It’s been a little more than 2 years now since my Mama was diagnosed with brain cancer and I became an instant caregiver. The ripple effect on our previously independent lives is dramatic and deeply felt every day.
Last year, when we learned that her extremely rare brain cancer is considered terminal, we decided to fulfill a big wish of Mama’s — to take a trip together to her beloved Venice, Italy (she’d previously spent time blogging and painting there). With the help of friends (thank you ALL!!!), we took a very special trip last fall; and photos, art and memories from it fill our home and our minds.
I’ve spent much of this summer blogging about our adventures and sharing some of the thousands of photos I took. It’s helped keep our minds off of the what-feels-like-forever-long wait between one MRI scan after another this summer. As the next MRI scan approaches, I’ve clammed up. That’s what I do. Hunker down, doing what needs to be done to get through as best we can. (But I love writing and hiding from my blog helps no one; so to any readers out there, I apologize for my absence.)
Despite the unclear news that something bad (recurrent tumor or radiation trauma) is going on in Mama’s brain, she’s physically doing better now than she’s been since the diagnosis. Neurological physical therapy has been helping her balance and walking tremendously. She was having a much harder time last year when we took our trip. Traveling disabled was difficult, but being in Venice breathed new life into Mama. And I understood why she wanted to move there.
I hope that blogging about our special trip will have some similar effect. Here are a few of my favorites in the ‘To Venice, with Love’ series this summer: the Rialto Bridge and Rialto Market, the outstanding gelato and our beloved Campiello del Remer. And here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming up next… the best meal ever, the perfect way to see Venice, disabled travel tips, Video: ride down the Grand Canal, funny signs, traveling to Italy with dog, a Venetian apartment rental company review, an exclusive at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, artisans of Venice, a weekend in Verona, and more!