It’s been one year today. One year since I drove my husband to the emergency room after he was found on the floor of his tattoo shop, speaking mostly gibberish and thinking it was 2010 instead of 2014. One year since we were given the terrible results of a cat scan he received upon admission.
Tumor. Left frontal lobe.
You know you always see it in the movies, how your life can change in an instant. Life is funny that way. Really you can’t plan anything, life will take you where it wants to and you are just along for the ride. Your plans are meaningless in the face of life, and that’s a hard pill to swallow, especially for me. I always try to plan, work out every possible scenario in my head, be prepared for it all. But you never really can be, and sometimes you just have to accept that the unwritten, unplanned destiny of your life is what it’s supposed to be, and that’s okay.
A lot has happened in one year. My husband and I are truly lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing family and friends who have helped us in ways both physically and emotionally and for that I am eternally grateful. No one should have to face something like this alone.
When the pathology of the tumor came back and we learned that it was aggressive and malignant it was a devastating blow to our attempts of keeping positive about the situation. We were told typical survival is 6 months to a year post diagnosis. Well today he surpasses the statistics. And we couldn’t be happier about that.
He endured radiation and chemo and its terrible side effects, but we remained positive. He is young, he is strong, he’s got this.
In the month between brain surgery and beginning treatment we got pregnant. After radiation was over we went to Burning Man, leaving the radiation mask to burn in the temple, along with all the terrible things it represented. We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. One year is the paper year. I made him a photo book of our first wedded year and he made me a painting of Don Draper. I love that we both used our talents to create something for one another.
We journeyed into the woods and cut down our second Christmas tree together.
And then, just when we got a little distant from the whole cancer thing, just when it felt like life was a little normal again, it was time for Decembers MRI.
We learned the brain tumor had returned, along with two others. It spread into areas of the brain that made it inoperable. We stayed in bed crying for three days straight. I’m lucky I have understanding bosses, because I didn’t even call in, I ignored all my calls, I couldn’t talk to anyone, I couldn’t deal with it.
My sweet husband, learning without further treatment that he may have mere months to live, walked out of that doctors office and said “Well I guess I better take you to Paris.” So we did, we went to Paris and I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. It was amazing, it was the honeymoon we never had, and even though we both exhausted easily, we enjoyed every second of our travels.
When we returned home he began a new treatment, two different chemos, one every other week, one every six weeks.
Our dear friend organized a fundraiser in the form of a Poker Tournament, since my husband loves a good game of poker. The outpouring of support from the community for our little family made us feel so loved.
We closed the tattoo and piercing shop, treatment is exhausting and running a business is stressful. I think he was very successful operating his two shops for 15 years, but at the same time relieved to not have the burden of the business anymore.
In March we had our beautiful baby girl, who we named Olivia Drue, Drue is her daddy’s middle name. When she was ten days old we moved, they had sold the house we were renting. We decided to move back into my old house that we had been renting out for a couple of years.
Shortly after he had another MRI. I was so fearful of what that MRI would say. All of them really. MRI result days are always scary.
But this one was amazing. The current treatment had caused a significant reduction in tumor size, one wasn’t even visible anymore! It felt so wonderful to get some good news.
It’s crazy to think about how much has happened in a year. My husband is the most amazing and resilient person I know. How he has managed to remain so positive is beyond me. But he’s never looked back, it is what it is and he has so much to look forward to.
He is truly a source of inspiration and strength and I am so lucky to get to spend my life with him.