Every year I mark the anniversary of my brain tumour surgeries.
This year, I wanted to go beyond the usual Facebook post of “Today, December 14, is ‘X’ years since my second brain surgery,” and insert mildly humorous antidote here.
I tried to write a quirky letter to my second brain tumour. Then I attempted a post about the differences between the two surgeries. Instead, I stared at a blank page.
I’m in the process of writing a memoir about my brain tumours and life with epilepsy. I was obsessed with obtaining name permissions and a title. I also worried where do I start? Where should the book end? Meanwhile, the computer cursor was blinking.
I’ve written unposted blogs several times about my brain tumours. I didn’t post them because they’re better suited for the book. It happened – again – today when I wrote a personified, pun-filled letter to my second brain tumour, who I told I hoped had been squished into pâté and served on Ritz crackers.
I never forget my surgeries. But the second surgery was a b***h. The recovery was horrible. I had no idea who or where I was, or the date. Or my birth date. No one warned my parents I might be slightly altered after the surgeries. And when I say slightly, I mean … well, have you ever watched “The Exorcist”? In a word, that time of my life was hell.
After a brief time with aphasia, I was able to speak properly. It’s mind blowing to think I had a career in broadcasting, and I was one of the top students in radio at Red River College.
If I’ve learned anything, especially in the last month, it’s that we need to live in the moment. Living for what the future might bring? It’s not guaranteed. Entering grade ten, I had my life mapped out. All university level courses. Entering my pre-novice skating year. Heading for, no-doubt, my fourth straight honour roll, and a future in criminal law.
Life will throw curve balls, and you have to learn to bend – and most importantly – to adapt.
Because my life and those plans changed overnight.
TL:DR – Today is 24 years since my second brain tumour surgery. I wish my neurosurgeon said, “Now, after surgery, she may be slightly altered. And when I say slightly, I mean … have you ever watched ‘The Exorcist’?”