Now that I am on the other side of a cancer diagnosis, I often sit back and reflect on the last year of my life. As I consider my year of early-morning snuggles and gummy bear kisses, I mostly think about how my diagnosis affected my sweet boys.

I once thought waking up in the wee hours of the morning was a strange phenomenon. I never understood the concept of waking by dawn only to be tired by 6pm. That habit never fit my cool lifestyle of sleeping until the late morning hours. As time has gone on, I have slowly acclimated to early mornings because of these little humans I affectionately call “my stinkers.”

When I heard those life-changing words, “You have cancer," a domino effect of thoughts set off inside my mind: How will this affect my kids and husband? and Will I be around for my kids in the long run?

Once we settled on a game plan for my treatments, I soon realized the cancer center would become my second home. My husband is away for work a month or more at a time, which meant my sweet and innocent babies would have to come with me to many of my appointments. I wondered what they would think seeing their mommy stuck with needles again and again. Would they feel they were missing out on the joys of being a kid? I stressed and whined over this for weeks. But boy, did I have it wrong..

I received treatment in the same cancer center where I had weekly doctor visits, blood work, port placement, and radiation, so my boys and I became very familiar with the medical staff there. My boys quickly became celebrities, walking in with their toy dinosaurs and Superman capes. They saw the treatment center as an adventure, a place that was helping their mommy feel better.

We rode the elevator as if it were a rollercoaster and raced back and forth over the skywalk to burn off some energy, stopping momentarily to play “I spy." The most fun my boys had was going with me to have my blood drawn. The sweet nurses and phlebotomist would be eagerly awaiting them with Cheetos, cookies, apple juice, and big smiles. My boys would cheer gleefully at the prospect of copious amounts of sugar and the many flights of stairs they could tackle with the extra energy!

After seeing that cancer center through the eyes of my sweet babies, my eyes were opened to the innocence and simple joys of my boys. All my worries about how this life changing diagnosis would affect them was thrown to the wayside. I watched their eyes brighten as we walked toward the cancer center each week where they believed the automatic doors opened with magic and under their authority. Watching this simple act of childish imagination overwhelmed my heart and assured me they were going to be just fine.

Some may look at children as a nuisance or immature, but I truly believe God allows children to help us grow and reach closer to Him. The Bible asks us to come to the kingdom like a child. After seeing the deep satisfaction on my boys' faces when we entered a place that is never intended to be happy, I felt a weight lift off me and I exhaled all of the worry from my lungs.

My cancer journey taught me to look at things through the eyes of a child. See adventure in all situations and go into it smiling, no matter the circumstances. I have continued to do this with more and more situations in my life, and I have grabbed my faith in Jesus Christ the same way.

There will always be hardship, but when we can remain childlike, we will have a grand adventure!!