I think 2008 will be a difficult year.
This coming April, it will be 7 years since Mike's diagnosis. When he was first diagnosed, I was told the average life expectancy for Early Onset was 5-7 years. I have read articles indicating 4-5 years. Either way, it has been a long time and I fear what this year will bring for Mike...and for us.
My mom is also getting older and that is showing more and more. For so long she's been coming to the house to help with odds and ends, here and there. When the kids were little, she would watch them for me. As they got older, she would get them to school, appointments etc. Since Mike got sick, she helped with laundry and keeping track of the kids schedule. These days, she's slowing down. She has spinal stenosis in her back and for the last 2 weeks, she has had trouble walking. She refuses to give up doing the wash, as much as we fight with her to rest. The reality is, my mom is no spring chicken anymore and it is evident she will be able to do less and less to help us.
Courtney is a Junior this year. This is a difficult year for her. She will have to begin the process of looking for colleges. She's not sure what she wants to do, but she does know she wants to go to school "near" us. She mentioned the farthest she will go is NYC. The effects of the stress she is putting herself through, as well as normal 16 year old stress, is beginning to rear it's ugly head. I'm not quite sure how we will afford college, I just hope she gets some scholarships. Either way, I told her we will work it out. Oh yeah, and I've also been teaching her to drive. Now if THAT doesn't take a few years off my life, nothing else will.
Taking all of the above into consideration, I think it will be a difficult, uncertain year.