May 27, 2017
We have returned to Minnesota for the summer now. With this arrival, thoughts of my brain surgery experience and up-coming appointments have returned to the front of my mind. It has been over six months since my surprise test results and surgery of an epidermoid brain tumor. (Take look back to my blog series under “Brain Surgery” for the details on what it is, symptoms, recovery and what I went through on this detour.)
Looking back, it was good for me to have left for the past few months, continuing our life traveling south in our fifth wheel trailer. This change propelled me into another stage of healing. I was not stuck in the rut of looking at the same walls, lying around inside through the entire Minnesota winter. This change challenged me to keep up with the rest of the family whether it was the long drives or the three mile hikes in the mountains and deserts. It pushed me to move on with life as no one else around knew what had happened and saw me as just another normal person. Other than a series of issues that frustrated me at an annoyance level, I carried on like other people do.
Once I came home, I saw how critical it was for me mentally to have left. The first time I walked into the bedroom where I slept while recovering, my mind flashed back to sleeping so much those first days at home from the hospital. I stepped into the shower and thought about the baby shampoo I gently massaged through my hair when stitches were still present. I recalled the evenings staring at the boring television as I reclined on the same couch and pillow. I recalled the same kitchen counter loaded with pain medications just months earlier. My mind wandered to the next MRI appointment coming up. It was that strange sense of morbid familiarity that desperately tried to overtake my every waking thought and suck me back into those initial recovering days.
To resist withdrawing back into the same mindset, I reminded myself of the progress. I do not have dizzy spells every hour. I can swing on a swing with my boys without feeling nauseous. Some weeks our family must have hiked over 15 miles on park trails. I function quite well at high altitudes. I bounce along in the truck for over 12 hours straight. I resumed my normal tasks of homeschooling, cooking, and cleaning. I paddle a canoe once more with my sons without intense headaches or much neck and back pain. Sure I am the first to tire, but after all I am keeping up with two active boys and a husband. I am thankful to God I am carrying on in life. I thank God the issue was found so quickly and dealt with before it became more severe. I am thankful for the perspective I have gained and life lessons my family have learned. There is no doubt that God carried me through this and continues to do so. Thank you, Jesus.
Until we meet again,