Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scalpel, Skin, Saw, Skull

I've been mentally running around like a crazy person trying to plan this trip to UCLA. I have six different appointments already scheduled. I just got off the phone a little bit ago where the gentleman said that they won't schedule my post surgery pathology appointment because they will need to review the results and decide if they're going to recommend further treatment, like chemotherapy or radiation. Once they have their recommendation (hopefully NOTHING), they will decide if I need an appointment with Dr Liau or a specialist. Fingers crossed for just Dr Liau! Of course, I can always opt out of those treatments, but it's still a scary concept to acknowledge that the DNA of my tumor could have morphed into a higher grade. That's a very scary thought, one that only swims around the periphery of my mind, a possibility but not my current reality. It's important for me to not get caught up in the "what ifs." And anyway, I feel great! So there.

Can you believe I'm doing another brain surgery? It's almost exactly 2.5 years after the first one. That seems very quick, and yet, an entire lifetime. They're going to cut through my beautiful, unknowing, innocent little skull. They will use scalpels, a saw, and other tools. They will peal back my skin, pull off a portion of my skull. They will cut small nerves. They will dig around, separating the brain tissue and tumor. They will do all kinds of things, moving and removing things in the most intimate part of my body. They will be working on the area where my most inner thoughts and feelings, my genius and my ignorance are dancing. I speak of a brain surgery the way that most people discuss their grocery list, but here I am, getting quite serious. I guess it's time. After the last brain surgery, I never wanted to have to do another one ever again - and yet here I am CHOOSING do it. Crazy stuff.

I feel better than I have even from before the surgery, before the diagnosis. I hope that I don't have a major regression from the surgery, any type of set back - like death, or blood clot like last time - because I'm feeling fantastic, incredibly healthy, superhuman even :) I'm just so grateful for this opportunity, yet afraid as well. I mean, seriously, they're venturing into my brain. Yes. It's a big deal. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Gotta take risks in life in order to have success, and I do believe that this is an educated risk that very well might be the biggest success of my life. Why not believe that I can beat this? Why not believe that we can beat anything?

One of my favorite trees along Green Lake. I'm soaking up all of the beauty around the neighborhood, storing the images in my memory bank to fill me up while I'm gone in LA.

I love the flower memorial that has been continuously updated since they chopped down this sick tree along the lake. However, I'm quite confused because they're killing flowers in the process to recognize the death of the tree, doesn't that seem hilariously ironic?


  1. Jess, I know how you feel about not ever wanting to have another brain surgery but choosing to have one. I felt the exact same way. After the first one, I cried and said I'm never doing that again. It was so horrible. Good news is that the second one for me wasn't as bad for some reason. Maybe because I knew what it could be like, so it wasn't as scary and I also knew I could get through it because I had done it once before! I'm super excited for you (now doesn't that sound a little sick since we're talking about brain surgery). I truly do hope and pray that this vaccine will do wonders for you. There are success stories out there. You can be one of those! As I said before, if I would have known about Dr. Liau before my recent surgery, I would have gone for that b/c of the vaccine potential. Oh well. You can't live life looking in the rear view mirror. Here's to looking forward! The other brain tumor Jess

  2. "So Cal" PattiSeptember 12, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Dearest Jess- You are a remarkable young woman and God still has many plans ahead for you!!! As scary as the upcoming events may be, you are surrounded by specialists who want to make you better and you are facing this with a proactive approach! I see only POSITIVE results ahead for you!!! I'm still cheering you on all the way!!! (I was a Varsity High School cheerleader in 1966! HA!) Love You! "So Cal" Patti


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