back to… real life?

When I was a little kiddo, I sometimes enjoyed such vivid, fantastical dreams that I could almost convince myself that my dreams were real life and my waking life was just a dream.  Perhaps I was not so far from the truth?

Today, getting back to my Real Life, I lasted only 3 hours at work before the numbers on the computer screen began to run together and I felt I would fall asleep sitting upright.  It was a valiant effort, if I do say so myself, considering the spin-cycle that my emotional life has been on for the past two weeks!  And, you know, there’s Bob… just hanging out, making himself comfortable for the long haul.  I asked my supervisor if we could add Bob to the payroll since he’ll be working right along with me. No-go. So I guess I’ll need to build up my work-day endurance and earn the income for both of us.  Leach.  All he wants to do is nap all day.  Imagine that, trying to keep an entire F*ing galaxy awake in your brain! I’d better up my quota of coffee. And bacon. I’m pretty sure Bob is the one behind my obsessive thoughts of bacon. Well, that, and pigs are delicious.

Holy crap, it just occurred to me that maybe all those fantastical dreams were messages from Bob! Damn, I wish I had written them down.  BOB, Bob, Bob, Bob, hey BOB! Make me dream of flying again!! Those were my favorites, soaring freely just above the tree line, such freedom!

Real Life? I’m not so sure how I feel about that now.

More will be revealed…

Dawn

best case scenario, lucky girl-with-brain-tumor…

So, I’m in a state of euphoric shock still. I finally saw the neuro-oncologist today, twelve days after finding out that there is a tumor hanging out on my brain-stem.  After seeing my neurologist who looked at me like he just ran over my cat when he broke the news to me, and a neuro-surgeon who was telling me about the different options to open my skull or poke holes in it to get a sample of Bob for a biopsy.  And, let’s not forget my own consultation with Dr. Google.

The neuro-oncologist, the specialist who analyzes brain tumors daily and diagnosis this shit, thinks that good ol’ Bob has been with me for a very long time, just slowly growing with no aggressive tendencies. She sees no need, for now, to try to take a chunk of Bob for the lab to examine, but we will keep a watchful eye on him. Rather she will, all I see is a glowing marble who I now refer to in third person.

Follow up MRI in three months to see if he’s had any growth-spurts… other than that, back to daily living. With an entirely new perspective.  So, thanks Bob.

Thank you all for your support, love, prayers, and good mojo!

More will be revealed…

Love,

Dawn

Just because it's pretty.
Just because it’s pretty.

my future’s so bright…

sunny front porch

… I gotta wear shades!

(entry started on 4/12/15)

Today has been a fantastic day!  It’s a feeling that I no longer take for granted, or let slip past me.  I want to yell from my rooftop, “It’s a beautiful, sunshiney, awesome spring day, everybody!”  Even IF my mom thinks the word “awesome” is over-used. It is a day in which I only napped once, and for less than an hour.  My mom took Saffie and I out to Chattfield off-leash dog park, and it was a 70 degree (F) day of sunshine with beautiful cloud formations. It was a day when I only thought about Bob dozens of times and not hundreds, in which I could eat without feeling nausea from anxiety of what’s to come.  I truly felt present, in my body, and in the moment most of the day, and fully enjoyed it!  I wish for you all to have many days such as this, staying present, staying in your body, looking at your where your feet are and not into the fears and worries of the future. Today is the only day we can do anything about, and today can be beautiful!

Thank you for reading! More will be revealed…

Dawn & Saffie

chattfield

the “what-if” game

For those of you who may not know, I have been sober from alcohol and drugs since January 31, 1997.  18 years, that’s a lifetime, and feels like several. There is a little mind-game that every sober alcoholic I know plays, called, “I would drink again if____________.”  Also know as “If ___________ happened, I would get drunk over it.”

In the beginning of my journey into sobriety, I would want to drink for really big important reasons, like it happened to be Tuesday and I had managed to stay at work for the entire day; or I stubbed a toe. Going to the grocery store was a big trigger, the beer was in the same aisle as the bread.

I spent countless nights wondering how I would get married and not drink champagne, or go to someone else’s wedding and not drink alcohol.  I agonized over whether or not I would invite my actively drinking alcoholic father to my wedding. I was single during many of these sleepless nights, no fiance waiting in the wings.  My dad has since died, and I’m still not married, so I sorta just side-stepped that whole dilemma, at the same time proving to myself yet again that fear of future events is a waste of time.

Yet here I am, day after day, full of fear about the future.  Ever since reading that stupid MRI report 12 days ago, my mind has lived in a mansion of What-Ifs. Not all-day every-day, but at least a hundred times a day. I step into the fun-house and stare at my warped reflection in the distorted mirrors, i loose my balance on the spinning, tilting floors, and run from the mad, mad clowns.  Then I nap.  I nap for hours, drifting into a blissful state of non-thinking. Each time I awake, I am startled again by the remembering. I have a brain tumor.

