Since May, we’ve been dealing with Brian’s brain tumor recurrence. Out of nostalgia, I’ve been passing time during our multiple hospital admissions this summer revisiting my old blog from 2012 when this all started.
So much has changed in the past six years. Reading back on some of those old posts, I have a lot of feelings. Mostly, I cringe at my naivete in all things. I have learned and grown so much since then. I have a lot more medical knowledge gained both through my own study of Brian’s specific condition, and my practice as a nurse. I can recognize so many of my own misunderstandings and I am embarrassed at the way I handled some of my unrealistic expectations.
Personally, I am a tad more cynical, or at the very least more realistic than I once was. This is not to say that I’ve abandoned my optimistic and cheerful countenance, but just that its been tempered by a string of seemingly insurmountable trials over the years. I have to really fight hard and dig deep to believe that there are good things to come.
We have had more than our fair share of hard things over the years. We’ve also had great blessings. The greatest of these is the time we’ve had where Brian has been relatively healthy. We were able to build our family by welcoming Ethne and Elliot, and I was able to actualize my goal of becoming a nurse. And how grateful we are for these things.
Brian is a very private person. Most of our struggles over the past six months have been kept relatively quiet among our small, intimate circle of family and a few close friends. I will continue to respect his privacy while filling in the pertinent details. But I am different than Brian in this way. There are certain facets of my life which are extremely private. I can count on one hand the people I feel I can open up fully and completely to, and you know who you are. But in some ways I try hard to be an open book. When I am struggling, I tend to reach out to people because I need to talk about my fears. I am not good at holding it all in to myself. Things get very heavy for me. And I also believe that as humans, we share so many of the same struggles. The only way we can combat fear, isolation, and stigma is to share. I know I am not alone.