Posts Tagged ‘ brain tumor ’

Love, Loss, Birth and Death: ‘Both Sides Now’ Shows One Mom’s Strength

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Nancy Sharp is the author of a highly praised new book, Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living.

Check out her heartbreaking yet totally inspiring memoir that she excerpts below:

“Imagine giving birth to twins, your first children. This is the miracle you and your husband have been waiting for, babies to affirm the future. It’s hard to describe the joy and release the two of you feel. Now imagine this: hours later, with you still in your hospital robe, your husband receives a surprise phone call from his neuro-oncologist. His voice cracks when he answers and you know immediately the news is bad from the way he slumps onto the hospital bed, turning his face from you.

Everything blurs in that instant, and while you should be the one consoling your husband, he’s the one trying to calm you. You are wild with post-pregnancy hormones, wild from fear.

How is it that a person holds life and death in the same moment?

This exact scenario happened to me on May 20, 2001. I’d just delivered twins, a girl Rebecca, and a boy Casey. Like many multiples, the twins were born prematurely, at 30 weeks. They were too tiny and frail to hold so they lay in incubators in the neonatal intensive unit at New York Cornell Hospital (check name). With the babies’ needs being met, and our immediate worry over their well being quelled, finally, my husband Brett and I had a quiet moment to ourselves. We nuzzled on my twin size hospital bed, dozing comfortably in one another’s arms.

That’s when the call came, jolting us from our dreams. Brett’s brain cancer had returned. The routine MRI he’d taken only a few days before revealed that there was a tumor in his brain and now down his spine, too.

These were terribly unlucky odds: new life and certain death all at the same time.

Fortunately, Brett lived until the twins were two and a half years old. We stayed put in New York City, trying to go forward but remaining horribly stuck in the past. We needed to make a bold change.

Which is how I decided in 2006, with the twins getting ready for kindergarten, that we would start anew in Denver, Colorado, a place Brett and I had always been drawn to. The Rocky Mountains offered a sense of permanence and peace. Besides, my college roommate and her family lived in Denver.

That brave decision led to so many others: buying a house on my own, selecting a school for the twins, making new friends, and even, risking love again by reaching out to a widowed TV anchor with two boys who was featured in a local magazine as one Denver’s most eligible singles. We wound up getting married and blending our families.

What I know today is that bold living has been at the heart of every rewarding thing that has ever happened to me. In spite of what life throws our way, it’s up to us to make the moments count. Are you daring enough to live the life you want to lead? Beauty and opportunity are abundant; take the time to see them.”

I wish you bold living.

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