Wednesday, June 30, 2010

July

I can't believe we're done with June. These past couple of months have been flying by. I'm still a little amazed that I've gone through such a traumatic experience. Life seems to be getting back to normal, little by little.

This past weekend we had Susea and Gene over from the island. It was wonderful to spend time with them, it's always so hectic when I make it to the island so it was nice to just relax and visit without any other engaments. It's nice to hear from Susea & Gene that I sound almost perfectly normal. I wish I would feel perfectly normal. I guess I'm harder on myself because I know the thoughts in my head, and I instantly notice the grammatical errors. I'm getting better and better about my language, it only gets tricky when I'm exhausted, but who DOESN'T sound ridiculous when they're tired.

July. Wow. On to July. I have some big things coming up soon. In a couple of weeks I have physically therapy and speech therapy at the UW (follow up appointments). At the end of July/beginning of Aug I have my three month MRI and follow up surgical visit. Pretty soon I'll have the information regarding the growth of my tumor cells. From there the doctors decide if I need further treatment, or if things are good I'll just schedule the next MRI in six months. Big things right now. It's weird. I understand what's coming, but I'm so exhausted I don't even know if I can grasp it. Maybe I just need another nap.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happiness Factors

I sat in 80 degree weather, in a parked car for over an hour today. I was staring at the gym, but I just couldn't bring myself to go in. I've been having so many good days, I'm not sure what happened. My mood just changed, and I had a sobbing fit. It wasn't anything in general that caused the shift, and I couldn't pinpoint the exact emotions swirling around my head. From time to time I still get depressed, even though I'm progressing so well. It's confusing. I've cried less from this brain tumor than I have over a bad breakup.

I never did make it into the gym. I sweat enough in the car that I feel like I burnt a decent amount of calories, I was certainly dehydrated that's for sure. Luckily Danny is extremely patient with me. When I got home he coaxed me to take a walk. I'm not exactly feeling great, but on a scale of 1 to 10 that started as a -1 my happiness factor rose to 3. If Danny wasn't here I would probably be wallowing in bed. Not a pretty thought.

Here's Danny making me take a walk tonight....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mr Stewie

Sorry about the horrible vidiography (or whatever you call it), but Danny and I ran into Stewie after Bailey's 2nd birthday today. The pixels or whatnot aren't very good so the picture isn't very good, but I think you get the point. I miss little Mini Stewie, but it's good to see Mr Stewie around. He is awfully cute!


video

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Drove Alone!

Alright, I caught a little flack regarding my gnarly scab photo. Sorry guys. The photo WAS pretty disgusting. I get so disgusted by myself with this head situation I just want to vent.

Anyway, on to some good news....I DROVE ALONE!!! I am finally cleared to drive, and it feels amazing. Freedom! My mom is slightly nervous, but Danny put in a good word for me and my mom trusts his judgment. I used my get-out-of-jail-free card to get to the gym. It was nice to enjoy the 80 degree weather with my windows down. If I still had hair I'd have to use the air conditioner, but with this little buzz cut of mine I can be in a wind tunnel and my hair would still look the same. Definitely one of the perks of man hair.

I was talking with my brother the other night about my progress and I had an epiphany. Kaal was telling me how great things will be when I get back to normal, and I realized he's right, that things WILL get back to normal. I'm starting to drive, my speech is working out the kinks, I'm working out (albeit walking not running), and my life is getting back to normal. Sometimes I lose the big picture. I can get so caught up in the small things that I don't realize how wonderful my brain is progressing. Leave it to my brother to give me that positive spin. He's always been good at that!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perfecting The "Innocent" Look

It has been a few eventful days. Danny has been conducting routine minor surgeries on my scabs...here's some disgusting photos....pretty mean of me to push these in your face, but I guess I might even delight in sharing them since I have to look them all day...you can curse me if you want. The surprising thing about the scabs is that they're really looking better. Still revolting.





I've been trying to keep my chin up, but this hairdo is less than ideal. I was oblivious to the fact that it will take forever for my hair to grow (relatively speaking). I do love the get-up-and-go part. I used to take 30 minutes blow drying my hair after a shower and now I just towel off my head. It's weird to see how dark my hair is though, I was born blond and now I'm dark chocolate. Weird. In fact, I have PROOF of my blond hair....





