Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Strength of My Sister

It's been a hot minute since my last blog and since The Walking Dead won't be back in a few weeks, I felt the need to write about something. I've taken Pop Culture breaks in the past and will do so again because the more I think about it, the more awe-inspiring this particular topic is. Short history for the newbies: mere days following the birth of my beautiful niece Brianna, my sister Ann was diagnosed with 9 brain tumors. She had surgery in August 2013 to remove two of them so there are 7 remaining. It is something she lives with daily, a struggle that no one but her can fully understand-though we as her family try hard. She lives with this day in and day out with humor and deprecation, NEVER ever uttering a "why me"-even on the days when she has had seizures with no explanation, or why she walks in a room and forgets why she's there, or has conversations and cannot recall them five mintues later. It's not uncommon to forget her struggle-I know I do. She makes it look too damn easy! She made brain surgery look like cakewalk-with the exception of the shaved area on her head that showed off her "frankenstein" incisions, you would never know all that she went through. She managed to horrify seasoned ICU nurses with her "I'm just going to move myself off my bed and into that chair with zero assistance" less than an HOUR after her six-plus hour, intensely invasive BRAIN surgery was completed, begging for an iced coffee and then informing the the physical therapy team that she was leaving the next day because her nephew had his first football game and she was going to be there. She couldn't actually make it to the game of course, but her determination got her home so that he could go running into her arms and re-live the whole game to make her feel as though she had been there-and that's all that mattered to her. She works full time, raises a daughter and is an amazing Aunt to my son...she is a wonder, truly. We've been through hell together, she and I. We lost our dad together at such young ages, our grandmothers and too many Aunts and Uncles that mattered so dearly to us to count. When my ex and I broke up after I learned I was pregnant, the ONLY reason I knew it was going to be ok was because she told me it would be. For as much as I complain about her and how much she may drive me crazy, she is my rock. She makes things that seem impossible, possible. She has this grounded presence that levels my over-dramatics and is the yin to my yang. She is real on every level-what you see is what you get and that is why she is so loved. She is the epitome of authenticity and is 100% true to herself. She pretends nothing- which makes her everything.

This is "MRI" week, her regular 6 month MRI check up to see if the tumors have grown/changed is this Friday. It's always a strange week leading up to it as so many thoughts go through your head. You can't help but go back and forth between all the different scenarios of what could be but all you can do is just pray that the old "no changes, see you in 6 months" is what it ends up being. I had to write this because of her quiet strength, her humor and her humility. I know that I couldn't endure what she does with the style she does it so this is for you Annie Bannanie. You will kill me for this I'm sure, but you can always refer back to this for when you feel like the world cannot understand or that things are just piling up too high to deal-we got this. We ALWAYS got this. You will continue to amaze and rock the shit out all that comes your way in YOUR way. Nothing is easy for you and yet nothing is ever taken for granted. You've inspired me on so many levels and I know that you, in your "Ann" way, inspire others around you too. 2015 is the year that Dr. House will figure this out and that miracles will happen. Or, in the off chance Dr. House remains a fictional doctor, we will continue to think positive and pray that there is cure out there. It WILL happen and good things are coming your way-there is no one on earth more deserving. xoxoxoxoxoxo