Once a year, I make a journey back to the Hospital where I did my cancer treatments 11 years ago. Each year, they do some routine blood work and scans to confirm that I’m still in the clear, which I have been every year since 2001.
It is a break from my normal activities but it is always a walk down memory lane. I drive past the family medicine clinic where I received the initial diagnosis and the parking lot where I sat in my car and cried while telling my parents. I walk past the clinic where I met my first oncologist and got to know the reception staff as I checked in every two weeks for 6 months before going upstairs for chemotherapy. I find my way down to the sub-basement where I received my radiation treatments and think about the tattoos (my wife loves telling people about those.) I think of all the doctors and nurses I met and patients I saw in my combined 15 months of treatments over a 3 year period.
This time, as I drove up for the first time in 12 months, I was surprised that the hospital has built a brand new cancer center. They are known worldwide for this so it’s understandable. But the memory spots are gone. A few of the reception staff are the same but it’s a beautiful new building and most people I used to see have retired or moved on. This has been happening over the last 11 years but today it seems in one fell swoop, change has overtaken my memories.
I know, of course, that I have moved on in many ways also. Married, two children, a degree, and a few job changes since all of this happened. But I don’t ever want to forget the work God did in me during that time. These annual treks used to be a string of reminders, but those are fading. I will have to look for other ways to keep the memories fresh. Maybe I will write that book I started thinking about 11 years ago. Whatever it takes to continue giving God the glory He is due. The hospital may have moved on, but I am committed to never forget.
What about you? Anything you need to move on, but not forget?