Thursday, October 30, 2014

giving back

My capacity for stress is easily overwhelmed, and I am walking a fine and delicate balance. I don't have the energy in my reserves for a long post, but I want to share a couple of photographs. 

We shared James' ECMO experience to a warm and generous audience at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress Conference in Vancouver. These experts are among the reasons that James is alive, and felt safe and comfortable in the ICU. We are extremely grateful for their sincere dedication and commitment. It was an honour to be able to share our perspectives.

 My pride for James is endless. (I am less inclined to be in photographs):

It was wonderful to give voice to our experiences, but I am feeling rather emotionally depleted from the event. We have enough distance from James' re-transplant to be able to feel safe and secure in James' health, but I still find the flood of memories a significant challenge. We received a lot of support, but, to be honest, I don't feel remarkable. I survived, but I'm still healing. I have a lot of dear friends in the same position. We don't feel strong. We don't feel resilient. We cope to get through the days. We navigate without a compass. We come through the dark with our own wounds. 

We also participated in the National Inside Ride Tour for Coast to Coast Against Childhood Cancer in honour and memory of Tamara for our second year as "Team Tamara Cycling Chefs". We carry Tamara in our hearts each and every single day. She was an exceptional child. She exuded an abundance of love, and had an incredible passion for life. It still doesn't make sense. James and Tamara were fighting for their lives at the same time. James came home. Tamara never did. It feels good to give back, but it won't bring Tamara home. We cycled and danced our hearts out for you, T.

(I cannot take credit for these photographs. I wasn't able to locate the name of the photographer from the event).

It has turned into a longer post than expected (and I didn't even details that long list of sources of stress). 

We are well. We are well enough. Last week, James had a short admission in the hospital for nausea and vomiting, but of course, James bounced back. He has resumed his role in taking care of me. I need some of that strength and resilience. He has it all.