A Year Later, I am a Survivor

A year ago today, on March 18, 2015 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a very dark day. The ER doc softened the blow as best as he could but I was still in shock standing in the hallway of the emergency department. ย I remember walking out of the ER in a daze to wait for my husband who was organizing childcare for the kids. When he arrived I told him I had a brain tumour and he didn’t believe me. He tried to tell me that I didn’t, and I showed him the paper in my hand that said I did.

That was a year ago, and a lot has happened since. There were a dark few days but I was motivated my by children to get my crap together and get out of bed, which is where I would have stayed if I had my way. A craniotomy to remove the tumour was performed in August of 2015. The entire process was terrifying and painful. Six months later I have some very minimal side effects but nothing that stops me from living a full life. Case in point, this past weekend I went skiing (my tumour was in the part of my brain that controls balance).

Last night I read John Grisham’s “The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller” and bawled through the whole thing. If you are interested it’s available for free from Amazon. Thankfully I was reading it this year and not last year because that would have been a disaster. Can you imagine reading a graphic novel about brain surgery the day before you are diagnosed with a brain tumour? Talk about bad timing. If you are going for brain surgery soon do not read this book until you have recovered. After reading Grisham’s thriller I am once again reminded how lucky I was, because it could have been so much worse. SO MUCH WORSE.

Along with the pain and fear of the last year I learned some very valuable lessons. ย In keeping with my need to make, I fashioned myself this bracelet just in case I forget that I am a ssurvivorurvivor. Although I am still reminded every time I look at myself in the mirror, and the area of hair that was shaved for surgery is about 3 inches long and sticking straight out. I have started a brain tumour hair trend, I hope it never catches on, I don’t mind being the only one with crazy hair.

It’s fair to say that this was the hardest year of my life to date, but as the saying goes “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It didn’t kill me. I am stronger, but it’s probably just the titanium plate in my head ๐Ÿ˜‰


10 thoughts on “A Year Later, I am a Survivor

  1. thesarahdoughty March 18, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Congratulations. I know how hard a life threatening condition can be. Though mine wasn’t as bad, it was more like, if we don’t act you’ll die. And I was out of the hospital a few days later. But, irreparable damage was done. I was no longer able to have children and the memories of my past surfaced and began this long cycle of overwhelming complex PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I hope your future is bright and fulfilling. ๐Ÿ’•


  2. lilzoom March 18, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Thanks for the heads up on the Grisham book, I’ll wait til waay after I have surgery. My MRI is in a couple of weeks. So I should know by May if I’ll get a surgery date. So thankful for your blog, it’s been encouraging to know your story.


    • spaleksic March 18, 2016 / 10:53 am

      I am glad that it has helped you. Good luck with your MRI.


  3. So glad to hear you made it through this! I have an inoperable brain aneurysm and every day I’m still hear is a good day – I’m so happy you were brave enough to get through your surgery and can live a normal life!!!!


  4. laney1975 April 3, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. And a big ‘wow’ on you being able to go skiing! My cerebellum was ‘tinkered’ with! and I walk like I’ve had a bottle of wine (I’m 11 months 1 week post surgery!). All the very best you’re doing great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • spaleksic April 3, 2016 / 10:35 am

      Hi Laney, thank you for the kind words. I hope that you are able to walk “sober” again soon ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. onwardandupwardweb May 26, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    You are a survivor, well done. I have a quote on the wall : Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny – so I am still expecting great things! My daughter wrote and laminated a quote for me for Mothers Day (she’s 10) “some days are just harder than others” – she sees the good and bad days. It’s been 9 months now since my craniotomy and it affects the whole family. Chin up. Sounds like you are doing really well.


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