Friday, January 16, 2015

Seven months out!

It has been seven months today since I had brain surgery.   A craniotomy.   Today is my "cranniversary"!

What does it all mean?  I had a brain tumor.  I felt crummy for months.  I got the tumor removed.  Completely.   I think I am still recovering.   Sometimes when I think about the reality of it all, I don't believe that *I* had a brain tumor.  Only people you hear about have them.  Or characters in movies.   A brain tumor puts a dramatic, serious spin on a story.  "Oh, you know who has a brain tumor".  "No, really?  Oh that's awful".  

My head has bumps and dips and seems to be a perpetually changing landscape.  I have a metal plate.  I have titanium screws- one of which pokes out a bit.  I guess I honestly do have a screw loose.

Sometimes I get really depressed.  Having babies was a vulnerable time and place.  Trust can be made or broken.   But, hopefully, if all goes well, you get to take a baby home.  You get to recover and get on with your life.   And of course, the angel of amnesia sets in. (no, you don't really forget)  Otherwise, nobody would have more than one child.  Ever.   You are never the same after having a baby.  Raising a child.  Loving an adult that grew inside and heard your heart beat in a way nobody else ever has or will.

But, having your head cut open.  Skin pealed back.  Skull cut.  Brain exposed.   That takes extreme trust.  Or shock.  Of fear.  Or all of the above.   The fear is not so much about the pain, but about the reality of life after having your brain exposed to air.  It is not meant to be exposed to air.  How will you feel after surgery?  Will you be yourself?  Will you be crippled, or have mental deficits?   And then you come out of it.  And, like becoming a parent, you have a new normal.   And I supposed, like having a baby, you forget or at least lose the intensity of the fact that a tumor was in your brain.

I find myself wondering;  am I more forgetful than before?   How have I changed?  Am I weaker, more susceptible to illness and injury.   Am I less capable and competent?   Who am I?  What do I want?   Who do I want to be?   What do I want to do?

So many questions.   I want to be well and energetic and healthy.  I want to learn to go easier on myself.  I want to give myself permission to just do nothing without feeling guilty.

Instead, I feel like a mess.  My head is lumpy.   My teeth are loose and I am having extractions in a couple of weeks.   I have trouble swallowing.  My thyroid is a mess and I cannot get whatever treatment I need to make it better.  I want someone else to take care of me.  I want to be a kid, whose parents make all the decisions and appointments and take responsibility for everything .  But, that is not my reality. And, honestly, my childhood's reality was not something I want to repeat.

My reality is something.  I am not sure what.   I see moms and babies and get such a charge just by being in their presence.  I feel wonderful when I hear a mom with a four month old talking a mom with a one month old and saying "well, Nancy told me to do this or that and it really helped".   I see moms who are exhausted and weepy and struggling.  And then I see the same moms with their smug smiles, knowing that they have a beautiful baby.  That they did it all with their own milk.   Oh, yes, that I love.  In my small way I know that I have made a contribution to those moments of beauty.  I do contribute to world peace in a small but important way.

To top it all off, I am 60!  That sounds old!  I think it is the beginning of old.  It is past middle age- unless I choose to believe that I am going to live to be 120 years old.   What the heck.  How did I get here?  Where is here anyway?

I decide to clean up my sewing/ study/ scrap-booking room.   It needs to be organized..  When I try to find a piece of colored paper or a paper cutter, I have to dig through layers of "stuff" to try to find anything.   Somehow, the process of cleaning and organizing seems to create more mess and chaos before order can be reached.

Life is messy.  And so is this room!      I call these pictures "before the after".  And I didn't even get a picture of my computer desk.  Maybe later.

The first of many bags of trash. Toys, patterns, fabric, yarn, pins(ouch).  My "stash" of things that I didn't even remember that I had.   Almost overwhelming.  Not quite, but I am taking it slow.

My sewing machine and some of the fabric in my stash!

           More fabric and patterns and my serger and iron. So much stuff to go through and some to toss

My scrap-booking area. The bags are full of unfinished projects also known as WIPs (works in progress).

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