Friday, April 19, 2013

Time to Clean House

What a day is how I started yesterday's blog and today I start my entry with the same three words, What A Day!!!!  Except this entry is written WITH glasses not without.  Ugh was the thought of the day as I moped and sulked a good part of it away.  How can you go from such an amazing high of being able to see in one day, to the very next being back to head tilting and donning glasses?  I don't know the answer, what I do know is that I still think it was a miracle.  It was a teeny tiny taste of what's to come and although it didn't last  nearly as long as I was hoping, I now know it's possible.

So after spending my day cleaning my house, because that's how I deal with frustration, I realized more then how nasty these floors are.  I realized that the "house cleaning" that needed to be done was again from within.   Be grateful, be thankful, be patient.  It's coming with time, I'm doing amazing and that I AM one of the lucky ones. (now with clean floors!!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's a miracle

What a day!!!  As I type this I do so without glasses, and since I don't know how long my amazing vision will last, this will be a quick post.

Every morning when I wake up and open my eyes there are two dressers, two lights, two huge messes on my bedroom floor.  I only have one dresser, one light and I'm only half a slob, what I do have is double vision.  As I've written in past posts, my double vision was first corrected by me tilting my head to the left to compensate for the right eye's issues.  Then trips to the eye clinic had me sporting new glasses with prisms and my life became manageable.

Yesterday my "brain itch" (any of you who had brain surgery can relate to this highly annoying feeling of ants crawling inside your head) was horrific.  I said to T Jay last night that if I loose my mind it will be because of brain itch.....AHHHH I can't stand it.  I thought maybe I over did it, raking the dead plant material from my front flower bed yesterday.

This morning started like all other mornings, the alarm goes off I open my eyes and my day begins.  I get the kids up for school, make their breakfast, pack their lunch and ship the first one out the door.  Since I've been home recovering from brain surgery I've watched them get to and on the bus safely every morning.  This morning was no different except it's nice and sunny here today.  I rubbed my eyes as the sun was too strong on them and I scream to my son, who I startled the heck out of.  "Is my head straight...look mom's not wearing any glasses and there is only one of you!!"  He replies with a big smile and a yes mom your head is straight.  I am beyond excited, off to the mirror I go, yes my head IS straight.  WOW, I don't understand and I don't know why I can see today without my prisms but I will take every minute of it (so far three hours)  I'm sure it has everything to do with healing and swelling going down and lots of other medical explanations but I like the idea of "It's a Miracle" way better.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Merry Christmas

Last March I had the amazing experience of bringing in my 40th birthday on a roof top in Havana Cuba.  I fell in love with the culture, the people and the history. This was my first vacation ever and now I understand why people do it year after year!!!  I jammed everything I could possibly experience in 7 days thinking I would never get the chance to go back being a single mom and all. (at the time)  All I could think about when I was there was this would be so cool for my kids to see and what an awesome reality check it would be.  They certainly are not spoiled by any means but we do live in Canada after all...we are all spoiled here in comparison.

Returning home I suddenly realized that I could take my kids, it would just take some saving and planning.  I spoke with my family Dr about taking them as my daughter has an immune deficiency, he had no problem with it, made some suggestions and then I went into major planning mode.

 I went to my bank and opened a savings account with the sad amount of $50.00 knowing that I only had three car payments left.  My plan was to take the car payment money that I was use to paying and dump it into my savings account.  I knew I needed 9 months of car payments to get the three of us to Cuba.  I made cut backs in other areas, got rid of cable TV, watched what we bought at the grocery store, little things added up.  Three problems presented themselves, there was no way I could afford Christmas and Cuba and 9 months took us to April 2013.  That's when Cuba for Christmas was born, what an amazing gift of culture that would be.  My plan was to give my kids new suitcases with sunny south things, like bathing suits, sunglasses and a note saying we were going to Cuba.  I started collecting these items in the summer, with the closing out of Zellers, it was a God send on my budget.

I was busting at the seams with excitement when I booked the trip September 27th turning into an organizational freak, this was going to be such an amazing adventure for the four of us. I was feeling awesome about my life, I met the man of my dreams, together creating a Christmas my kids would never forget.   Six days later I was diagnosed with my brain tumour and the wind blew out of my sails.  Suddenly, my life was about MRI's and surgery dates not the sunny south.  Why?  Why do bad things always happen to good people?  For the first time in my life my mental health was in question as I slipped into a depression.  I went from the person who can do anything to the person who just couldn't.

Surgery booked, surgery cancelled, surgery maybe next week, maybe the week after, all the while I'm sinking both mentally and physically and I know it.  My mind is spinning, do I go ahead and give them the trip, all I can think about is the "what ifs"  I seek help, and with to many light bulb moments to count, I'm back mentally.  Although I'm feeling the physical affects I push on realizing that if this trip is meant to happen, God will allow it and that's where I place my trust.