For record, I didn't eat that WHOLE bucket full of blackberries, some did land on my clothes. I think Kaal was panicked that I was heading over for his bucket. My brother is perfectly clean and I was always a mess. My teachers can now see that I had been perfecting that "innocent" look from an early start, but the proof is in the pudding, or in the lack of blackberries.

Alright. I just finished my breakfast. Each day I make a smoothie, well it's actually for both Danny and I. It consists of:

3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
2 tablespoons of Knox gelatin
water & ice to taste




If anyone has any suggestions for other healthy ingredients let me know. I'll eat anything that's healthy. I'd like to pack the most nutrients in the least amount of calories (I save the calories for red licorice). I already take flax seed, fish oil, spirulina, super-b complex and a multivitamin. Let me know if I'm missing something!

Off to the gym. For the record, this post is like my mind, all over the place. Sorry for the lack of cohesion.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Can't Explain Myself to Myself

I'm frustrated. I can't express myself. I was humming along just fine before brain surgeries and now I'm easily frustrated. I can't handle changes very well. I need structure or I lose it. I'm mad at myself because I don't like the person in my head. I feel like my brain has been taken over by someone else. Before the surgeries, before this huge change in my life, I used to adjust my personality when I didn't like my behavior. I always told myself, if you don't like it, change it. But now, it's not so easy. I'm not rational. I'm quick to tear up. My blood pressures rises quickly. I don't recognize my emotions. I'm exhausted trying to figure out what's going on in my life and in my head.

I tried to make a new schedule, an easier schedule one that's more basic and THAT still overwhelmed me. I need the same routine, but life is impossible to schedule. I feel like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man panicking about Kmart underwear, without the amazing math abilities.

The worst part is that I can't expect other people to understand me because I can't explain myself to myself.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scabby Makes Crabby

I am about to completely throw up on myself. Apparently, during my shower The water hit my scab and it started peeling back. This has to be a joke, this scab, blood, fluids, all of this is my worst nightmare. I abhor gooey things (non-edible of course). I've just spent a good 45 minutes trying to cut back the lifted area (there goes my allotment of writing time), but it's impossible to do without scissors, nail clippers, and hydrogen peroxide which I do not have at the moment. I can't wait until this scab is gone. Luckily it's really looking like sooner than later. Gross.

Soon I won't have the tickle of tightness that comes with the scab. Just turning to look at my head in the mirror, I still can't believe that they chopped open my head a few times. This might take a while to really sink in.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Removing The Unknown

I'm still bald-ish with the gnarly scar carved across my head. The scab is slowly disappearing, and things are definitely looking up.

Ever since this debacle started, specifically when I shaved my head, I was faced with the option to leave my head exposed or to cover my head with a scarf, hat or the possibility of a wig. When I'm home, or with close friends I leave my head exposed, but for the longest time while I was in public I left my head covered.

I was covering my head, not for myself, but for those around me. I was trying to avoid the stares and the uncomfortable reality about my situation. I also didn't want small children to run in fear (although the only child that's actually seen my head was more concerned about my "owie" and wasn't afraid in the least).

I've noticed that people stare while I'm wearing hats or other covers. They can already tell that I don't have much hair, and eyes just naturally gravitate toward my head. They don't mean to stare, they're just curious. They probably don't even mean to keep staring. It has to be confusing that I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes, so they know that I'm not going through chemo, yet I don't have much hair and there's definitely something going on.

As I've been grappling with this head situation I've been increasingly comfortable exposing my head, and I'm starting to walk around in public without hats, or scarfs. Without a cover on my head, people know that what they see is what they get. They can see that I've had some sort of traumatic surgery on my head and then they move on. In my own (very unscientific) study I believe people are more comfortable with the truth than the unknown. They want to know what's going on under my hat, and by removing the secret I am effectively taking away the unknown.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nurture The Mind

Today was fantastic yet exhausting, I'm officially back to work. Granted, it's still very part time, it's still great to be back in the warehouse! It was a little bit overwhelming at first to figure out my schedule, but I started a spreadsheet to manage my day. I know it sounds stupid that I need to hammer out my daily activities, but if I don't organize my thoughts I'll end up overwhelmed and then I don't want to do anything at all. 

I'm excited that I have a period in the morning to do my writing, so you might just see more blogs. According to my new schedule, I should have about 2.5 - 3 hours of writing each week day. I know it sounds silly, but even the last blog (yesterday) took about 1.5 hours to do even though is only three small paragraphs. Writing takes a lot out of me, but I really enjoy expressing myself. It's a great outlet, and I think setting aside time to nurture my mind is a really helpful thing. Anyway, I'm going to sit back and relax for the rest of the night so I can start fresh in the morning.

