My tea this morning came with a message:
Life is a constant flow of love.
Regardless of the source, I needed this thought today--even if it did come attached to a teabag :).
I've been overwhelmed and tired recently. I'm attributing the feelings to the end-of-the-school-year-to-beginning-of-summer transition with stuff everywhere and five children now at home most days. Teenage and toddler dilemmas combined with constant flow to and from the pantry and refrigerator, housework, doctor's appointments, shuttling kids all over town, no reliable sitters, a traveling husband and limited contact with friends (& the outside world in general) makes daily life feel like the movie Groundhog Day (where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over). I am trying to find the energy and will to do it all. With a smile.
Today is a big day for me. Five years ago at this exact time, I was under anesthesia having brain surgery--and Chris was anxiously waiting to make sure I'd come through the surgery safely and to hear whether the surgeon was able to remove the entire tumor.
In some ways, that day seems like a lifetime ago. But it isn't hard to get right back to that place and time when every step felt wobbly, when every moment felt tentative and fragile.
Soon after the surgery, when I finally knew how it would all play out, I began having the strangest sensation. It was an unusual and powerful mixture of gratitude and anxiety that would bubble up and leave me gasping for breath.
It seemed like any time I was alone--which was only in the shower, or once in a while in the car--I couldn't stop it from happening. I kept thinking, How did that happen? How close did I come to leaving Chris and my kids without a wife and mom?
I had few symptoms, but my tumor was very large, and had displaced my brainstem. It was close to compromising my vital functions. After surgery, I was told how it could have been catastrophic, how it could have shut me down quietly and without warning. Even though the tumor is gone, I don't know if I'll ever feel safe again. And I don't think that is a bad thing.
When I start to get frustrated with all the obligations of daily life, I need the reminder that Life is also a constant flow of LOVE, not just chores :). How lucky I am to be here, to have the chance to see my children grow and to be surrounded by love. I have so many reasons to be thankful...
I found a file on my computer today: Acoustic Neuroma 2004. Here is an excerpt of an essay I wrote following the ordeal. It is called, Can a Brain Tumor be a Gift? (Yes)...
I t was a busy day at the ENT’s office and I waited two hours to see him to find out what was on my scan. He was straightforward and kind. “I’m sorry to tell you this. You have a sizeable tumor and unfortunately surgery is in your near future. But it’s just time for school to be out and we have so many summer plans. Nodding sympathetically, he said, “Your summer is going to be a little different than you had planned. I do not do these surgeries, but I have already talked to an outstanding neurosurgeon about your case. Someone from her office will be in touch with you this afternoon.”
*This was a temporary break from regularly scheduled programming. I have several posts, which actually deal with Ds, planned for this week :). Check back if you're interested!