I have been told by several doctors now that I may have had this brain tumor for many, many years and that it may not grow or cause any harm. Followed by, they can’t really be sure without a biopsy. Followed by, it is in a very risky place to biopsy, so we will just watch it with MRIs to see if it’s growing.
Alright, so say I’ve had this Bob character on my brain stem for years, even since childhood. So, I’m going through life, with all of it’s joys and challenges (brain tumor hanging out), survive the awkward pre-teen and teen years (brain tumor hanging out), develop friendships, hobbies, relationships, several careers (brain tumor, still there), all the usual “life-happening” stuff, with absolutely no knowledge of this brain tumor the entire time.
I started getting these uncontrolled muscle movements, which increased in frequency and intensity over the period of a year or more, until they got bad enough to scare me into seeing a neurologist, who sent me for an MRI. BAM, brain tumor in black and white. Suddenly, I have been made aware of the fact that there is a tumor on my brain stem and I freak the f*ck out. Nothing physically changed in me overnight from March 31st to April 1st, but suddenly I could not function as before. I spent two weeks alternately laughing and crying, unable to work, unable sleep through the night, or eat a decent meal. Due to the knowledge of having a brain tumor, not due to any physical changes. The doctors can’t even agree about whether or not the muscle movement is caused by the tumor.
So, would I have been better off not knowing about Bob? If it turns out that he’s actually growing (5 more weeks til the next MRI), then definitely a good thing to have found out! What if he’s not growing, though?
I have a much deeper appreciation for life since knowing about Bob. I have been given the perfect reason to practice living in the moment, taking each day as it comes. Yes, I have had periods of great fear about the future, greater fear than I’ve ever experienced up until this point. That fear forces me to choose between living in the moment, where I feel healthy, happy, grateful, and strong, or go down the path of the unknown, where my imagination swims in a tidal wave of fearful scenarios. Living in the present moment has become a much easier choice.
While the knowing created a complete upheaval of my routine life, and led me into almost overwhelming fear and anxiety, it has also brought me past that to a great freedom and sometimes (sometimes!) serenity of living in the moment.
More will be revealed…