I think this new schedule is going to be a great new start, and a new phase in my recovery. I'm excited to have some direction!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Question


I just found this photo. It was taken in a hotel, a day before my first meeting with the Chief neurosurgeon at the UW in Seattle. At this point of my life all I knew was that I had a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. I was scared, unsure of my future, and pretty shell shocked about the turn of events. I remember Danny comforting me; we were both scared together.

I guess, right now in my life I'm still scared about the changes to come. I'm grateful that I have the support of Danny, my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my friends but even though, it's still scary. I've never done well with unanswered questions, in fact if I was a superhero I'd be The Question (according to Danny).

I'm so glad I've been documenting this experience. Not just for the future, but because it reminds me of the past. Life can change so quickly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My First Book

This weekend marks my first night by myself, and my first weekend since the surgeries. Because I've been unable to take my pills regularly (I'd either forget I'd taken my pill, or accidentally eat too many), I've been untrustworthy to be alone. Finally, with the help of my speech therapist, I put my pills in an organizer and low and behold I am responsible!

With my new found freedom, I'm being insanely lazy. On Thursday night I started off on the wrong foot by getting sucked into a marathon of the Real Housewives of New York, and almost lost it but I saved myself by turning off the TV and starting my first book. Normally I prefer non-fiction, or historical fiction (ie: Grapes of Wrath...I'm a sucker for Steinbeck). There's something consuming about a good book, that television just can't provide.

So here I've been for the past two days reading my first book. I'm pretty sure that I'm not really retaining anything, but on some level I'm telling myself that it's good practice for my brain, and it HAS to be better than television. Right now I'm reading a cheesy fiction story, about as mind numbing as it gets but it's really fun! It's like a Devil Wears Prada kinda book. I guess life is so serious sometimes you have to lighten up.

My day goes about like this.....
I wake up in the 5:00am hour and read for a couple hours, and take my medication, and then I go back to sleep. At around the 11:00am hour I make a pot of coffee and read some more, or continue working on my crossword puzzle (which I've been working on for three days...speaking of which, does anyone know what the heck "Mas that baa" that has four letters "e_es"). Then I head to sleep. I wake up in the early evening to read some more and then maybe watch some 20/20, or something like that. Last night it was the Natalie Holloway story, good God that is a horrible story! That Dutch kid is guilty in my book and he's evil. Yep, I'm passing judgment. And now, it looks like he killed that young woman in Peru. It blows my mind that there are such disgusting people in the world. I shouldn't watch that kind of night time TV before bedtime while home alone. Anyway, I read for a few more hours and then go to sleep. Not bad! Talk about relaxing.

Things will definitely change next week though. Finally I'll be able to drive again....YAY! I feel like a sixteen year old again! Starting this week I will be able to drive with a companion. I should clarify that I don't have to avoid driving alone, and in fact now that I've hit the six week mark I don't have to limit myself at all. I could go drive doughnuts around the Safeway parking lot if I wanted to, but I'm scared that I might hurt someone. I figure, if I can't hold a conversation when there's background noise because I lose my concentration, how the heck am I going to be safe in front of the wheel? For now I'm going to slowly practice driving and take pointers from my co-pilots. I figure Danny, my Mom & Dad will all know if I'm safe enough to drive alone or not. It's obviously better to be safe than sorry, and I would never forgive myself if I hurt someone else because I had a hankering for some peach sorbet.

All of this reading is exhausting, but it's also helping me sleep and recuperate. I get the feeling that my family and Danny will be pretty amazed at my language improvement over the weekend. They will see the improvement in my speech, and I'm excited for them to see the renewed depth of my speech. I've still been the same person, I've just been unable to get my point across the way that I want to. It's a long process of growth, but it's getting so much closer to me, the REAL me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Partially Awake Craniotomy

Ok, here it is, the story of my first brain surgery.

On Tuesday, April 27th at 4:30am my family squished together in my dad's truck on our way to UW for my 5:00am appointment for surgery. I sat between my parents, and in the back seat Jessica Abu Dhabi was sandwiched between Kaal and Danny. We knew where we were headed, but we had no idea how intense the journey would be.

