Saturday, March 21, 2015

2012: Scrapbooking a Tough Year

Let's be honest. My 2012 sucked. Even before Paul was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma while we were half way around the world, our daughter Clara had decided it would be the year she would test her independence and our limits. So, there were fewer happy family photos from the start of the year. Off we went to Ireland, and I did take a bunch of photos of our trip there. Then it was off to Barcelona and one of the worst days of my life (sitting on the curb in the ambulance bay, crying because I had just put my two teenagers on an international flight alone, hoping they would make it home, and praying because Paul was starting chemotherapy upstairs with doctors who didn't speak the same language I did). Sigh. I did wander about Barcelona a bit, taking photos to pass the time in-between visiting hours at the hospital. Three weeks later we flew home. Photographs from the rest of the year were few and far between; somehow I just couldn't take many photos of my poor bald, eyebrow-less husband. 
So, from a scrapbooking perspective, at the end of 2012, I had photos for about a dozen layouts for a family album, a bunch of travel photos of Ireland, and some photos from Barcelona which were rife with memories of a very, very tough time in my life.  The photos sat for quite a while. In 2013, I did make a nice photo book of our Ireland photos (you can read about it here). And recently, I made a photo book of the Barcelona photos (8x8 soft cover from Shutterfly) and completed 12 layouts with my 2012 photos.
On the whole, I got through the journaling by keeping it very neutral and objective. The cover page reads "In the summer of 2012, we planned a week long trip to Barcelona, Spain after I taught a summer class in Dublin, Ireland. Our plans changed quickly when Paul got sick and was hospitalized. The children went home early. I still captured some of the sights of this amazing city."  I have two pages of photos of the Plaza Espana; one with the kids and one with just scenery. On the first I journaled, "The kids enjoyed Barcelona before they left. They enjoyed eating outside; shopping; sleeping and eating late; and the warm air." On the second page, I wrote "After Paul went into the hospital and the kids left, I rented a room at a hotel just off the Plaza Espana. The room was very small but relatively inexpensive with a great location." Most other entries don't mention the unusual circumstances of the trip.
In the scrapbook, the only mention I make of Paul's illness is in the Christmas layout where I say how happy we were that he was home instead of in the hospital for the holiday.
I'm glad that year is behind us. I'm glad that scrapbooking task is behind me. 
And I'm really glad to report that Paul's cancer has now been in remission for two years! He finished chemotherapy about a year ago, and the Doctor still does a "Pet Scan" every six months or so. He had one this week, and it turned out all clear. I'm not sure they will ever say he is cured or stop doing semi-annual checks, but for now, I will wallow in this good news. 
And keep taking photographs.
Because 2015 is a much happier year to scrap.

11 comments:

Jane said...

what a truly appalling time for you all. I know how you feel about scrapbooking it, my grandson was diagnosed with leukaemia and I have never scrapped those three years. I'm so pleased your husband is in remission, doctors are wonderful x

Karen said...

Thank goodness the story has a happy ending! I've never scrapped the worst years of our marriage, and I'm not sure I ever will. We all survived, and it, too, has had a very happy ending but I don't think anyone in the family needs to be reminded of what we went through.

Maggie said...

That was indeed a traumatic year for you. So glad he remains well now.

Ladkyis said...

On the positive side that journey home without her parents probably contributed more to Clara's successful transition from a child to a young adult than you will ever know. I remember that year so well and I am doing the happy dance for Paul

Sian said...

You were very brave. When I think back to the happy time we had together, with no idea of what was to come..

I love how you are going back and recording it, though. That's another brave thing to do x

Susanne said...

Glad to hear there is good news. And given a little time and distance should make it a bit easier to scrap - I hope you find the process helpful.

Eileen T said...

I understand what you mean about not wanting photos recording Paul's illness. I didn't take many of my partner following his diagnosis of motor neurone disease as I didn't want to record, or look back on, the deterioration in his health.

I'm glad you've managed to sort out your scrapbooking for such a traumatic time in your lives.

scrappyjacky said...

I think it's brave to record it....but definately the right thing to do.

alexa said...

I am saluting your courage, Rinda, in making something of that year despite the trauma of it all - a testament to your resilience as a family. So glad to hear such positive news!

Jennifer Grace said...

Well done for scrapbooking it even though the times were tough. And it doesn't matter that you don't have many photos from that year, as you've had so many wonderful years around that one to enjoy scrapbooking about. Here's to taking lots of photos in 2015! x

Gail said...

I'm glad you were finally able to scrapbook it and so glad to hear the results of Paul's 6 month check.