Friends and fam,

About a month ago, my mom landed in the emergency room with the same symptoms that sent her to the hospital nearly two years ago. After a week spent in the hospital, we got the news that none of us wanted–her cancer was back, and after almost a year cancer free, Mama P vs. Cancer [Part Deux] commenced.

The worst part of all of this is that we had just begun living our lives without the burden of cancer casting a shadow over us. We were getting on with and figuring out life after cancer, things were looking up…

Until recently, my mom was feeling good and looking even better–her vibrancy and life were back.

After some difficulty getting pregnant, my sister and her husband were expecting their first baby in October and we were all overwhelmed with the anticipation of a new addition to our family.

I had started the process of harvesting and freezing my eggs with the hope that someday I, too, can experience the joy and responsibility of being a parent.

Life was going on, and all of this represented something very important–hope and faith in the future, something that cancer has tried to steal away from us many times over the past 7 years.

In typical “when life hands you lemons” “everything happens for a reason” fashion, all of these things came to a culmination on a beautiful Friday afternoon last month.

On September 30th, our little miracle, Madison Joyce Robertson, came into this world, 17 days early at 10:30 am. Ironically this was also the day [and exact hour] that my mom began her second battle with cancer and that I would receive the news that after four long months of unsuccessful tests and procedures, I would be able to start fertility treatments that would enable me to freeze some eggs and give me the opportunity to have children some day.

I haven’t yet made sense of or found the words to describe the juxtaposition of hope, love, joy, relief, fear, and worry that swirled through my body that afternoon. I felt more emotion on that one day than I’ve experienced all of my life.  But if I’ve learned anything along this journey, it’s that true pleasure and joy can only be felt when you’ve experienced the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ve learned to embrace the natural ebb and flow of life–to search for and find the silver lining in every situation–to take the good with the bad and accept that eventually, life balances out and hardship turns to happiness.

My mom has another hard fight ahead of her. It’s unfair and unfortunate that she has to battle this awful disease again, especially during a time that should be nothing but joyful and happy. It’s even more unfortunate that she missed the birth of her first grandchild because she was at chemo. It’s fortunate, however, and I’m grateful, that during this time of struggle, our family was blessed with a little miracle who is the most adorably precious distraction and our source of strength to get through this again with strength and grace.

September 30th, 2016 will go down as one of the most memorable and significant days in Sweet T History thus far, and while this new chapter that will surely bring new challenges, it will also bring new adventures. Looking forward to sharing stories of my mom kicking cancer’s ass again, the joys of being a new aunt, and probably some stories about my dog, Pittsburgh and cupcakes along the way…

-Sweet T