Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome to My Blog About My Tumor


I've started writing this blog for four reasons:  1) to get out of my head and onto paper many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about having a brain tumor, 2) to help other folks cope with a brain tumor or some other serious health issue, 3) to give anybody wading through the muck and mire of rehabilitation some encouragement and solace, and 4) to hopefully give anybody reading this a smile or even a chuckle or two.

A key focus of this blog will be explaining how I used humor to remain sane while dealing with the insanity of a brain tumor the size of my wife’s fist. Much like Roberto Benigni’s movie, Life is Beautiful; the only way for me to cope with this horrifying situation was to find the humor in having a tumor. 

Also, you should know that much of the blog will refer to last fall, when I first learned that I had a tumor, and the following the months I spent addressing tumor-related health issues: preparing for the (first) operation, having an infected skull, removing the infected portion of the skull removed, immersing myself in the rehab process, facing up to radiation and, lastly, learning to live with my “new normal.” The words “new normal” are the medical community code words for saying “you’re alive so quit complaining” (…about your handicaps).

As my health changed, so did my humor.  It started as superficially light-hearted prior to the (first) operation; transmogrified into gallows humor as the severity of the operation became reality; bounced up into optimistically self-righteous humor as I returned home and seemed to heal; sank into black humor upon returning to the hospital; become increasingly sarcastic after being hooked up to a mobile 24-hour IV; listed towards silliness in advance of my third operation; and leveled out as somewhat wry after being blasted with radiation and significant rehab.

I hope to get comments from the other rehab patients, especially the ones I will be talking to – please don’t hesitate to comment, complain or vent – I certainly did.

I used to think that my journey was more of a marathon because it was long and arduous.  I was wrong.  It was more like a steeplechase than a marathon. Why? While the race was long and arduous, every so often I tripped on a hurdle and fell on my face in the mud. Each time, though, I’ve tried to laugh at myself, shake wipe off the mud and get back in the race.

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