Some readers don't know this, but there were a few blogs I wrote prior to creating my own website here at Husband Amused.
In the next few days I will copy those blogs over here so all my writing is in one place.
I am still waiting for the results of my latest blood test (measuring testosterone) and my appointment with a retinal specialist is next week.
In the meantime, this is my very first blog, the words I wrote three days before my first brain surgery. From my perspective now—with everything I have learned—I can't believe the light-hearted tone of it, but I have always used humor as a coping mechanism when I am afraid of the unknown. For what it's worth, enjoy!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009 8:43 PM, EDT
Hello, friends and family, and welcome to my brain tumor surgery journal! Today is Friday, October 2, 2009 and my surgery is scheduled for Monday. This means I have the whole weekend in front of me to party. Actually, make that par-TAY. A nurse called me a little while ago to give me instructions for my big day: "Nothing to eat or drink after midnight Sunday night," she said.
I asked, "But before midnight everything is okay?"
"I can eat or drink ANYTHING right up 'til midnight?" I pressed.
She paused, then said, "Yeah, I guess."
Bingo. Jello shots @ my place. 11:59pm. Bring togas.
Eh, rewind. This is serious. But the only way I can deal with serious situations concerning myself is to treat them with self-deprecating humor. It helps me but it is hell for my acquaintances.
The past two days, unsuspecting friends have asked, "So how are things?"
“Okay,” I reply. “Brain tumor. You?"
I hear a sudden choking sound when I say that. It’s the sound of being punched in the gut, a deep inhale and a jammed garbage disposal all rolled into one. I love that sound.
After all, what is one supposed to say when a friend reports to you with a brain tumor? “Sorry” doesn’t cut it. “Sorry” is appropriate for minor inconveniences like Internet interruptions or air conditioner malfunctions on hot summer days. “So sorry” is what friends say about your sick relatives. For immediate family, the standard nowadays is, “Oh my God, I’m sooooo sooooorrry,” and to couple that with a meek gesture of the forearm where you helplessly reach for (and miss) the elbow of the griever.
But what is one supposed to say about a brain tumor? Like the guitar amplifier turned to 11 in "Spinal Tap," there is only so much longer you can stretch out, “Soooooo soooooorrrry” before it crosses the line dividing sincerity and mockery. No one wants to make that faux pas, so they don’t go near the line. What is left (besides the aforementioned choking) is nothing. “I don’t know what to say,” “Oh, man…” “Whoa,” or “H-o-l-y…” are the most common.
For me, rest assured this part before the surgery is easy. The nice thing about my brain tumor is it is everything you could ever want in one. Benign. Round. No bigger than a ping-pong ball. Accessible through the nose, so no nightmares about nasty drills or saws. And this tumor is not IN my brain; it is UNDERNEATH it, pressing upwards on my optical nerves and causing my vision problems. The location of the tumor behind my eyes makes extraction a little dicey, but the tumor itself is awfully boring. If something this ordinary grew on your leg you could get rid of it with a box-cutter and Windex.
If you are still reading, you are someone who understands me. You know how I cherish paradox.
My plan is to use this journal as much or as little as I feel, in a way that will help me through this so others who care about me will be helped too. I have always taken joy in writing irreverently about my life experiences. I have no intention of doing otherwise at a time like this.