Saturday, January 17, 2009

don't cry mommy and don't give up

Those were the words that Talyn said to me yesterday morning when he found me feeling completely overwhelmed and crying. Let me back up. This past week I have felt like emotionally my fight is leaving my body. I felt tired and heavy and not like myself at all. At that same time, physically I have been having some episodes of vertigo, lightheadedness and even slurred speech. When I went to see my doctor about it, she ordered something that didn't make me feel too urgent CT for my head, chest and abdomen.

Since September I have been focusing on Ryan, but also keeping in my mind that I have to take care of myself to ensure that my cancer does not return. Having just finished the big treatment stuff in August, my body hadn't had a chance to return to normal before we entered the ring to fight again.

I have been eating very well, exercising, seeing my psychologist to deal with the emotions and seeing some great eastern medicine doctors to keep my immune system increasing. But it's the stress that is the hardest thing to really control and is one of the things that I know my cancer feeds off of. So when my doctor ordered that test and urgently, I started feeling like my world was spinning out of control and I couldn't make it slow down.

Thanks to the amazing support of some very special people, they ensured that I got to the tests I needed to go to and that they were done quickly - thanks Lori, Sheri and Don! When I arrived at the diagnostics place, Rick and Lynne recognized me from Ryan's story and knew that I needed the results yesterday. So, literally 5 minutes after my CT scan was finished, I found out that it was clear! I felt like I had once again been given my life back, but this time it came with some conditions.

Firstly, always put on my own oxygen mask before anyone else's - I can't be much help to Ryan or Talyn if I am not well. Secondly, I need to slow down in some aspects of my life and so Ryan and I have discussed some ways to do this. Thirdly, I need to start seeing my psychologist weekly. Obviously the stress of this all is affecting me more than I realize. Lastly, every time I fall, great friends and complete strangers are right there to help pick me up again and get my fight back.

This morning I woke up feeling energized and ready to give Ryan's fight everything I a way that's not too much for me :). We just returned from Firehall #8. The guys there had seen Ryan's story and made a very nice donation. But the best part was that they offered us all a tour of their station.

They gave Talyn his own fire helmet, let him "drive" all of their trucks, taught him how to play ping pong and even had some treats waiting for us afterwards. Needless to say, Talyn now wants to be a firefighter when he grows up and I have even more faith in the goodness of complete strangers in our world. We didn't know these guys going in, but now I feel like we have some new friends right behind us.

What a week it has been. Yesterday morning I felt like my world was out of my control and then when Talyn caught me at my lowest and told me "don't cry mommy and don't give up", it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. ENOUGH! It's time to take back control and get my fight back. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped to pick me up this week - Lori, Sheri, Don and our new friends at Firehall #8. With support like this, I won't give up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Riding the wave

This past week I feel like our family is finally starting to come down from the adrenaline rush of the hospital stay and the exciting media blitz. It is now that the emotion of the past month is starting to hit us both. How serious Ryan's seizures were, how fortunate we are that he was able to recover physically and how the possibility of Ryan's fight not being enough are coming to light.

We have really been on a wave of emotion since the news that Ryan's tumour had broken out a bit on September 11, 2008. Whenever some news hits we are upset initially as we try to deal with the latest blow, then we accept it and get back to reality and live in today. But then we are knocked off the wave again temporarily with a new piece of information.

We know that it's completely normal to feel this way and we are fortunate enough to be able to quickly get back on the wave and keep riding, but it does seem to be getting harder each time. Each new piece of information makes it easier for the negatives to creep into our minds and keep us there for a bit.

Ryan has had a few blips on the radar lately and we are trying to keep our focus on today. We continue to appreciate all of the support from friends, family and strangers as we navigate through these rough waters.

Every one of us has struggles like these in our lives and all it takes is a little bit of perspective to get us back to the today and to get back up on the wave and here's what did it for us:

Use this as your reminder of what a true struggle is really like...