Today the Barrow family invented a holiday!
Two years ago today, Cameron was diagnosed with a brain tumor, though we didn’t yet know what kind. Two years ago today, the emergency room doctor wheeled in a monitor and showed Kris and me an image from a CT scan that showed a mass the size of a golf ball in our ten-month-old son’s brain.
It was the day everything changed.
It was the day we knew Cam’s long, happy life was not guaranteed, not even likely. It marked the first day of his forever fight to not only keep the tumor from growing, but regain the abilities that fighting it had cost him. It was the first day I, for one, lost the naive conviction that life was fair and all children grew up, at least in my family. Because up until January 30, 2016, brain tumors only happened to other people and in the movies.
So, yeah, you could say it was a rough day.
BUT, it was also the day the Barrow family learned to be thankful for each hour we spent together, each day lived, each crisis averted. It was the first day of our new lives, one in which we learned to approach tragedy and fear with a new attitude. Perspective, hope and a sick sense of humor were born that day. Over the two years following that first Brain Day, Kris and I learned we were stronger than we thought and Cam and his brother and sister were braver than anyone could have guessed.
One year ago today, I broke my foot and Cam was at the height of his infantile spasms that we eventually removed half his brain to correct. It didn’t really occur to me to celebrate this day…yet.
This year, Cam is a big ol’ Wish Kid with new wheels, a stable tumor and a smile that could melt your heart. Without even knowing it, he’s beaten the odds. So tonight we celebrate what we held onto and what we’ve gained, with dinner together as a family, cupcakes that look like hemispherectomied brains (homemade by Cam’s big sister), and an off-key rendition of “Happy Brain Day To You”.
I do declare, from this day forth, January 30 shall be known as Brain Day (at least in our house)! Now, everybody pig out!