On November 15, 2013, a little less than five months after our wedding, Bryan was diagnosed with an inoperable brainstem glioma. We spent the rest of 2013 and the better part of 2014 visiting hospitals, getting educated about brain cancer, making big choices about doctors and treatment, and actually going through treatment. It was a whirlwind honeymoon period to say the least.
Almost a year later, we are gearing up for Bryan’s first cancerversary. The first year was focused on treatment, but as we move into our second year, we are really focused on reclaiming our lives.
On September 27th, we attended Stupid Cancer’s OMG Summit, our first cancer event. It was amazing – we met so many wonderful people, picked up new knowledge from the sessions, laughed a little bit, and made a really great connection. We met Amanda McGovern, the founder of Seas It.
In the first few minutes of meeting her, we felt a strong connection. Hearing her story, we realized there were quite a few parallels. We decided to apply for a Seas It grant and were accepted.
Bryan used to be an avid bike rider. He commuted to work on his super sporty road bike and often rode in the park to release stress and get exercise. After his diagnosis, that stopped. One of Bryan’s side effects is that he struggles with his balance. He no longer felt comfortable riding his road bike because the tires were so narrow and he felt unstable. He thought about investing in a bike with wider tires, but after the year we’ve had, it didn’t seem financially feasible. When we met Amanda, Bryan knew exactly what he would ask for if we were able to get the grant. About two weeks after we spoke on the phone with Amanda, she delivered a brand new, amazing hybrid bike with wide tires to our door step, along with an indoor bike trainer so that he can ride in the winter months! Bryan took it out for a spin the moment he got it and loves it. He is so motivated to get back into shape, and has a goal of being able to ride to work again one day.
So often, the caregiver is forgotten, but not with Seas It. The organization approved a grant for me too. It has been so long since someone asked what I needed. It felt really good to think about that. Yoga has been a very expensive hobby that I love because it provides me with balance. It is a time that is just for me, and that is important. Seas It got me a very generous class pass for my favorite yoga studio, so that slowly but surely, I can begin to get back to myself.
As I mentioned before, we will be focusing on reclaiming our lives this year, and Seas It has kick started that for us. We could not be more grateful.