Slo-mo cliffhanger

Decided to buzz the left side of my head even though I am not getting the biopsy.
Decided to buzz the left side of my head even though I am not getting the biopsy.

I was told by my neurosurgeon in my “pre-biopsy” appointment last Thursday that my recent PET scans and MRIs show that there are no tumors in my organs, lymph, or spine.  That is truly awesome news.  Thing is, I never suspected that there was any metastasis, so instead of feeling relieved, I was like, “well, DUH.”

The result of this fantastic news is a total game-plan-change, which took me so much by surprise that I felt like someone kicked me in the gut and pushed me down one of those really steep water slides. I guess I don’t handle change well. Or dealing with the unknown.

I was mostly on board with the whole poke-Bob-with-a-needle and find out what he’s really made of plan.  I was mentally prepared to review the details and risks of the procedure, then go for it, as I was told three weeks ago that it would be scheduled this week.  Then, presto-plan-change occurred in front of my eyes (envision the magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but instead of a hat, it’s your gut and instead of a rabbit, it’s your lunch).

Took some deep breaths, slept three hours when we got home from that appointment, spoke to many a friend and my mom, and finally came to the conclusion that instead of freaking out that THE PLAN changed… I can embrace the fact that no one is drilling into my skull this coming week (which, as he detailed the risks involved, frankly became much less appealing). That’s the good news, yippee.  Surreal that THIS is now what is considered good news in my world.

So, countdown to 5 ½ more weeks until the next brain MRI (which will be a total of three months since the first peek).  If Bob is behaving and not trying to take over the rest of my brain, he gets to chill up in there; if he is reproducing baby stars in his galaxy (i.e. growing) then, back to plan A, biopsy the bastard.

And so on… no growth, wait 3 months, MRI, rinse, repeat.

Soooo, more will be revealed… or not.



Something shifted in my perception as I absorbed the words on the MRI report that day. As if a well worn cog suddenly slipped out of it’s groove and no longer fit in the machinery it was created for.  I know how Dorothy must have felt as she peaked behind the Wizard’s curtain in the land of Oz, then awoke in her own bed as if it had all been a dream.

My jolt was sudden, permanent, and without my permission.  For days, into weeks, nothing seemed real or important.  I wasn’t even sure if there was a point to getting out of bed, eating, or attempting to converse.  I felt uncaring, selfish, and detached from even those I loved most.  I wanted to shout at everyone I encountered who asked politely and without any true concern, “How are you today?” (i.e. the grocer clerk), “I have a f*ing BRAIN TUMOR! How are you?” so I worked hard to (usually) keep my mouth shut and just nod semi-politely.

All at once, I could see the entire planet as if I were standing on the moon with a giant telescope, AND only the very center of my brain as if looking at it through a powerful microscope.  Disorienting.  A little bit.

The extremely self-centered portion of my ego believes that nothing outside of my brain, particularly my brain stem upon which Bob has made himself at home, matters at all; while the portion of out-of-body me up on the moon, sees the giant sparkly web (of course it’s sparkly, it’s still MY perception) connecting every being, every breath, every thought since Creation began.

I am in free-fall, alternately reaching out to cling to everything I knew and letting go with faith that all is as it should be.

I know that I am not alone in having an unexpected and sudden life-changing event. Writing it down may help me to process and integrate this shift.

As always, thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.
More will be revealed, it constantly is.

Love and gratitude, Dawn

Mary Oliver quote