So it’s been a little quiet on here the past few days.
I would love to tell you it’s because we have been having a blast doing all kinds of awesome things.
But that just isn’t how it has been.
Ever since Brady started with his neurological outburst episodes, they put him on an anti seizure medication to protect his brain.
That medicine has made him extremely irritable and easily overwhelmed and/or upset. He has gotten frustrated at the smallest of things and has overreacted to anything Blake and Aubrey have done.
Basically, anything small is being amplified in his brain.
The other day Blake was so excited to take him to the Phield House here in Philly. They have two indoor soccer fields as well as some battling cages and a basketball court.
We were only there for a little while when Brady got upset.
He had no strength to kick the ball hard and couldn’t get a shot where he wanted no matter how hard he tried.
We tried to reassure him and help him find some perspective.
He was walking out past me, beyond frustrated, when I pulled him aside.
“Brady, just a week ago your brain couldn’t function to form a sentence or communicate what you wanted,” I hugged his shoulders and continued, “you have to gain some perspective. I can imagine how frustrating this feels to you, but truly just being out here is remarkable.”
Unfortunately, he wasn’t buying it.
“Yeah, well I can’t even kick the ball straight and I can’t even make a single shot,” He said as he huffed over and sat on the bench.
The entire time was filled with “I know this is hard” and “I understand your frustration” and “cut yourself some slack” and so on.
The next day we went in for a follow up appointment at the hospital. His doctors were blown away that he even was out there on the fields trying to play at all. Sure, he couldn’t place the ball in the corner of the goal like he wanted, or had the strength to kick it half of the length of the field, but just being out there was impressive enough for them.
They also tried to explain that where he was at was much better than they would have expected.
But sometimes we just can’t see that side.
We can’t see the side of how far we have come.
We only see how far we have yet to go.
We can’t see all the mountains we have climbed.
We only see the one up ahead.
And he does have a long road ahead. And we know how daunting that feels.
After being so sick for a while and the chemotherapy stealing his appetite, he is down to just 83 lbs now. Every day has been a constant begging of him to try to eat something, anything.
The other day I finally told him it wasn’t safe for him to play competitive soccer or baseball until he gained at least 10 lbs.
It’s not that I don’t want him to play, it’s just that it doesn’t feel safe. He is just way too frail. And I know that if anything is going to light a fire under him to get better, it is missing out on the start of the spring season.
Yesterday he got cleared to stop the anti seizure medication. So the hope is that after a couple days we will see his irritability improve and his appetite begin to return.
And our prayer is that everything in his brain will calm to normal and his eating will increase.
These are some of the hardest days.
The ones where things look normal from the outside, but are far from that within.
They are the long ones.
The emotionally draining the ones.
The ones where you are desperate for the quiet, monotony of home.
But then I have to remind myself. It’s all the perspective in which I’m looking at it.
Yes, managing four kids in a house that isn’t ours with none of their stuff is hard, but this is how memories are made.
Yes, walking a son through two battles with cancer has been exhausting, but this is how endurance is increased.
Yes, finding joy in the midst of pain is hard, but that is how our faith is tested.
Yes, we might not be able to perfectly place a shot on the goal, but at least we are alive to try.
We just have to find a way out of fog to see what is ahead.
And just like we keep reminding Brady, it is fair to be frustrated by the fog. It is fair to be frustrated that the battle has taken your strength and endurance. It is fair to be frustrated you have just gotten over climbing one mountain only to be faced with another one right up ahead.
All of the frustration is fair. All of it.
But what it can’t be, is an excuse.
When we start using our frustrations as an excuse for our behavior, no one suffers more than us.
So today we did a major Martin reset. We had very serious conversations about our frustrations all being valid, but also not being used as an excuse for poor attitudes, behaviors, and choices.
We discussed the importance of being good stewards of the mission and message Jesus has entrusted to us and how we can’t successfully do either if we are stuck feeling sorry for ourselves and focused on the imperfections of others.
Because the truth is, as hard as our battle has been, too much good has come from our journey to ever loose sight of all the blessings that surround us.
So here is to pushing ourselves to be better tomorrow than we were today. To growing in kindness, love, and compassion with every breath we take. To changing our perspective. And to telling satan he better back the heck off.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
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