This would not have even occurred to me as a possibility on the “What would you drink over” game.

When I went to my psychiatrist with my involuntary movement symptoms, and he suggested that I see a neurologist for an MRI, “and make it a high priority.” That, hearing that, stirred the desire to throw back some whiskey to blot out my fear.

However, the words, “You have a brain tumor.” Well, fuck drinking, I’ve got some serious shit to do! Like post more pictures of my dog on Facebook.

Thanks for reading along with me.  More will be revealed…

Dawn

saffie sselfie

more of the unknown

I guess this is time to practice being comfortable in the unknown and letting go of the story.

My entourage and I sat in the neurosurgeon’s office yesterday afternoon learning a great deal about these fascinating pictures of the brain. He used words like bifurcation and hydrocephalus, and pointed out little passageways and cranial nerves. It was truly amazing.  I wrote a lot of words down but now when I try to look them up, I spelled most of them so incorrectly that my spell-check is permanently damaged.

Watching the doctor whirl through these images and explain the nooks and crannies was so cool. it was like being on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  Then life would come into bitter-sharp focus and I would say to myself, “that’s MY brain and MY brain tumor he’s discussing,” and suddenly the lint on my sweatshirt was the most fascinating thing I’d ever seen.

I would lean in, eyes wide open, and say, “wow, really, you can just remove the temporal part of the skull and stick a big needle right through the brain, scoop some of that tumor out, pop a drain in for that extra fluid, and close it back up?” That’s SO cool…. oh shit, that’s MY brain we are talking about. And then the list of risks, which I am not listing here, thank you very much.

This dude will present my case to his team of specialists when they meet again in two weeks.

Next step: meeting a Neuro-Oncologist on Monday (she’s coming in special for me on her day off!), schedule a full-body PET scan and spinal cord MRI.  If this damn leach started anywhere else, then they can biopsy that spot first to see what it is and skip the whole big needle-through-my-brain part.  Then again, that would also mean that I have a metastasizing cancer, which I’ve heard really sucks the big one. At any rate the neuro-onc will also present my case to her team. And… you know, more will be revealed…

So, I get to do my best to keep both feet and mind in today, and not hop on that future train. Right now, I am healthy, and the only thing hurting is my stupid sprained wrist! Damn, life is good, ya’ll!

Thanks for reading along.

Dawn

so this brain tumor walks into a bar…

What a bonding moment with mom… I just assigned her durable power of attorney for my healthcare and we filled out my advanced directive/living will together after a delicious bowl of home-made soup; Thank God we share the same philosophy on end-of-life medical care, that could have gotten ugly.  OK, not that I’m planning on getting the plug pulled anytime soon, because we have some major ass-whooping to do, but just in case.  I wasn’t really counting on a brain tumor either, so one can only be so prepared.  This goes right along with registering over the phone for my neuro-oncology appointment and being asked to proved the name and number for my next of kin.  I thought that was getting a little ahead of themselves.  Downright tacky.

I’m no queen of etiquette, but could you buy me a drink before we get that personal?  Not that I would drink it.  I haven’t had a sip of alcohol in over 18 years, and maybe if Bob’s an alcoholic, he’ll scootch right out through my ear and mosey over to the nearest bar.  That would be a neat trick!

anger un-management.

angry me

I have never been great at expressing anger in a constructive way, or even recognizing the feeling at all before it builds up for so long that I erupt like a volcano, spewing molten lava and ash on anyone unfortunate enough to be near me at that magical moment.

More often, when I feel a niggling of “anger”, I begin to blame myself for the situation, shove it down, and wonder what I did wrong.  I begin to punish myself with “I shouldn’t feel this way” and “what’s wrong with me?”

Then Bob came along.  And while I get the whole staying positive and having faith thing, I am also one pissed off, angry, fuck this chic right now.  I mean, right now as in when I took that lovely bed-head, middle fingered selfie this morning.  It was more of a fleeting anger, with a sweet promise of more to come.  And I didn’t get disappointed in myself for feeling it, I didn’t try to shove it down or put on a happy face and pretend that everything is just FINE dammit.  Because it’s really not.  I have a fucking brain tumor people.

A few days ago when I had another mood swing from Zen-delicious to shit-sandwich, a wise friend said:

We don’t have to attach ourselves to how we felt yesterday, or try to recreate it.  Today is a new day of feelings and thoughts, all we have to do is shine a light of awareness.  Be gentle to yourself.  Feelings are impermanent, our thoughts will flee under the light of awareness.

Pretty cool, huh?

Oh, and say it with me, F you, Bob!

Thank you for reading along… more will be revealed (for realsies, neurosurgeon consult tomorrow afternoon)

Dawn