This blog has been such an amazing tool. It has helped me process this experience, recover from surgeries by practicing my language and typing skills, and it has brought me friends, both old and new. My biggest joy, however, has been helping consult with brain tumor fighters. On average I talk to 3-5 different people (usually newly diagnosed) over the phone per week. The phone calls range from 1.5 hours to 3 hours. There is so much to know when dealing with the horrible diagnosis of a brain tumor, and I love sharing everything I know. I wish we would have had someone to teach us the ropes, to explain the different types of surgeries, the scans, the difference between a neurosurgeon and a great neurosurgeon. When you're newly diagnosed you don't know that there are life changing differences between brain centers.
I am very grateful for every person who contacts me about their diagnosis. It makes me feel useful, helpful, that I'm possibly preventing one less complication, or extending their life in some cases. The difference between a complete resection and a partial is most definitely a no-brainer. No pun intended. You always want to get the bulk, or all of the tumor out, and sometimes one surgeon can get it all out when most other surgeons aren't comfortable attempting. Anyway, I won't go into all of it here, but just know that there are always tricks, and things to know, from people that have gone before us. I have learned so much from others, and all I want to do is make other tumor fighter's lives easier. Due to all of the phone consultations, I end up feeling first, energized, then exhausted. I wouldn't change it, though. I guess the only tricky part is that it does make me less able to write on the blog. I can only deal with so much emotionally charged stuff in a day.
The wonderful news, though, is that I don't have much to write about when discussing my tumor. At this point I'm just trying to remain healthy, and focus on helping others navigate this crazy brain tumor world.
Here's my latest craft project:
I heard a quote the other day, "Would you rather be a shooting star or the North Star?" Contradicting in nature. Equally powerful. When I was younger, or more accurately, before the diagnosis, I held the stance that I would rather be a shooting star, an asteroid, a comet. To live life loudly, without abandon, with no regrets. But now, in this life, my tumor life, I yearn for the life of the North Star. I work toward slow and steady, reliable, longevity, dependability. When faced with death, literally, my own mortality, it changes how I view life, what I cherish. I don't want to just be Dan's shooting star, a blip, a hot flash. I would give anything to have a long, happy life as Dan's North Star, as he is mine.