When I first found out that I had a brain tumour you could say that I was depressed, for the first two days after I didn`t get dressed and I didn`t spend much time out of bed. That might have been the brain tumour but it also might have been the burst ovarian cyst, and stomach flu which were also attacking my body at the same time. Regardless my kids saw me as a bit of a mess, because honestly I was.
On day three I got up, got dressed and headed to a birthday party (at least physically) and felt some semblance or normalcy for the first time in days. I was also pretty proud of myself that I didn`t break down and cry mid party at the thought that I might not be around for my kids subsequent birthday parties because those were the thoughts swirling in my mind at the time.
Later that same day I had a massage booked. The appointment was made weeks before and I thought that it might make me feel better to get a massage. I had sent my CT results to my massage therapist the day before mainly so that I wouldn`t actually have to discuss my recently discovered tumour, and also so that I wouldn`t waste precious massage time crying. When I arrived we chatted a little about how I was feeling, and then he treated me as he had every other time I had been for a massage in the last 5 years. He also told me about his mother in law who had a meningioma removed (same kind of tumour as mine) and she has a loss of hearing in one ear, and can`t swim underwater without special ear plugs. To him this situation was no big deal, but not in a way that I felt like he was diminishing my situation. Simply that it is an unfortunate event which requires surgery,healing and time. My massage therapist relieved more stress than I ever thought possible with only his attitude and his words. I left his office feeling better than I had in a while because I had hope, piles and piles of hope.
For the first time in days I ate dinner at the table with the rest of the family. Sasha who had just turned 6, turned to me and really looked at me and said “you seem to be feeling better mommy”. And he was right, I was feeling much better. But that point was also a pivotal moment because I became acutely aware of just how much he was picking up on. I vowed at that moment to pull myself together, and have hope that this situation would be resolved in time.
Sasha’s keen observation, and my acknowledgement of the brain tumour have also given me perspective. My mommy guilt has disappeared. I have a hard time caring these days about sugar cereal intake, TV watching, and what kind of diapers are the best. Instead I am taking care of myself, giving the kids extra snuggles, and making sure that the big things like their emotional needs are being met. My new perspective courtesy of my brain tumour is to live, and raise happy healthy kids.