Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!
We are enjoying a cool evening, watching the race and lounging comfortably in our family room. It has been a busy weekend, but a good one, none the less and we are SO looking forward to having another day around home tomorrow!
Matt’s sister Lissa came home for a visit this weekend, and we’ve enjoyed catching up with her. She’s been working for a traveling therapy service and this has been her first trip back home since she left in January. We planned a cookout on Saturday with Matt’s parents, Uncle Rich and Aunt Bev. The weather was pretty rainy off and on, so we ended up cooking barbequed beef brisket inside instead. It was still nice enough to make ice cream though! We had a really good time, just being together. For me, it felt as close to a normal family get together as we have had in a long time. It was good to have Lissa home, and to just be together. I think we are slowly moving into another phase of this journey together…moving slowly back to normal. Everyone has to come to terms with things in their own time, in their own way.
Right now, I see Matt and I reaching a certain level of acceptance and looking forward to just living our life. It is a positive time for us, and I hope that everyone can come to this place as well. I know it’s very hard not to think about what it was like before, and what things might have been for us and for Matt had this not happened…but we’re really just ready to live with changes as best as we can, and try to make the most of things.
This weekend we had another first…and a prime example of how Matt is moving on and trying to enjoy himself in ways he had previously tended to avoid. Matt went out on Saturday night with his friend Jay. I know Matt doesn’t want to make a huge deal about this…but let me just repeat that Matt went out on Saturday night with his friend Jay!! Jay picked him up and they went to Porky’s (a local drive in with weekly cruise nights) and looked at cars for a few hours. Then, they went back to Jay’s house, where they (just the two of them) got Matt into the house to hang out and watch a UFC fight. Matt allowed Jay to help him, and together, they managed just fine. I’m sure it was awkward, but the fact that Matt was ready to take a chance and trust in Jay to help, means a lot to me. Matt used to love going up to Porky’s…we used to go up there quite a bit in the past. But it has been nearly 2 years since Matt was there on a cruise night. I was so happy he WANTED to go! It was the first time that Matt went anywhere with a friend. I haven’t had a night home alone for months…probably not since Matt came home from Omaha last September! I watched a chick flick and thoroughly enjoyed that as well! I was a little nervous, hoping that everything went ok getting in and out of the car and house…but I was so encouraged by Matt’s willingness to give it a try, to be a little vulnerable in front of his friend, to put aside his fears and just go have fun. I just said a little prayer that it would all go ok – and it did. I think it really boosted Matt’s confidence in his abilities and reminded him what friends are for.
(Here's a picture of Matt & Jay at Matt's 30th b-day party)
I think it meant a lot to Jay as well…that Matt let him help him. Of course, both Matt and Jay would act like this was no big deal…but trust me, I KNOW these two guys pretty well and I know that it meant a lot to them both. Jay has been a friend to me for 20 years (holy cow that freaks me out to say that)…and I know how he feels about Matt. I continue to be so thankful for friends like Jay. I can’t say enough, how much they’ve meant to us both.
In other news, this week is going to be another crazy week for us. We are heading to Iowa City on Tuesday to follow up with the doctor who performed Matt’s embolization last June. Matt will have an MRI in the morning, and then we will meet with the doctor to discuss the results in the afternoon. I am looking forward to meeting in person to discuss Matt’s AVM/F (I don’t know if they’ve ever really decided which one it is). I’m not sure what the results will show; if there is still blood flowing through any of the vessels, if the vessels have grown, or closed themselves off. It would be so, so, SO great if they had closed themselves off and we could be done thinking about treatment. Matt has been pretty opposed to having a repeat embolization, and I can’t blame him. But sometimes I do think it would be good to have peace of mind that the vessels were blocked for good. Either way, I hope that we can have a good discussion with the doctor and come to a consensus that makes everyone comfortable. Please be thinking of us on Tuesday.
The rest of the week we will be preparing for another big first…we will be traveling to Boston together! We’re going to be exploring some of the historical and fun things that the city has to offer, in between my work conference commitments. Matt is looking forward to relaxing in the hotel, and seeing this old city. I am so excited as well, and my mind is a jumble with all the strategic planning and preparations. It will be an adventure for us, but I think we’re up to the challenge…now more than ever!