I haven’t written very much in 2018 for a couple reasons. One is the decision I made earlier this year to delete all social media apps from my phone to focus more time on my family. This is the primary way I have shared my blog in the past so this may have contributed to my hesitancy to write. I think the main reason I haven’t been writing as much is because there isn’t much to share.
Our life for the most part has been pretty normal. School for the kids, work for me and Adam. Some family vacations this summer and continued work on the cute house we bought in Tucker late last year. Life has been really good, really fun, and for lack of a better explanation, really normal.
Beach time in St. Simons
The awesome planter box Adam and the kids built me for Mother’s Day
Since my MRI in August of last year, we’ve adjusted pretty well to our “new normal”. Seizure medicine is a daily thing and the side effects are something I’ve become used to experiencing. I started a new regimen of vitamins and supplements that have given my immune system a much needed boost and kept me well for months. I met with my neurologist in February alone for the first time. Adam came to all of my previous appointments but since this is one of the many “forever things” about my tumor, I felt like I needed to begin going to these appointments by myself. No one tags along for my annual physical or lady doctor appointment. A twice a year neurologist visit is now part of that list of norms for me which we are accepting more and more.
Another part of our “new normal” is my once a year MRI and meeting with my neurosurgeon. This will occur annually around this time of year for the foreseeable future and most likely for the rest of my life. My scan for 2018 is scheduled for August 17th with a meeting directly after with Dr. Robinson. Though I’ve decided I am ok with going to my neurologist appointments on my own, I have not yet reached that point with my neurosurgeon appointments. I am very thankful that all of our life changing news has not been received alone and this appointment will be the one each year where we get a thumbs up or a less than favorable report.
For the most part, I have been calm and optimistic about my MRI and the subsequent meeting with my neurosurgeon. But every now and then the “what if’s” sneak in and make me wonder. I know that we really have four possible outcomes from next week’s MRI. One is the tumor having shrunk even more since last August’s MRI, the second is no change, the third is the tumor having grown, and the fourth is a new tumor being found. The best and most likely results are numbers one and two. I say this because I am not experiencing any symptoms that would lead us to believe there is another tumor and the simple fact that the tumor has already shrunk does not make it likely that it would reverse course and start growing again….but what if.
A few weeks ago, my family was invited to a dinner by our friends, the Burkes, where some of their neighbors would also be in attendance. Never one to shy away from meeting new people, we were excited at the idea. Marcia told me ahead of time that one of the ladies who would be there also had a brain tumor, but her prognosis was not as positive as mine. As much as I tried to prepare myself, I had no idea how much being face to face with someone who was in the midst of the “what if” I feared the most would affect me.
At the end of the night, I was so thankful for our time with them. I loved getting to speak to her and her husband. I loved getting to meet their daughter and watch her play with Charlie as he flirted and laughed. I loved hearing about their other children and their dogs. I loved everything about their family, but I hated and ached for what her tumor had done.
I was reminded by this sweet family and this amazing woman just how blessed I am and how grateful I should be for our story. I am grateful that my tumor is benign. I am grateful that my tumor should not impact my longevity. I am grateful that the side effects from my gamma knife treatment and my medications are minimal. I am grateful that my “what if’s” are just possibilities and not current realities. If that ever changes, I’m grateful that none of it will have taken God by surprise, and just like He has before, He will prepare us and guide us every step of the way.