Along the drive I joked with my dad that he was torturing with me with his coffee. I had been on the no-liquid or food diet from midnight on due to the surgery restrictions. I LOVE black coffee, thick as mud, just the way my dad makes it, and I was really wishing I could steal his cup. I could see that my mom was nervous, and there was definitely strained humor along the car ride as we tried to joke around. It was almost as if everyone was trying to pretend that we weren't headed to the UW, that maybe we were heading to the airport for a family vacation. I remember thinking that I was caught between two different worlds, excitement for my surgery because I was going to be awake while having doctors work on my exposed brain, and the other world of the unknown.

Once we arrived at the surgery pavilion at the UW, I checked in and we sat for a few moments before I was whisked away to surgery prep. When I changed into the hospital gown, and the assistant shaved the areas of my skull I got even more excited for the next leg of my journey. Next, they placed electrodes (don't know if "electrode" is the proper term, but I'm just going to use it anyway because I think you get my point) around my head and drew circles via marker around each one of them to mark the proper locations for the mapping (thanks for that! It took weeks to remove the permanent marker!). The computer calculates the location of the incision, but the electrodes are placed by hand. Below is a photo of me with the computer electrode thingies all over my head. My pre-op nurse Daisy, was pretty angry at the assistant for doing such a crappy job of shaving my head (you can see in the 2nd photo the shaved hair on my pillow). She basically kicked him out of our room because she knew (I was clueless) that I would have to be in the same gown for a few days and all that hair would itch like crazy. Gotta love nurses, they really take care of you! That's Daisy's hand cleaning me up in the top photo.






After a quick consultation with my anesthesiologist, my family quickly came back in to say goodbye I was headed out the door for surgery.

Once I was wheeled into the operating room, I remember saying hello to my smiling surgeons, and the technicians from my consultation from the previous week, and seeing about a dozen other faces that I didn't recognize, but they were all really kind. I remember feeling completely comfortable, despite the cool temperature. They gave me a run-through of what I should expect and before I knew it my mouth was covered with what looked like an oxygen mask and someone was counting down.

The next thing remember, I was laying on my right side on the operating table as I heard someone calling for me, "Jessica?" The anesthesiologist was right, once I woke up I didn't feel groggy at all. I was completely awake, and ready to go. I had been waiting for this moment, anticipating this portion of the surgery like a test. I was ready to do everything I could to aid the surgeons. To keep the mood light, we had some small talk and joked around a little bit and they told me that they were going to go through a sample of images on the computer screen and I was supposed to name the image (for example if it's an image of an apple, say "apple"), while they stimulated different locations in my brain.

As the image series was conducted, they were probing my gray matter to discriminate between healthy gray matter and tumor matter. Throughout the image series, as I was naming the images, every once in awhile my body would involuntarily jerk. I remember at one point, my torso spasmed, and I said to the surgeons, "Oops, guess I need THAT section!" They laughed, and said something along the lines of, "Don't worry, we'll keep that."

When they were done with my image series I said a variation of, "Thanks guys, that was really fun!" And I went back to sleep with the help of the anesthesiologist. For the remainder of the surgery while I was asleep, the surgeons weeded out the groups of tumor cells as best they could. It's impossible to remove the bad cells. In the size of the tip of a pin is a million cells. As you can imagine, it's impossible to differentiate between every single cell, or even small groupings of cells. Also, there is no visual difference between tumor cells and brain cells only a difference in density so they used an ultrasound machine to discriminate between the unhealthy and healthy sections. As one of the UW neurosurgeons explained to my family and me, the tumor cells in my brain are like a bucket that has had a handful of sand tossed into it. Although most of the sand is concentrated in one location, there's sand all throughout the water.

The next thing I remembered I was awake and a little hazy. I vaguely remember smiling at the surgeons as I was being wheeled out the door and I gave them two thumbs-up signs (which was later confirmed by the Chief Neurosurgeon when he spoke to my family and friends in the waiting room - it's almost too cheesy, right?! A double thumbs-up?? I've never been good at playing it cool. One thumbs-up sign would have sufficed). At that point I remember feeling exhausted, but at peace. Little did I know what was in store for the next 24 hours. I thought I had made it through the hard part, but the really frighting reality was my continued mental deterioration and the emergency surgery the next day. I had no idea it wasn't ALL just fun and games as I had been hoping.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Too Much Yoga

I over did it. Too much yoga. I am so sore I can hardly toss my legs off the bed, or get up from the couch. I need a hot tub, or even a bath tub. For now I'm just going to be grateful for a hot shower and a space heater in the bathroom.

