Brenden’s Story

Site created on February 1, 2019

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Journal entry by Brenden Butler

Hello everybody,
I’m aware its been a while so find a comfy seat and let’s do this. 
Before I say anything about what’s been going on I’d like to honor a couple people who finished their battles with Cancer and have moved on to the next journey with God, free of pain and suffering. First my Grandma Cathy’s husband David “Grandpa Dave” Kelley who took time with Grandma to visit me frequently in the hospital during treatment. Also my Aunt Dana’s mother Linda Miller who also made it a priority to check in and get updates often to make sure I was doing well. May they Rest In Peace free of any hardships they encountered in their lives. 
Now I suppose I should give an update on what has been going on.  We'll start with the good news that as of the end of June, I am 9 months NED (No evidence of Disease). That’s pretty cool right?  I think so. Anyway obviously an important milestone in this ongoing battle that really never ends. Which may have a bit of a negative sounding connotation, but really it leaves lots of opportunity for learning and growing. I will say that each day presents new challenges both mentally and physically and I’d be lying if I said I approached all of those challenges head on and whole heartedly but I think considering everything going on, I do just fine. I’ve been adapting to my life as an amputee relatively well. I have recently been using a couple new prosthetics that fit better and are better suited for a more active lifestyle. Many days still bring lots of frustration though. There is still lots of learning to be done and I still haven’t gained enough knowledge to achieve the level of comfort I would like. Most days bring a good amount of pain that I’m trying to figure out how to cope with. Hopefully I can find what works best for me. I certainly can’t complain though, I have been able to skate frequently and have somewhat recently been able to start running again. I’ve told myself that I will be able to do anything I want to. Some things just take time to adjust. 

Alright next up is college. For those that don’t know, I will be a Razorback this coming fall at the University of Arkansas. Also for those who are unaware, my sister Casey currently attends the university and we will be living together this year. I’m happy I’m able to have her there to make the transition just a little bit easier.  I am going to study Biomedical Engineering for a baseline to accepted to prosthetic school where I plan to gain the skills necessary to become a prosthetist. A prosthetist works directly with the patient to not only find the best prosthetic based on the patients lifestyle but also design and help build the actual prosthetic. It seemed like a pretty obvious calling at this point and I’m extremely determined to let nothing get in the way of my goal. 

As far as every day life goes, it hasn’t been anything too exciting. My mom was able to help me get a job where she works and luckily I’ve been staying busy. At this point I’m just counting down the days till I leave for school making sure I’m prepared for the stint in my life as college student. I’m sure there is plenty I’m forgetting that I know I would’ve liked to share but I think I covered most of the basics. So here’s to the times to come, especially in this period of unknowns. When it seems like things aren’t getting better, you just have to hold on a little tighter and ride out the storm. The best we can do is be good to each other, remember that every day is a gift and live in a way that makes us feel whole. 
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