What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Domino of Disaster Day

Today is the 1 year mark of the first “domino of disaster” being tipped. The date July 14th will always stick with me. That inevitable day that loomed ahead of us as we tried to enjoy every second of our short time as a new family of three.

However the days between the PET scan results on June 27th, the birth of Aria on July 2nd and the start of treatment on July 14th hardly allowed us that opportunity.

Once we got that dreaded call it was almost like Brandon stopped being able to fight the symptoms anymore, knowing it wasn't just a thyroid problem or a reaction to the Avastin preventative treatments. It was cancer. It was back. And in reality I lost him to it in the beginning of July.

Sadly we never had 1 normal night as a new family. Even before the chemo started Brandon was battling severe nausea, fatigue and pain and was mostly bedridden and unable to be the father and husband he so longed to be.

On July 9th we had our newborn photos taken and until he had to be in them he was in bed.

Days later I remember bathing Aria in the living room so that he could take part in it while resting on the sofa.

I spend a lot of time wondering what any random day would have been like for us had this not happened. I get mad because most of the time I can't actually imagine it. I have nothing to base it off of. I feel cheated and like something has been stolen from me. I let myself cry, pout, throw a pity party or punch a pillow. I sit in it for a moment. Marinate in the misery.

Often it's for just a minute or two, or an evening here or there. And every now and then I let it swallow me for an entire day.

But then, once I have felt that pain God reminds me that nothing will be lost in Heaven. I don't know how, but I believe with everything in me that He will redeem what death has stolen. A husband. A father. A complete family. That is the hope I hold on to. That alone is what gets me through each day and blankets me with peace beyond understanding.

As these trigger dates over the next 3 months approach I feel ready to take the next step and reflect back on the traumatic details as part of my healing process. I am rereading my updates day by day, and taking myself back to where I was a year ago.  (7/14/14 Update)

Though I have accepted what happened, and I have accepted my new reality, I have not yet processed how it all happened, and I think it is time that I do so.

I feel I need to unpack the painful memories I have compartmentalized so that I can come to terms with them. In the beginning those images were all I could think of. I pushed them away desperately wanting to remember anything else. But I couldn't.

Gradually I became able to remember Brandon prior to the summer from hell. But in a very strange way. Most of the time it feels like facts that I have memorized rather then memories of a life I lived. They feel foreign. I assume this is a very normal grief experience. A healthy way my brain is coping, by allowing me the memories, but minimizing the emotional association to them for now.

I do believe my brain will restore the memories to a more complete form when it is ready, but that day is not today - and that is ok. My brain knows what it needs to do to survive this and raise a toddler on my own, and I just have to wait it out and go along for the ride.

Thank you for supporting, encouraging and coming alongside me on this ride.


  1. Some of us, even from a distance, lived this with you, and from time to time still do.

    God Bless, be well.

  2. Dear Christine: This is a beautful picture of Brandon & Arira The memories that you share are true treasures. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I know that it is most difficult for you. I just pray that you continue to take one day at a time and try to make the best of it all. Aria needs you Your a beautiful mom I loved the posting you shared from mother's day. You are a wonderful person and mother. I pray that you are able to continue to unpack all that you need to and know that your friends care about you and pray for you and Aria. I hope that you are having some nice days with Aria with more picnics and going to a park or swing with her taking pictures and just taking in the moment. I know you will always have your moments where you miss your husband and that will always be its okay allow yourself to feel and allow yourself to cry when you have to and also allow yourself to smile. I wish I could give you a hug but being I can't physically do so I hope you consider yourself hugged. YOu are a blessing. May our Lord continue to provide protect and uplift you adn Aria. God bless love Liz

  3. I have not stopped thinking about you all and praying for you all. Bless you!

  4. What a wonderful thought...nothing in Christ is lost. It's soooo hard to reconcile and that's why it's a beautiful hope. Each day of this journey you are on has been full of new mercies. Especially through such deep pain. How I wish I could relieve your pain and undo all the loss. But, I'm finite and foolish - God is all-wise and knows the way He leads you. Take heart Christina and keep walking, dear sister. We remember with you and (as best we know how) we stand with and pray for you. <3 from NJ.

  5. Will be with you and Aria in prayers! Love much.

  6. Will be with you and Aria in prayers! Love much.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!