different dreams, different desires and a different perspective on life. Some of this I wrestle with as the hopes for my future no longer match up with the hopes that others desire for me. I am wrestling with the whole notion of living with an eternal perspective instead of a worldly one. I have spent most of my life looking around me instead of looking up. Every day there are a million decisions to be made. Are my decisions going to honor God or honor man?

I have to admit that stepping back into life has been hard. I think I have mentioned this before but it’s like I’ve been living on a desert island for a year and now I have been plopped back in to the land of the living and everything has changed. Lives have moved on and in some ways I just want to stay home and hide away from the world. Maybe deep down I think that if I hide then nothing bad will happen. Obviously that is ridiculous and my head knows that hiding does nothing to stop the world from spinning but I am still trying to convince my heart.

I knew on the 1st day of 2015 that my whole year was going to evolve around cancer treatment. 2016 is a whole different ballgame. My prayer in my journal this morning,

I have no idea what this year will hold but I do know that it is in your hands. Please help me to stay as close to you as possible so that whatever may come, that I will trust and not fear.

So here’s to a better and brighter 2016! Thank you again for following along, good things are coming and I am excited for what is in store for all of us!

Feel free to add your e-mail address to the updates section so you won’t miss a thing as we head into a new year of adventure and promise.

Happy New Year, All!!

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  1. Christine Williford says

    Oh Tiff, I’m excited for you my friend. You have been a true inspiration. You have challenged each of us to look up instead of around. God Bless you for sharing your journey.

  2. What a great pic. You both look happy and good. Your story is truly inspirational. although there must be an easier way to “not be the same person I was a year ago”. As we look about amongst family and friends there are lot of things different now than a year ago. Just ask Yvonne or Todd. It seems like a major event such as yours will certainly never be forgotten, , time will dim most of the pain, discomfort, and fears and give away to a more optimistic and faith-driven future. It will also change our prayers to those of thanks-giving. At the end of the day that Todd successfully came through a 7 hour liver surgery it was my turn of offer our nightly prayer. All I could think of to say was “Thank You” and proceed to specify the many blessings leading up to that moment.. Nothing else had greater urgency for us than that. I knew we would continue to be looked after.
    Way to go! Hope to see you soon.

    See ya

    • Thank you, Uncle Kent! It has been quite a year for a lot of Olson’s huh? I am thrilled to be where I am today. The blessings are truly too many to count. We continue to pray for Todd and for many blessings for the Utah Olsons. Praying for a brighter future for us all!❤️

  3. Russ Pierson says

    Brilliant and lovely, Tiffany–just like its author.

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