I'm realizing that I have to fight my nature to over do it. I'm too tired to even think. I just want to do it all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Catching Endorphins

 Danny just cooked me my favorite dish, steamed broccoli. I was going to do it myself, but Danny panicked when he saw me cutting towards myself.  I should remember that trick in the future when I don't want to cook...ha ha ha!


Today, I made it to the 10:15am yoga class, and it was so much fun that I went back and did the 6:45pm class too! Just like cookies, you can't have just one. When Danny and I were driving toward the gym (both times today) I was really dreading the class, but I made it through the front door. I don't know why I was so nervous the second time, already knew what to expect because the same instructor teaches both classes and she was awesome! And, at the night class I had friends to join me - Megan and Sarah. Yet, still, I was slouching down in my seat as I neared the turnoff. I'm serious, I honestly almost sent a text to the girls to tell them that I wasn't going to make it, but then it seemed like a real jerk move, like breaking up with someone over text, or on a message machine, so I plugged through and put one foot in front of the other and made it into the gym door. By the end of the class I was back to being bubbly and full of energy! But good grief I am out of shape!! I may be paying for the double workout tomorrow, but it feels so good, like I'm coming out of hibernation.

I love the gym. There's all different levels of fitness, all different types of hard bodies, and soft bodies, but we're all working toward the same goal of taking care of our bodies and minds. Today at the gym, I received more eye contact, and more smiles from strangers than any other place in public this whole time (although I guess technically the gym is private since you have to be a member - but you know what I mean). Once you put on your gym shoes and walk through that front door, you're just another person trying to catch a few endorphins. Simple as that. It's a community within a community.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bunny Happy Hour

I'm embarrassed. I've been cranky and negative. The worst part is that I've been feeling sorry for myself. That's embarrassing! It's not about the tumor, it's about how the tumor has effected my life. I miss running, I miss being active, I miss driving, I miss having hair, I miss my pants fitting, blah blah blah. I've been mourning my life, and now I'm fed up of my own whining.

Soooooo, I wrote down all the yoga classes at my gym and I'm going to start doing yoga. Yay! I'm waiting to get cleared for some more active exercising, but at least this has to start somewhere. I'm not going to lie, it's hard to hold back because I miss getting the runner's high, but I have to start doing something or I'll start kicking puppies.

By the way, I have some very good news. Danny and I sat on the patio at the warehouse apartment and watched stars two nights ago. Apparently, happy hour for bunnies is just after dusk. It is a cotton tail paradise all over our back parking area, big bunnies, little bunnies, bunnies doing indos and stoppies (like a little motorcycle that pops up on its front tire), the bunnies were going CRAZY! I knew there was something going on when I realized my plants were mysteriously losing their leaves. The Stewie clan is alive and well! To celebrate, I'm going to hit the plant store to buy a few of their favorite flavors!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Leprechauns

I was just laying down for a nap, when it occurred to me that the pain around my head is from the fusing of nerve endings. At first, my whole left side of the head was numb (probably from the Oxycontin) and now it's slowly going back to normal. My left temple (where that jaw hinge is located) is tender to the touch and swollen, but the rest of my head is slowly gaining sensation. Hopefully my bite will come back to normal too. They had to sever some tendon on the left side of my jaw during surgery. It doesn't hurt, it's just a little inconvenient when I'm brushing my teeth and I have a harder time cleaning the roof and tongue because I can't get my toothbrush in there as easily. I'm now an open sandwich eater. I also have to act like a lady and cut things into bite sized pieces. No more jumbo burrito contests. Interesting that you'd have to unhinge the jaw, or that they would need to cut anything around my jaw. I wonder why they had to cut that area inside my head. I wish I had a video of my surgery. Huh.

I'm down to only two pills a day (a far cry from 42 pills a day), one at 8:00am and one at 8pm. It's only for preventing seizures. Yay! I'm still prescribed some heavy duty Tylenol but I try to avoid it as much as possible because I'm trying to clean out my system (my poor liver). I always thought wine would be my downfall, who would have thought it was going to be tumor cells. I honestly thought that my first ailment would be self inflicted. I thought I would have broken a bone, or maybe I'd get diagnosed with lung cancer from a couple of years of rebellion when I thought it was cool to smoke. I really never expected a tumor. All in all I've been a very healthy person. I'm a runner. I love vegetables. I take flax seed, fish oil, and spirulina. I was not expecting this. I guess you never do. At least I've done the best I can to always keep evolving. I continue to make healthier and healthier choices. I guess that's the best you can do.

