Things I Have Learned Today



In minor ways, this surgery recovery is more challenging than last time. Not in the grand scheme, but in the little ways it is more challenging. I chose, this time, begged, to be on steroids for the minimum amount of necessary time. Last time, I turned in to a raving b-i-t-c-h. I remember Shannon taking an elegant high road and asking “mmmm, do you feel like yourself?” to see if I understood what was coming out of my mouth.


But I do not remember my over all body being in so much pain last time. I remember having an allergic reaction to Dilantin and switching to Keppra, so perhaps that was a moment of relief where I blocked out the pre-misery. I also remember feeling weaker last time. And actually, I walked 2 miles yesterday and will have done almost that today.


I do not remember taking much of the vicodin equivalent last time, but then, I am heavier this time. And perhaps one of the great differences is to know the big picture. When we had Steve’s party, as I said, I over did it. And Judy picked up a fair amount of responsibility for me. So we are both simply tired.


My legs are sore and my feet ache. But then, my head is ok. My head is ok. Yesterday, I made my aunt and uncle (or maybe my mom, I cannot remember) feel the different temperature on each side of my head. I surprised both of them. Yet for me it is one of the things I keep forgetting to mention at check ups for the last 22 months.


I think the key is to look at this time the way I look at Avastin. I feel like there is a huge weight lying on top of me. I feel sore, I feel cramped. But the key to Avastin was having children. I had to get up and change a diaper or read a story. To this day, I think having a small child made me recover faster after each infusion. In ten minutes I will go get Paco and then Lemon at school. I will be hugged and kissed and escorted. I cannot even complain. (OK, I will not complain).


Perhaps in my memory, when I compare the two surgery experiences, I am not thinking of the first month, rather the second month when radiation began. It has only been two weeks since the surgery. This I must remember. I forget I am so short-haired or have stitches until they itch. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep. I am not sad, just sleepy.


Today at Lemon’s preschool, a woman I do not really know expressed admiration for my vivaciousness. She said she had undergone a c-section and not been so strong. I explained, my best friend had three c-sections and I think they are substantially harder (actually, between my closest six friends, I think there have been 7 c-sections out of 14 births). The  woman shook her head in kindness and said, I don’t think so.


Experience is a huge asset in this arena. Don’t get me wrong, there is pain and concern, but I was really not expecting to be this brain-healthy after the fact. I really thought I would loose more words, lose a language, lose so much more.


As one can see, the blog is always a wonderful form of therapy. Today, I can walk. I can speak, I can read. I really should just take the damn pain pills and be grateful that I have what I have: the most incredible family and group of friends. It is a verbal, complimentary society where I live.


I am sad to see my father-in-law go. He went home today and left his beloved wife of 46 years here to help us more. I like to think he went home to plan to convince his daughter to move here in the fall. But that is another story…


2 thoughts on “Things I Have Learned Today

  1. Scott Holloway May 31, 2011 at 16:37 Reply

    Erin- I just want you to know that your blog is therapy for me, too. I sometimes fear that I will have to face a second crainiotomy, and hearing your experience eases my mind a bit. We brain tumor patients can’t take a day for granted, since we don’t know what lies ahead. You’re fortunate to have such a good family situation, and good friends for support. Keep fighting and get well.

    • tiawheels June 2, 2011 at 09:50 Reply

      I think it helps to have friends like you share their experiences. Your comments mean a great deal.

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