Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whoops... it's been awhile..

I can't believe it has been SOOO long since I updated my blog... well, I CAN believe it... I've been too busy on Facebook, and I don't consider myself much of a blogger.  I must say that I HAVE written in my journal several times in the last while, so I'm  not a TOTAL slacker at writing...

If I were to sum up the year 2012...
                    In January, Mark started a new job at Banner Health Corporation.  After he left his job at Bridgeway, he always had contract work, and we had no financial impact. There were three jobs to choose from, and the Banner job turned out to be the biggest blessing.  We prayed intently to choose the job that would be best for our family.
                    In February, I turned 45... not such a bad year... I still feel young. We passed the 6 year mark of my mother's passing.   I still miss her.
                    In March, the kids & I went camping at Workman's Creek during Spring Break with our neighbors, the Haws family. It was pretty cold at night, but we had a great time, doing a little hiking, some game playing, some movie watching, bread baking, and target (balloon) shooting.  Mark didn't get time off work since he just started his job.  I also ran my first official 10k race at the Phoenix Marathon event.  I actually came in 3rd place in my "Athena " category (over 150 lbs) and was 7th in my age category.
                    In April, I travelled to California with a bunch of ladies I did not know, save one, and ran in the Ragnar SoCal relay- it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was lots of fun, too!  I got to know some new ladies/friends, and pushed myself thru a 10 mile leg in 90 degree heat that I thought was going to kill me.  While I was travelling back home from CA, I got a call from Mark that began a new chapter in our lives...
                   In May, Mark was diagnosed with a Ewing Sarcoma (cancer) tumor in his leg, with some lesions also visible in his lungs.  He had a port installed and began a Chemotherapy regimen of 17 cycles, in which has infusion every 3 weeks.  The hope is that the tumor will be shrunken enough to operate & remove it, but there is still the likelihood that he may lose part of his leg.  We are, however, looking on the bright side of things and striving to live with faith, not fear.  We had a good family picture taken on Memorial Day prior to Chemotherapy starting which would cause Mark to lose his hair.
                    In June... Jessica went to Girl's camp and Especially for Youth in Flagstaff- Mallory went swimming alot, and Mark began chemo at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.  It is the best place.. it is only 3 miles from our home, and the benefits thru Mark's employer are very good. Brennan went on a scuba diving trip to California that he had prepared for with his Priest's Quorum.
                    In July, we were sad to have to stay home from the Golding/McCabe/Sullivan reunion that was held at Flaming Gorge in Utah.  We'd been looking forward to it, but with the new job and chemo starting, we just could not get away.  Later in the month, Mark somehow got Cellulitis in his leg, which forced a 5 day hospital stay for IV antibiotics, and two weeks of home health care IV antibiotics.
                   In August - school started again, we have  Senior- Brennan, a Sophomore - Jessica, and a Sixth Grader - Mallory!  Brennan & Jessica leave for have an A Hour class which starts around 6:45, so they leave around 6:20 for school.  They have been driving my car, since I've been driving Mark to work.  
                  In September..... can't find that much that happened in September - nothing stands out.. school and work and chemo.. that's about it!
                  In October - Since we were not able to go to the family reunion in July, or take any other vacations, I was looking to get out of town. I was able to secure two sets of two tickets for General Conference in Salt Lake City.  So Mallory & Jessica & I left Friday afternoon, Oct 5th and headed for Utah. We stayed the night in St George with the Clements, then made it to SLC for Sat afternoon session - Mallory & I attended.  Then we had a quick visit with niece/cousin Annika's family, then to Cache Valley. Mallory stayed overnight with Lexi Hall in Wellsville, and Jessica & I went back to SLC in the morning for Conference. Back to Hyrum to spend the night. Drove up to the Cabin to see Josh, Alyssa & Wesley on Monday and play games. Tuesday we headed south, visited with Marcy's family in Bluffdale, saw Grma & Grpa Brown there. Weds morning we stopped to see Josh & Melissa Gustafson & Trevor & Shelly Brown & all their children - great to see them & meet their kids!  On the way home to AZ, we stopped in Cedar City to see Jenai Christensen Axelson, a mission friend who had terminal breast cancer - so glad to see her as she passed away not long after that. It was a quick trip, but was glad to get out of town, Brennan tried to take good care of Mark & help him out while I was away.
             In November - Ragnar Las Vegas was my main event - about 4 weeks prior I was approached by Jon Jamieson who needed runners for his team!  I was crazy enough to say yes, so the 8th-11th was taken up by travel time and relay running!  Had a great time- more new friends!  It was COLD and WINDY in Vegas, but having a place to sleep & shower made a difference - (didn't have that in So Cal). My first leg I was running into 35mph wind just about the whole 5+miles - it seemed like it was uphill, but it was not. Enjoyed meeting new friends on this co-ed team!  Just prior to me leaving - my dad came for a visit - he needed a getaway, and I hadn't seen him since February - it was nice to have him her for a week.
             In December - it seems that I always wait til the last minute to get ready for Christmas.. We got the tree up, but it took several days before it got decorated.  My job gets pretty busy this time of year, so I get a little occupied with that.  Mark's had a cough, we've been trying to keep him from getting sick- last week of the month he found out that he's anemic & his blood counts are really low, which means his immune system is compromised. He's stayed home from work & church, hoping to avoid sick people and infections that could be really bad for him. Christmas was not the best ever, we had some struggles, but we were together.  I had my family come for waffles on Christmas morning - so my siblings families came - fed everyone - then when they all left, The Brown family went to see The Hobbit together - it's been awhile since ALL FIVE of us went to the movies together.  As our children are getting older they are doing more on their own, so I was glad to do this activity together.  I am thankful for my sweet family, as trying as it may be sometimes.  I am grateful to be a mother - and a caregiver at this time to my husband.  We strive to have faith that this challenge will be to our benefit - that we will learn from it and that all will be well in the end.

I don't know if anyone ever reads my blog anymore... let me know if you do happen to stop by!
Happy New Year to all!  With love, from the Brown Family!