Monthly Archives

June 2010

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Happiness Factors

I sat in 80 degree weather, in a parked car for over an hour today. I was staring at the gym, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go in. I’ve been having so many good days, I’m not sure what happened. My mood just changed, and I had a sobbing fit. It wasn’t anything in general that caused the shift, and I couldn’t pinpoint the exact emotions swirling around my head. From time to time I still get depressed, even though I’m progressing so well. It’s confusing. I’ve cried less from this brain tumor than I have over a bad breakup. I never did make it into the gym. I sweat enough in the car that I feel like I burnt a decent amount of calories, I was certainly dehydrated that’s for sure. Luckily Danny is extremely patient with me. When I got home he coaxed me to take a walk. I’m not exactly feeling great, but on a scale of 1 to 10 that started as a -1 my happiness factor rose to 3. If Danny wasn’t here I would probably be wallowing in bed. Not a pretty thought. Here’s Danny making me take a walk tonight….

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Mr Stewie

Sorry about the horrible vidiography (or whatever you call it), but Danny and I ran into Stewie after Bailey’s 2nd birthday today. The pixels or whatnot aren’t very good so the picture isn’t very good, but I think you get the point. I miss little Mini Stewie, but it’s good to see Mr Stewie around. He is awfully cute!

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I Drove Alone!

Alright, I caught a little flack regarding my gnarly scab photo. Sorry guys. The photo WAS pretty disgusting. I get so disgusted by myself with this head situation I just want to vent. Anyway, on to some good news….I DROVE ALONE!!! I am finally cleared to drive, and it feels amazing. Freedom! My mom is slightly nervous, but Danny put in a good word for me and my mom trusts his judgment. I used my get-out-of-jail-free card to get to the gym. It was nice to enjoy the 80 degree weather with my windows down. If I still had hair I’d have to use the air conditioner, but with this little buzz cut of mine I can be in a wind tunnel and my hair would still look the same. Definitely one of the perks of man hair. I was talking with my brother the other night about my progress and I had an epiphany. Kaal was telling me how great things will be when I get back to normal, and I realized he’s right, that things WILL get back to normal. I’m starting to drive, my speech is working out the kinks, I’m working out (albeit walking not running), and my life is getting back to normal. Sometimes I lose the big picture. I can get so caught up in the small things that I don’t realize how wonderful my brain is progressing. Leave it to my brother to give me that positive spin. He’s always been good at that!

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Perfecting The “Innocent” Look

It has been a few eventful days. Danny has been conducting routine minor surgeries on my scabs…here’s some disgusting photos….pretty mean of me to push these in your face, but I guess I might even delight in sharing them since I have to look them all day…you can curse me if you want. The surprising thing about the scabs is that they’re really looking better. Still revolting. I’ve been trying to keep my chin up, but this hairdo is less than ideal. I was oblivious to the fact that it will take forever for my hair to grow (relatively speaking). I do love the get-up-and-go part. I used to take 30 minutes blow drying my hair after a shower and now I just towel off my head. It’s weird to see how dark my hair is though, I was born blond and now I’m dark chocolate. Weird. In fact, I have PROOF of my blond hair…. For record, I didn’t eat that WHOLE bucket full of blackberries, some did land on my clothes. I think Kaal was panicked that I was heading over for his bucket. My brother is perfectly clean and I was always a mess. My teachers can now see that I had been perfecting that “innocent” look from an early start, but the proof is in the pudding, or in the lack of blackberries. Alright. I just finished my breakfast. Each day I make a smoothie, well it’s actually for both Danny and I. It consists of: 3 cups fresh spinach1/2 cup frozen blueberries1 banana2 tablespoons of Knox gelatinwater & ice to taste If anyone has any suggestions for other healthy ingredients let me know. I’ll eat anything that’s healthy. I’d like to pack the most nutrients in the least amount of calories (I save the calories…

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I Can’t Explain Myself to Myself

I’m frustrated. I can’t express myself. I was humming along just fine before brain surgeries and now I’m easily frustrated. I can’t handle changes very well. I need structure or I lose it. I’m mad at myself because I don’t like the person in my head. I feel like my brain has been taken over by someone else. Before the surgeries, before this huge change in my life, I used to adjust my personality when I didn’t like my behavior. I always told myself, if you don’t like it, change it. But now, it’s not so easy. I’m not rational. I’m quick to tear up. My blood pressures rises quickly. I don’t recognize my emotions. I’m exhausted trying to figure out what’s going on in my life and in my head. I tried to make a new schedule, an easier schedule one that’s more basic and THAT still overwhelmed me. I need the same routine, but life is impossible to schedule. I feel like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man panicking about Kmart underwear, without the amazing math abilities. The worst part is that I can’t expect other people to understand me because I can’t explain myself to myself.

