First off, here's yet another article I helped to write.
It is funny how many different directions this blog has taken the last seven years I've been writing. At first it was just about the observations of single man in his 30s. Then I spoke about the challenges of overcoming a devastating fire, then I got married, then I had a son, then I was boring, then I was dormant, I came back by focusing on father's records and then I went silent again. Now it is time for yet another direction.
Last Friday, after two weeks of intermittently painful headaches, I went to the doctor and got a CT scan. On Friday afternoon I was told there was something irregular about the film, and then on Saturday morning I was told there is a tumor in the back of my head. I don't know whether it is cancerous or not, and they aren't exactly sure of how big it is, but surgery is in my future barring a sudden change. I have an MRI on my brain at some point this week--I had one 5 and a half years ago, and I wrote about it here.
As you can imagine, my emotions are all over the map. On Saturday, I felt like I was going to die, Sunday, I wanted to be around friends and family to forget, Monday I was in denial and tried to go to work only to break down crying, and today I feel ok enough to write about it. If you're reading about this and i haven't told you, I am sorry, it just gets difficult to keep telling folks, when I know damn well that I can write it a bit better.
My exact condition is called Meningioma, and based on what I've read, I have an excellent chance at coming out of this with nothing more than a scar that can be shown off at barbecues and Christmas parties. But this is still brain surgery we are talking about, so nothing is guaranteed, and the cancer part still looms large. What I do know is that this is the time for me to rely on what i (used) to do best, and that is writing. I keep hearing the questions, "How do you feel?" or "What can I do?", and the kneejerk reaction for me is to tell folks to be and act normal. But as my boss told me, you can't hear someone say they have a brain tumor and act normal. My mother's reaction was to pray, my brother's reaction was to ask me a million and one questions, my dad took a long pause then shared his own past health challenges. My wife is doing a great job of being strong, but I have no idea how she feels and acts when I'm not around.
I just know i don't want to die, and I want this to be a good, "remember that time?" story one day down the line.