The anniversary of Brian's first seizure is coming up in a mere two weeks on Valentine's Day. I cannot believe its been a whole year since our life was turned upside down.
I have taken a very long break from blogging for several reasons. Mostly because I haven't felt like I have anything positive to share. I am depressed. 2012 was by far the worst year of my life. It just refused to get any better. It got worse and worse, culminating in our ride home from Virginia on New Year's Eve when I was the sickest I have been in a long time. Good Riddance 2012! There have been many struggles both public and private. I feel worn out and even a little bit bitter. My faith has been challenged in ways I couldn't have imagined. I feel in many ways like I am being tested, and that I am being set up to fail.
By nature I am comfortable with melancholia. I like to listen to sad songs and watch movies that make me cry. I like to be alone a lot. But I do work hard to keep a positive attitude. I believe its very important to remember that happiness is a decision and an important one.
I decided that 2012 will remain the worst year of my life. I never want to have another one. 2013 is going to be a year of renewal for me. I am looking for ways to reclaim my joy. Its difficult to even write this because right now, I feel like I have a very long way to go and I am tired. And while my heart tells me that I may have more difficult years ahead, I don't want to revisit some of the dark places I have been in the past year. I want to learn to face my trials with faith and grace that I lack in this moment.
I am realizing that I am grieving the life I thought I would have, but that doesn't mean that I can't find hope and happiness in the life that I am living. I read a wonderful story the other day called The Refining Fire of Grief. There was an especially poignant analogy about a couple who's son suffered from a seizure disorder. One night, after they had put him to bed, they sat together in the other room watching him on the monitor. The husband remarked that he bet the baby felt totally abandoned all alone in the dark room. He didn't know his parents were just in the other room keeping a keen eye on him. And so it is with our Heavenly Father.
This passage from the article really resonates with me:
Some days I feel guilty like I have lost my faith if I give in to grief, but we are allowed to grieve as a way of increasing our faith, not giving up on it. Sometimes it is how we grow."When our days become dreary with low hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that … [God] is able to make a way out of no way, and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows."This thought reminded me that I could hope for a bright tomorrow without denying the darkness of today. I could keep my faith in God and hope for a happier future while allowing myself to grieve in the present.Because God loved me and desired my progress, He would not spare me the refining fire of grief. But God made a way where there was no way. Not every loss can be healed in this life, but lives broken by grief can be healed. Because I remained close to God even when I could not see or hear Him, I felt Him when He reached out to me in my darkest night."
So, I have some ways that I plan on healing myself this year mentally, physically, and spiritually. First of all, I will always keep everyone updated on Brian's status, but I am getting out of the cancer rut. Brian is, for all intents and purposes, cancer free! His MRI's continue to remain stable and even show improvements from surgery which was an unexpected blessing. He is fully functioning, his memory is intact, he is able to work and serve others exhaustively to the point that I am moderately certain people are finding it easy to forget he is sick. His hair is coming back, and it matches the rest of his head! Thank goodness, no half curly/half straight like he feared. He has told me several times to quit making this blog all about cancer and talk about some other, more interesting things that don't make me depressed. So I am working on that idea.
I do believe that once your life is touched by cancer, it never leaves your mind. So, I am going to find positive ways to channel those thoughts and feelings.
Physically, I want to start taking better care of myself. Last year, I started running. "Do it for two consecutive weeks," they said..."you will get addicted and love it," they said. Everyone who said that lied. So maybe I never did it for two weeks straight, but I KNOW I started and stopped at least fourteen times and guess what...still hate it. As a matter of fact, there is only one thing I hate more than running and that is brain cancer SO....I decided to run a 5K in June to support brain tumor research! I think my mom is even going to do it with me. I am excited but I definitely need my friends and family to hold me accountable. Because I really, really hate running. A lot.
I will be registering a team in the next few weeks so I will be sure to update.
I know that I can get out of this funk and as always, I am supremely grateful to our friends and family who have offered so much support over this last most difficult year of our lives together. I really don't know where I would be without the kindness of the ones we love.