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Scabby Makes Crabby

I am about to completely throw up on myself. Apparently, during my shower The water hit my scab and it started peeling back. This has to be a joke, this scab, blood, fluids, all of this is my worst nightmare. I abhor gooey things (non-edible of course). I’ve just spent a good 45 minutes trying to cut back the lifted area (there goes my allotment of writing time), but it’s impossible to do without scissors, nail clippers, and hydrogen peroxide which I do not have at the moment. I can’t wait until this scab is gone. Luckily it’s really looking like sooner than later. Gross. Soon I won’t have the tickle of tightness that comes with the scab. Just turning to look at my head in the mirror, I still can’t believe that they chopped open my head a few times. This might take a while to really sink in.

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Removing The Unknown

I’m still bald-ish with the gnarly scar carved across my head. The scab is slowly disappearing, and things are definitely looking up. Ever since this debacle started, specifically when I shaved my head, I was faced with the option to leave my head exposed or to cover my head with a scarf, hat or the possibility of a wig. When I’m home, or with close friends I leave my head exposed, but for the longest time while I was in public I left my head covered. I was covering my head, not for myself, but for those around me. I was trying to avoid the stares and the uncomfortable reality about my situation. I also didn’t want small children to run in fear (although the only child that’s actually seen my head was more concerned about my “owie” and wasn’t afraid in the least). I’ve noticed that people stare while I’m wearing hats or other covers. They can already tell that I don’t have much hair, and eyes just naturally gravitate toward my head. They don’t mean to stare, they’re just curious. They probably don’t even mean to keep staring. It has to be confusing that I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes, so they know that I’m not going through chemo, yet I don’t have much hair and there’s definitely something going on. As I’ve been grappling with this head situation I’ve been increasingly comfortable exposing my head, and I’m starting to walk around in public without hats, or scarfs. Without a cover on my head, people know that what they see is what they get. They can see that I’ve had some sort of traumatic surgery on my head and then they move on. In my own (very unscientific) study I believe people are more comfortable with the…

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Nurture The Mind

Today was fantastic yet exhausting, I’m officially back to work. Granted, it’s still very part time, it’s still great to be back in the warehouse! It was a little bit overwhelming at first to figure out my schedule, but I started a spreadsheet to manage my day. I know it sounds stupid that I need to hammer out my daily activities, but if I don’t organize my thoughts I’ll end up overwhelmed and then I don’t want to do anything at all.  I’m excited that I have a period in the morning to do my writing, so you might just see more blogs. According to my new schedule, I should have about 2.5 – 3 hours of writing each week day. I know it sounds silly, but even the last blog (yesterday) took about 1.5 hours to do even though is only three small paragraphs. Writing takes a lot out of me, but I really enjoy expressing myself. It’s a great outlet, and I think setting aside time to nurture my mind is a really helpful thing. Anyway, I’m going to sit back and relax for the rest of the night so I can start fresh in the morning. I think this new schedule is going to be a great new start, and a new phase in my recovery. I’m excited to have some direction!

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The Question

I just found this photo. It was taken in a hotel, a day before my first meeting with the Chief neurosurgeon at the UW in Seattle. At this point of my life all I knew was that I had a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. I was scared, unsure of my future, and pretty shell shocked about the turn of events. I remember Danny comforting me; we were both scared together. I guess, right now in my life I’m still scared about the changes to come. I’m grateful that I have the support of Danny, my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my friends but even though, it’s still scary. I’ve never done well with unanswered questions, in fact if I was a superhero I’d be The Question (according to Danny). I’m so glad I’ve been documenting this experience. Not just for the future, but because it reminds me of the past. Life can change so quickly.

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My First Book

This weekend marks my first night by myself, and my first weekend since the surgeries. Because I’ve been unable to take my pills regularly (I’d either forget I’d taken my pill, or accidentally eat too many), I’ve been untrustworthy to be alone. Finally, with the help of my speech therapist, I put my pills in an organizer and low and behold I am responsible! With my new found freedom, I’m being insanely lazy. On Thursday night I started off on the wrong foot by getting sucked into a marathon of the Real Housewives of New York, and almost lost it but I saved myself by turning off the TV and starting my first book. Normally I prefer non-fiction, or historical fiction (ie: Grapes of Wrath…I’m a sucker for Steinbeck). There’s something consuming about a good book, that television just can’t provide. So here I’ve been for the past two days reading my first book. I’m pretty sure that I’m not really retaining anything, but on some level I’m telling myself that it’s good practice for my brain, and it HAS to be better than television. Right now I’m reading a cheesy fiction story, about as mind numbing as it gets but it’s really fun! It’s like a Devil Wears Prada kinda book. I guess life is so serious sometimes you have to lighten up. My day goes about like this…..I wake up in the 5:00am hour and read for a couple hours, and take my medication, and then I go back to sleep. At around the 11:00am hour I make a pot of coffee and read some more, or continue working on my crossword puzzle (which I’ve been working on for three days…speaking of which, does anyone know what the heck “Mas that baa” that has four letters “e_es”). Then…

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