Ugh. I'm exhausted. I was thinking about that fusing of nerve endings. I'll be laying in my bed sometimes and it will feel like pins and needles randomly on my head - not even close to the scar/scab. Sometimes I'll accidentally say out loud, "OUCH" - Danny looks at me like I'm crazy and then we laugh. It's almost like I've got little leprechauns driving the wheel in my head. I hate that saying, "This too shall pass" but I guess it's annoyingly true because that's all I can think about. This too shall pass.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Own DNA is Fighting Me

Tomorrow is the fifth week since the second brain surgery. I'm growing exponentially. In fact, I can't believe how much I've grown. When I was in the ICU for the week during and after the surgeries, and I was starting to re-learn things I was trying to brush my teeth with the wrong end of the brush. I couldn't grip silverware, or if I could grip it, guaranteed it was the with the wrong end. I tried to read a sentence for the speech therapist and out of eleven sentences the only thing I could recognize was the word "orange." It was absolutely bizarre. I could recognize that the page was full of words, but I didn't understand what they meant. That was a shattering moment. I would lay in my bed in the hospital trying to read the posters on the wall. I would practice over and over trying to figure out what written, "University of Washington Hospital." I would try to sound out the letters, one by one.

I had been feeling depressed before I went out for our walk today and that's when Danny reminded me that I'm still pretty fresh out of the hospital. He reminded me that with my personality having to slow down, take naps, avoid work, limit stimulus, basically I feel like I'm being punished. I thrive off of multiple stimuli. I love a good challenge, and yet I can't hit this head-on in the same fashion that I normally would. I would probably just tackle my recovery like a job and bulldoze through it. Unfortunately, that is the absolute opposite technique that I'm supposed to use. I'm already feeling guilty about not being back at work, and that alone stresses me out! It's almost like my personality is attacking my body and hurting my progress. Just like it was explained to me by Dr Silbergeld, I have tumor cells in my brain that are attacking my brain. The tumor cells are created by my own DNA. So my own body is fighting me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Aaaaah, The Period of Oscillation

Hi Guys,

Sorry I've been MIA with my posts. It was the longest hiatus thus far. I started several different posts, but I stopped myself. I was oscillating between happy and sad, and I didn't want to regret sharing any of my emotions/sentiments because sometimes I'm just venting, and to be honest, I was pretty negative.

Over the weekend a friend said a couple of comments that didn't really sit well. He said, "Aren't you glad you didn't have breast cancer or something horrible like that!?!" And my response was, "I don't know, I've never had breast cancer." I'm sure that he doesn't understand the situation, and he's probably just making small talk, but it was hurtful. Can you imagine if a woman who was dealing with breast cancer was told, "At least you don't have a brain tumor." I'm still processing this whole situation, and I'm pretty raw. When Danny and I took a walk the next day and I told him that I'm just starting to process everything that I just went through (and how it impacts my future), I told him that I can't even imagine going through breast cancer. I don't think anyone can quantify ailments. It's all relative. My battle is my tumor and it's scary, and yet I'm learning about life, and compassion, and humanity. I want to be able to love completely toward Danny, and to my family, and to my friends, and how can you do that if you don't have a basis of compassion? This is a huge gift, even though sometimes I get frustrated and my scalp itches like the effing dickens, I'd rather be compassionate, and love better, than to have an easy life.

I have a very close friend who's two year old son has to go under general anesthesia next week and I'm scared for her. I'm worried for the little guy! Everything in life is precious, and things can change in an instant. Her situation is scary. She recognizes it, and I recognize it. And yet, at the same time, we use our own experiences help understand what other people are going through.

The other thing that miffed me (sorry, back to the first paragraph), and then made me sad, was when the same fella asked me if I had any idea that my words are messed up. The guy honestly asked me if I had any clue weird my words sound out loud (which most people politely tell me that they don't notice - or maybe they don't know me well enough to assess). I make more sense typing than talking and it's frustrating. But please let me assure you that I understand perfectly well what you're saying to me.  I guess it's better that people ask me questions instead of having unanswered questions that they continue to talk about behind my back. Maybe that's the whole point? Maybe I need to thicken my skin and get over it.
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