Looking back….Looking forward…

February 25, 2009

“Well, I may be on the Old Path but this is definitely uncharted territory. I have wanted to blog for a long time as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, and to share the ups and downs of our journey. I have been encouraged and challenged by reading other blogs. I have no idea if this blog will ever be anything more than just the musings of a girl and the crazy antics of the family that bless her daily. If you are blessed by this blog, well, then that is more than I could have hoped for!

Those were my first ever blog words…. A lot has happened in just over a year of blogging if you have started to read after Joel’s diagnoses I invite you to check out the last 15 months of our lives. We bought a house, had a break in, bought a St. Bernard, dealt with the loss of some loved family pets, celebrated many things from Birthdays to Christmas to Purim. We have made countless discoveries from frogs to poison parsnip. We have made all sorts of things from Brownies to homemade laundry soap. We have laughed and cried and we have been stretched and we have grown in many ways. And of course, our latest challenge we have faced together is Joel’s cancer.

When I started blogging I wanted to stay in touch with friends and family. When Dave and I moved down this way we knew we wanted to find a place in the country so we could be experimental homesteaders. In the end we only ended up with a few acres but I had hoped to write about our attempts at becoming more self-sufficient. I also wanted an outlet for my constant ramblings that rumble around in my mind. I have been so blessed through the process of blogging, I have met some really neat people (fellow bloggers and blog readers) who have been a great encouragement.

Then near the end of March the Old Path took an unexpected turn when Joel was diagnosed with a brain tumor. For the last ten weeks I have written about Joel almost exclusively. Rightly so I suppose. We are getting ready to start our last full week of radiation… Joel has 5 treatments this week and just 1 the following week. So June 7 th is to be our last radiation treatment. Joel will have 4 weeks off from treatment, he will still have weekly blood tests, and various appointments for different tests… but we will be living at home!!!!! Then he will start his chemo protocol.

Our lives have changed and for the next while cancer treatment with all its ups and downs will be some of the things that I write about. Over the last 10 weeks hospitals, tests, treatments and tears have been part of our everyday and so I wrote about it. As we progress down this path I hope to again write about our everyday experiences back at home from flowers to freezies in the warm sun. With that will come wide brim hats sunscreen and short times in the sun as Joel will be more susceptible to burns due to one of his meds. It is my hope that the two worlds will meld together. So don’t be surprised if you read a post that doesn’t even mention him. Sometimes I like to post about some crazy silly things.

All that said I am so thankful that when all of this started the end of March I already had in place a corner of cyberspace where I could keep you all up to date on Joel. Your love and support has overwhelmed me. You are loved and your prayers have affected us deeply.

I think we have stuck to my original hopes for this blog. None of us know what we will encounter down the road. Apparently, childhood cancer is considered rare. If my sources are correct there are 850 new pediatric cancer cases a year in Canada. Which is less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed in Canada each year. Of that 850, 170 of those would fall into Joel`s category a CNS Tumor, and of those 25.5 are Medulloblastomas, Joel`s specific tumor. So IF I have calculated that out right there are 25 kids in Canada a year that develop what Joel has. We could never have guessed the likely hood of that happening.

All that to say, I had no idea what my first 15 months of blogging would hold and equally so, I have no idea what the next 15 months will hold. I will continue to put my thoughts into words even if they are not well organized like today…and hopefully you`ll continue to join us on the old path for the ups and downs that lay ahead of us.


P.S. Joel had a great weekend!

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