Sunday, July 5, 2009

Inter-Dependence Day

• Sunday, July 5, 2009 5:02 PM, PDT
Happy Independence Weekend! It's funny if you think about it. Our country, like many before it, fought for it's independence,yet we are so dependent on other nations for our survival. Maybe not a popular notion, but when we turn to other countries to manufacture our goods, to support our agenda, and to buy off some of our goods, we should be celebrating our inter-dependence as well.

As for myself, I have prided myself on my independence. I am a master of "I can do this on my own," for which I have often been rewarded with praise. Although I can be a team player, my team-mates always know that if you plant a question, or challenge, with Dan, he will not stop until the solution is found. Yet throughout my adult life the notion of independence continues to be challenged. I keep finding myself up against the alternative notion that asks me why the idea of inter-dependence is so threatening. Perhaps it's part of the behavioral traits that go along with being raised male in my generation, or maybe it's a character flaw that has me leaning toward a control freak arch type. Whatever got me here, I'm now in a place where I need to reach out, and I need to celebrate my inter-dependence.

For about the past 8 months I have been an active member in a Brain Tumor Caregivers online support group. I have found that many of us in the group are highly capable spouses and family members, yet we have recognized the need for mutual support. We recognize that we are not in this alone, and for mutual survival, we must be willing to ask for help and support. This group has been a blessing to me in where I currently find my life.

Today I also celebrate my inter-dependence with all of you. All of you have been very involved, and supportive, during Michael's battle with this brain tumor journey. I believe I can speak for both of us in saying a heartfelt "Thank You." We cannot do this alone, and fortunate for us, we have never had to. I hope all of you know that when you find yourself in need, I too will be there for you.

This past month seems to have passed quickly in some ways. Michael took his final dose of chemotherapy last night, and will have the next two weeks to recuperate from the various side effects. Right now the plan is that he will complete a second 21 day cycle of chemotherapy, then an updated MRI. During the past few weeks there were some scary times, where Michael was experiencing daily seizure activity along with problematic memory issues. When these symptoms were joined with the side effects of the chemo, our spirits were diminished. Once again I found myself pulled in too many directions between work and home life. After some careful thought, and direction from my peers at work, I have decided to take another leave from my job. I need to be at home with Michael and the kids. This is where my heart is, this is where my time is most needed.

This past week Michael's symptoms began to disappear. It has been somewhat remarkable, no seizures, no memory problems. I know enough about this disease to not read too much into this change. I think both Mike and I are trying to greet this change with open arms, yet experience it as a gift we have no ownership of. Each day that goes well is a blessing, and those that do not, they are a challenge that we will get through. We know this because of our inter-dependency with you.

All my love.