December 25 arrives, still no surgery and Cuba for Christmas is given.  My kids are as excited as a 12 and 10 year old can be having to wait 4 months to get their present.  We read the reviews, look at the pictures and get as excited as we can.  As soon as the Christmas break was over the phone rings, my surgery was booked for January 11th.  Hooray I think, plenty of time to get this done and be my old self again...wooo hoooo!!!

Well brain surgery ain't all it's cracked up to be, I can tell you that!!!! It's been a long recovery and 13 weeks later, I'm just started to feel myself again.  As Cuba for Christmas is fast approaching I am blown away that not only was I able to organize it in all this chaos but timing IS everything. Although this trip might not be as adventurous as it would have been as a non brain tumour survivor it will be everything it is meant to be, time spent with family.  I'm so blessed to be given this opportunity to have this experience with three people I love so dearly.  One week with no Doctors, no physio, no appointments at all and NO thinking about the "what if's"  It's a tumour free week that we all deserve.  Merry Christmas to my family

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Swallowed a Bravery Pill

My days as of late have been busy.  Well, they are always busy it seems, this recovery thing is time consuming!!!  My last blog was all about adjusting to my new glasses and honestly this blog could be about the same thing.  It's weird, plain and simple, my vision seems to adjust differently to different situations and I'm just not used to it yet.  It frustrates me because I'm an easily frustrated person, I just want my eyes better now.  With all that being said I know it's not that easy and it takes time for my eyes to adjust, time time time, there's that word again.

Sooooo I went for a walk on Wednesday all by myself.  Doesn't sound like a big accomplishment but bravery is everything.  I had a thought, for 41 years I've been walking this earth and not really thinking to much about it, taking it for granted like we all do.  At my last Physio appointment there was a lot of talk about muscle memory and I thought if muscle has memory then so does the brain about walking...out I went.  I made an appointment for a massage which is a 1.5km walk, I needed a good excuse to tell TJay...I had to walk, I had an appointment!!!  I still got the "ummhmm" from him and "that look" but nothing bad happened so going against everyone's advise about not doing things on my own turned out ok, so it's all good.  What I learned on my walk is not having someone with me really made me have to think about depth and balance.  Yes, I stumbled a bit, but never once fell into the street, didn't get hit by a bus and made it to the massage clinic in one piece.  I also learned that looking to far ahead with depth perception issues is stupid and looking down is even more stupid.  A 6 foot range in front is perfect, I've got this!!!!

Finally in this last week I've started to feel like me again, I'm not sure who I was but I certainly was not myself.  You see, I AM super woman, always have been, there is nothing I can't accomplish with my stubborn ways.  However, recovering from brain surgery has taught me that even super woman can't fight the body's need to stop. Brain surgery was the chill pill I needed to learn some valuable lessons about, time, life and love.  I've absorbed these lessons like a sponge and have my brain tumour to thank for them.

Now that the bottle of chill pills are almost gone and I've popped the top off the bravery pill bottle, this blog is about to get a lot more adventurous.  Or stupid, those two words might be interchangeable in the near future

Monday, April 8, 2013

Out and About

The term out and about in Nova Scotia is kind of said like this "out ina bout" which pronounced fast enough sounds like out in a boat...which is exactly how I felt yesterday.  It was my first real outing with my prism glasses and expecting my trip to Walmart to be just like it used to be before surgery, in I went.  Oh my was I   shocked, surprised, frustrated and just plain angry when I stepped inside and realized that my vision was only slightly better. That wishy washy feeling of the drunken stumble in public was there.   REALLY?  I thought.  How can this be, I HAVE NEW GLASSES, I'm fixed, miraculously healed, these glasses are my ticket.  GRRRR I thought, so what is it, the shinny floors, the aisles, the lighting?  I honestly can't tell you.  All I know is it sucked with a capital S and even with encouraging words from my friend Laura, I kinda left sulking

Later my friend Jen asked if I wanted to go for a walk?  Sure I I'm feeling like a dog, excited by the "W" word (any of you who have a dog know exactly what I mean).  With no leash in hand, off we go to the local pharmacy a 1.4km walk.  Again, my first "real" walk with my new glasses, I do ok!!!  Cool, so now I know it's something more then "just me" I just have to narrow it down to lighting, shinny floors, long narrow aisles or just people in general.  The fix to this is more shopping, every girl's dream, except this chick, who HATES shopping.  I know you are thinking is that even possible?  A girl who doesn't like to shop, yup ask my kids, it's right up there with dishes...I would rather scrub the toilet.  Sadly, we have to go "out and about" to run errands tonight, at least I'll know what to expect this time, unlike scrubbing the toilet.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Me in a Nut Shell

Every pun on this blog will always be intended!!!!

It's Silly Saturday and this is what I have for's me, without a doubt, 100% me right now..

