Happy New Year?
Posted to Facebook on January 1, 2017
Ana started this year recovering from invasive abdominal surgery in January followed by three weeks of daily radiation therapy in February- a very rough start to the year, indeed – but in March she began to recover. Though all of Ana’s tumors returned by April, it’s hard not to see 2016 as a success. After all, we got another year with Ana – another birthday, another summer vacation, a trip to Germany and holidays filled with a bounty of love and gifts – thanks to you all – every single one of you.
2016 was hard, this is true, but it’s also the year our circle expanded to include many new friends and acquaintances who, along with our existing support system, form a solid net of love and positive energy around our family. Thanks for all you’ve given us. your generosity has allowed us to give Ana many experiences and gifts which would’ve otherwise been out of reach.
I keep trying to come up with something inspiring to say about 2017, something hopeful and optimistic that I can share with everyone, but the truth is I’m coming up empty. Ana has struggled with many symptoms this year. She’s often in pain and has a tremendous amount of anxiety about dying. Who wouldn’t? She’s lost weight and is barely holding onto her current weight of about 103 pounds. She has very little energy and, for the last few weeks, pushes herself to stay awake past 9. She’s sleeping 13 or 14 hours at night and she naps throughout the day. This past week she’s been dealing with another very painful sore in her mouth which makes it hard for her to eat and nightly fevers that leave her nearly incapacitated with exhaustion and chills.
Ana’s tired. She’s physically and mentally exhausted from trying to push forward through so much pain, so much relentless progression of a disease that keeps getting stronger while she gets weaker. Seeing her perpetually in pain feels like it’s literally killing me. The world has narrowed into one tunnel trained on Ana. That’s all I see. I feel like if I don’t let anything distract me from what she needs exactly when she needs it, then I won’t lose her. If I stay an arm’s length away, checking in on her, bringing her tea and pretzels and taking her temperature then she will get better. It’s like this awful, obsessive tunnel vision that I can’t escape.
So, no, I don’t want to move into 2017. I can’t find my optimism. All I want right now is to freeze time, to stop the days from moving forward because each second that passes is a second that pulls Ana away from me – just a little bit more. I’m sorry I can’t end this update on a more positive note. I am so very grateful for all your support and wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year.