Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 won't be missed.

As they say, out with the old and in with the new.  Personally I'd like to punt 2011 out, and slam the door.  You won't be missed 2011, not one bit.  Although it wasn't 100% bad and terrible, we had some amazing moments and made some beautiful memories, but unfortunately most of it was outweighed by the sorrow, anger, and endless sleepless nights. 

In 2011 we hit the most intense part of Brinley's cancer treatment.  This of course, went hand in hand with vomiting, headaches, tummy aches, burning bones, hair loss, hospitalization, fevers, steroid rages, endless eating, and the big bad world of  nadir.  Countless hours spent pacing the hallways of the Children's Hospital, silently telling yourself everything will be ok, blowing through boxes of Kleenex because try as you may, the tears just won't stop. Early morning appointments fighting with a very sick and grumpy Brin, begging her not to eat because, again has to go for a "big sleep" even though she had one last week, and the week before.  Days helping Brinley navigate the house without hurting herself because the nerves in her legs don't respond so quickly, and she's so doped up on her synthetic marijuana to keep her appetite up and prevent her from vomiting.  These are just a few things 2011 had in store for us, and I hate to sound like a broken record so I'll stop with the gore.

2011 also held some amazing moments for us as well.  My lovely friends got together and threw us a fundraiser, to this day I cannot wrap my brain around, and then on top of it, a garage sale.  These girls really saved a lot of my sanity, and I'll never forget, and will always be grateful for their friendship.
We also had a trip of a lifetime to Disneyworld.  I love hearing the kids talk about it to this day.  I love hearing over and over again the best moments they had in Florida.  Feeding the dolphins, princess and pirate makeovers, teacups, space mountain, and oddly enough, putting on their swimsuits and splashing in the Florida down pours.  And of course the move! I'm still not sure if I'd call it "amazing" but instead maybe a bit frightening. It's one thing to uproot your family and move, forget a new home, new location, but we're dealing with a new country, new medical system, new doctors, new new new, different different different.  I do love living here though, I love the weather, and I love seeing old friends and their new families.  I'm still getting use to the medical system and all of the lingo that goes with it.  But given this last year, I've proven to myself that I can handle new words, terminology, and change.  Change is the inevitable, change forces you to move forward and evolve.

So here's to hoping 2012 is boring, and if it has to be anything other than boring, let it be positive.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

1 year, cancer free

..only a day late

Here we are at another milestone, Brinley has reached her one year, cancer free.  One of the few days I've felt a tinge of relief, and a bit of the weight had been lifted.  With weekly chemo appointments, and 30 days of steroids, we pretty much had a completely different child. I remember thinking, "will she ever be herself again?"  I was so angry that she was different, she had changed not just physically, but her whole demeanor changed.  It was like the life had been completely sucked out of her along with the cancer.

Last year I was given the best Christmas present when the doctor told us Brinley was in remission.  Leading up to the holidays I was checked out.  I could careless if there was Christmas, or festivities, I wanted no part of it.  I wanted to crawl into bed with my baby, hold her tight and wake up when the nightmare was over.  But as parents, you wear the smile on the outside and push through the pain to give your children the best positive environment possible.  I was saved by the fact I had Christmas shopped in October and bought the kids their gifts (which NEVER happens, I'm always last minute).  Our usual "invite everyone" Christmas dinner of 17, was cropped down to the 4 of us, my parents and Blake's great gram.  I just couldn't deal with people around me, just in case someone exposed the happy lie, a crack in the "foundation of me". I couldn't risk falling apart on Christmas day.  I didn't want to be sad, angry, or happy, I just wanted to be still.

This year, I'm looking forward to celebrating, I'm excited to wake up at 6am to squealing kids that Santa has been here!  I look forward to them tearing open their gifts and helping them set it up. I anticipate Christmas dinner and sitting down with my family and celebrating, not just the holidays, but celebrating that Brin has been cancer free for a year.  I am grateful to be able to celebrate with our family at home, I'm thankful to amazing friends who let me rant and rave without passing judgement.  I'm thankful to my amazing husband who has been a rock through this wild rollarcoaster ride.  He's been a huge support system for me, and a cheerleader for all of us when we need it. 

Thank you to those who read this blog, and leave words of encouragement.  I love reading them, they really fuel me to keep going.

Happy Holidays to you all, I hope you spend this holiday to celebrate love, compassion, sharing and family. 

Here is a little flashback for you all, the difference is staggering.

December 2010
december 2010

december 2011
november 2010
december 2011

Happy Holidays to everyone!