I have been trying to write this post for a few weeks now. I have started many times but always stopped when the words got too hard. Today, I am determined to finish because I know this is going to be therapeutical for me.
As you know, my blog has been very quiet this year. More like non existent! Well, this year has been like no other for me. It´s presented us with scary challenges we hoped not to face, at least for a while. I have gotten e-mails and personal messages from many of you readers asking if everything is ok, that you miss my blogging and I can´t tell you how good it is to hear that. Life has just been such a rollercoaster lately with an endless list of things to do, that blogging has just been easy to put off. I have also tried to keep my blog light and fun in the past, focusing on my work and quilting adventures, so I felt like people didn´t want to hear about challenges. If you don´t, I´m sorry.... just skip through this post and tune back in next week....I will return my regular programming with fun quilty stuff:)
If you have read my blog for a few years, you might know that my husband Torir, has been dealing with brain cancer since 2006. He had 2 surgeries right after being diagnosed where they removed most of the tumor, but we knew that it would grow back at some point because of the characteristics of the cancer. In March 2010 he had his first recurrence and went through a year of chemotherapy. The treatment went well and stopped the growth until March this year. The second recurrance was a reality and the timing really sucked. It was a week before my teaching trip to Iceland where I took my kids with me. He started chemotherapy again while we were in Iceland and I still don't understand how I was able to focus on teaching those 2 weeks. It was very stressful, but thanks to my family at home and the awesome Icelandic quilters I met, we had a wonderful trip. Torir did well in his first round of therapy and we were hoping he would breeze through it like last time. He had to have MRI's every 2 months to make sure that the tumor behaved through chemo.
The second checkup after starting chemo again revealed some shocking results. The tumor had all of a sudden grown very fast and was creating a lot of very dangerous pressure in critical areas of the brain. We had always been told that radiation would be the next course of treatment if chemo didn't work. Shockingly the doctors didn't trust him to do radiation because that would cause inflammation and increase the already dangerous pressure in his brain, so we were kind of out of options at that point. More surgery had been considered when he had his first recurrance but we were told that it was not an option any more because the tumor was growing into some really critical areas. The Oncologist wanted us to consult with Torir's surgeon again, just to see if he could do something. We went into that appointment in July, really expecting to hear nothing but bad news. Surprisingly, his surgeon wanted to perform another surgery, pretty much as soon as possible since the pressure in the brain was building. He convinced us that he could go in there safely and remove as much of the tumor possible without causing Torir any more damage or deficits.
Torir had surgery on August 1st. They were able to remove about 70% of the tumor, enough to really release all of the pressure and immediate danger. He has been recovering remarkably since then and I am finally feeling like the clouds have started lifting. He will be having regular MRI's to watch the tumor, but until it starts to rear it's ugly head again, he can just focus on healing from surgery without any treatment.
This spring and summer, my focus has been solely on the family, trying to keep the kids schedules as normal as possible through all this. I have really missed my sewing machine and been craving to create. There have been moments I have been able to get some time in but nothing nearly like normal. Once kids are back in school, I can't wait to give the business my full attention and get things back to normal....well, I should say...start to create my new normal:)
We have hadgreat support from our family and friends in Iceland but it's been hard to be so far away. Probably harder on them than anything. I have to give huge thanks to my US friends and neighbors that have stepped in and shown us so much love and support through all this. Whether it's taking care of the kids, drive them around to activities, bring us meals or just sit with me and sip on a glass of wine when things got too overwhelming. It has all been so much appreciated. I love you all and don't see how I would have made it through without you.
Our cancer journey is far from over but now it seems that we have at least been able to dodge some of the curveballs thrown at us this year. Every day is a blessing and I try to remind myself of that everyday and smile. The smile might not be from ear to ear, but practice makes perfect right? Fake it until you make it:)
The storm will pass - The sun will come up - Today is a new day!
Hugs to you all:)