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.