When we were maintaining our care page; Susan and I often debated how much detail we wanted to include with our updates. It was always a challenge to balance being positive with being realistic. The purpose of the care page was to keep people informed about Russell's or Susan's health situation for so many people who were such a long distance away. To be very honest, the care page was quite sanitized. Some of the negative details or even graphic pictures we steered away from as we felt it didn't do anyone any good. We were battling our own battle of trying to stay positive in a not so happy situation.
I remember when we were interviewed on the radio in Edmonton. It was a fundraising radiothon to raise money for the Stollery. I remember how upbeat we were during that interview. Not sure if that was the best thing for raising money, as nothing beats a real "tear jerker" for whipping up sympathy and of course the cheque book. I think we felt so thankful and relieved that we were doing "OK." Was Russell still in very serious condition at that time...yes...of course he was. Our whole hospital experience changed us and taught us a lot of very hard lessons. We look at life so differently now.
Many people ask us how we can be so positive. I think that is an interesting question; as I don't think Susan or I are naturally positive people. If you were to ask us about our whole experience I could tell you about the many amazing people we have been so fortunate to meet. These include some incredible medical professionals, families of kids with life threatening illnesses, and numerous old friends who, because of our situation, we have been re-connected with. We have also had many opportunities to speak in public about our story and have become involved with several organizations. All of these opportunities have been afforded to us as a result of our experiences. On the other hand, we have and will have our moments when we fall apart. In particular, the past month and a half have been difficult; and it frustrates us. I don't want to convey the impression that everything is under control. In many ways they are not. These are the peaks and valleys that are likely to continue as the journey we have embarked on is life-long. Everything is about balance and focussing on what's important. In many ways, our life has become a lot simpler.