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's a recap

I changed things up a bit today and went back too the video blog entry, mostly to show off my new glasses of course.  Actually it's great for my family and friends to actually "see" how I am doing and not just read about it.  It's a recap really of what I've been up to, nothing earth shattering just a video of me blabbing on about appointments and such.  As I went into YouTube to fetch the link to post on here along the side pops up other YouTube videos and there is a women who's video is titled How to poop in public and I'm thinking really?  Is there really a video on this and OMG it has 131 727 views...well now it has 131 728 because how can you not click on something like that, the curiosity was too much.

So now that I know just what to do if nature ever calls in public, why don't you click here and watch this video on my exciting new glasses LOL

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Can she do it? Yes She Can..

The things you find out when you have brain surgery, a balance and dizziness centre, right here in Dartmouth, NS.  I had no clue until my Occupational Therapist and family Dr recommended that I go see them.  Ok, I thought, I'm willing to try anything.  I didn't really know what to expect, and like everything so far I thought that maybe this was for other people, I don't really have this problem.  It became apparent that I was in the right place when I started filling out the paper work.  Every question on their questionnaire was surprisingly aimed at my symptoms.

In I go and my physiotherapist starts her assessments, yup I have some balance issues.  The great news is that exercises can be started at home to push my eyesight and retrain the brain. Concentrating on keeping my head and neck straight is a must and now that I have my new glasses with the prisms, (that we picked up today) this should become easier with practice.  The cool thing I noticed this afternoon with my new glasses is I can lean back and look up and not see double anymore.  This is a seriously cool realization, it means I can now lay back in bed and read. I can lay on the couch and watch a movie, instead of having to sit up straight.  These babies are hopefully my ticket to driving again in the coming months. I'm loving my new glasses, even loving the headache they are giving me right now cause I'm thinking, "that's right brain, fix yourself, you can do it"

And with all of this excitement today I'm now exhausted at 730 and that's with an afternoon nap.  So I just might crawl into bed early and watch a movie, just me and my spectacles, ahhh the thought makes me giddy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm going tubing!!!

Hooray!!!! The 14 day count down has begun, yes it's time for the tube once again.  My favorite thing in the whole world, NOT!!!  Sadly it's not tubing down the Gaspereau River in Nova Scotia, it's the MRI tube.  I hate that thing, it's noisy and cramped and every single germaphobe's nightmare, but I will get in.  You know why, because I'm actually excited for the results.  It will be like looking at before and after shots of  plastic surgery.  It's lipo for the brain.  I can't wait to see just how much of Bubblegum is left and did some of Honeycomb slide out too?  I'm going armed with a camera and high hopes that it looks a lot different then the first one I saw.  That image sent me into a tail spin of hearing nothing but mumbles after viewing it, a complete disbelief that "thing" could be in MY head.  Thank God for TJay for asking all the questions, and remembering all my Dr's answers or it would have been a complete waste of time.  Speaking of "time" once again I'm counting it down and I don't care, counting it down has actually become a bit of a game for me...changing my way of appointment at a time!!!  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Tumour weight right?

I'm not sure about you, but I have two children and for years after my children where born I blamed the extra 10 to 15 pounds on my pregnancies.  I'm all of 5 foot nothing so 5 pounds looks double on a small frame like mine. When my youngest reached 8 I thought hmmm maybe, JUST maybe it's no longer pregnancy weight.  So, I joined the gym a year later and couldn't believe how quickly the body can change when you treat it right.  It wasn't the weight loss, although that did happen, it was the change in shape that impressed me more.  The more I worked the better I felt, for a while.  During my year at the gym my dizzy spells became worse and the rise in blood pressure caused a very unpleasant feeling in my head.  We blamed it on my low blood pressure and carried on.  It got to the point approaching spring when the gym and I just weren't getting along anymore and I went less and less.  Weeks later I was diagnosed with my brain tumour.

I've been inactive since June of last year and it shows.  It's the best excuse in the world and I can't even use it!!!  No one would ever say to you "Wow, you've put on a lot of weight"  at least not to your face. You see this would be the perfect time for me to use the "tumour weight" excuse..."ya, I know I did, but I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and I'm recovering from brain surgery"  That opens the door to "oh I'm so sorry to hear that" which in turn I feel I must be polite and say "thanks but it's ok".   So why do we do that?  Why as humans do we say things are ok when they are not?   It's not ok that I had brain surgery, it's not ok that I still have a brain tumour, it's not ok that vision and perspective problems keep me from getting out for walks.  It's the same reason we say "good thanks" when someone asks how are we doing, even when you are suffering from the worse flu ever!!!  Social awkwardness.  We all do it and it's ok that we do.  It's not in our nature to purposely hurt someone's feelings.  We're not normally taught as children how to deal with situations that surround tragic or sudden.  We learn this from our parents, and this parent would love to take a stand and teach my children how to deal with social awkwardness.  I'm living it, I should be the perfect educator right?  I might be, except my " tumour weight" is not solely measured in pounds.