the back story

I have a clear cut dividing line in my life.

39 years on one side – 5 years on the other.

My husband’s {inoperable and incurable} brain tumor has been the greatest blessing I have ever received. Let me say it again – his brain tumor is my BLESSING. I know this with 100% certainty – I have never been so full of joy and happiness. Right here and right now. Oh, let me clear one thing up from the start. I am not in denial nor am I deluded. If you can let that suspicion go, the story means more.

We were sailing right along until….we weren’t.

Trish and Eric

Two amazing kids, happy and healthy, a ridiculously lovable yellow lab, a house on the best street in my favorite neighborhood, a career I loved, loads of friends and family – all that was missing was the proverbial white picket fence. Life was easy shmeasy. I didn’t really realize what I had. Few do. There are always annoyances and challenges to consume our minds and to divert our attention. It’s the rub for us all, isn’t it? It takes a jolt to see what’s right in front of us. I surely got mine.

I will never forget my pivotal moment – the one that woke me from my despair and truly brought more light into my life that I could ever have imagined. Sitting on our sofa together soon after the biopsy of the tumor, Eric and I had tears streaming down our faces (I am sure I had snot running down my chin, too- I am an ugly crier that surpasses all other ugly criers. Trust me. It would make you want to look away)

we both were thinking the same thing….

struggling to choke out the words…

we are so blessed

We were beautifully overcome by gratitude for what we had. We had love and support and spiritual nourishment and physical nourishment and kindness and concern… We had it all, and we were finally able to see it.

Never again, not one moment, has it been about what we don’t have or what has been taken away or what may happen in the future.

The joy I have has taken five years to cultivate. I practice. Every. Single. Day.  My joy, my life will never be perfect – it never has been.  The difference now is that I don’t work towards an unattainable {and undesirable} goal.  I thank God, the universe, the f-d up piece of DNA in my husband’s brain…. for giving me life.

We handle the f-ing brain tumor (FGlioma has become our mantra, our power) as the most trivial and meaningless aspect of our life. It doesn’t have power over us – in fact we have sapped it of all of its power by laughing at it, ridiculing it, using it for change and good and happiness, sharing with others our lessons through this journey….. it is weak and we are strong.

I need my children to know that life is beautiful

in the face of adversity and, no matter what, we get up.

It has been five years since I heard the words “There is a mass in your husband’s brain…we need to get him to the Neuro ICU” .  These have been the five most difficult and yet rewarding years of my life.  I have failed many times.  MANY times.  I’ve failed in how I handle my emotions, my husband, my children, my relationships with friends and family….. I have spent time being busy – so very busy – just to stop thinking.  I have spent hours wasted on Netflix, escaping my reality.  I have ignored even the simplest of tasks like returning a text or phone call.  I left my job of 12 years and felt the overwhelming terror of filling the hours of the day by myself.  I’ve cried.  I’ve raged.  I’ve been irrational and snarky and pissed.

But above all else I have come to a place where I am happy just to be right here in this very moment.  

I am so thankful for my family and friends who love and understand unconditionally;  for everyone following this journey and offering thoughts, prayers, and intentions; for a sense of humor that is the ONLY thing that makes life remotely tolerable; for my sacred yoga practice and community – my teachers and role models who have given me gifts that are truly magical; for my blessed and privileged life that allows me to follow my heart and passion.


7 thoughts on “the back story

  1. Hello Trish this is your cousin from Pittsburgh, Pa. Melissa Balogh Scheiwer. I loved reading all you have done here. I remember how I would get so excited when I would find out that you were coming to Richeyville for a visit. it seems that you are still that fun wonderful person that I remember. I will continue to follow this wonderful Blog that you have. Take care and if you have the time I’d love to hear form you…..


  2. LOVE LOVE your positive outlook on your life. It makes me realize – you can’t change things, it is what it is. The only thing you can change is whether to be happy or sad – and you’ve obviously decided HAPPY – youre such an inspirational family.


  3. I read A LOT of brain cancer blogs, and NEVER post a comment, but I just have to. Thank you for writing. I found your blog by Googling “husband with brain cancer,” ’cause guess what? My husband has a brain tumor too (and I can’t stop myself from obsessive internet searches on the subject). Your writings are the first I’ve come across that truly speak to me, and to how I view my situation. So, thank you.


    1. I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me. Thank you for taking the time to reach out. It is a hard place to be, and I am so sorry to hear about your husband. Thank you thank you! I am humbled that my words spoke to you. Xo


  4. You, Eric, and your family have been in our prayers since we learned about your journey at Harrisburg UMC. Brett, our son, went to college with Adrian, so we feel a special kinship with you.

    I appreciate your passion, your honesty, and your willingness to allow others to look into your soul.

    We care. Be at peace.


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