Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Crummy

It is nearly 6 months since I underwent my craniotomy. Last week I put my final thank you cards in the mail for the gifts I received while I was at the hospital (including thank you cards to my boss and another co-worker who bullied me into taking the ambulance).  I have two final thank you cards ready to go out in tomorrow’s mail to my neurosurgeon and ICU nurses, telling them the good news about my half-marathon.

Six months post-op, I’m now at the benchmark where my neurosurgeon said I would be in my recovery and almost healed.  Six months to a year he said it’d take for me to heal completely. I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt.  
The future has more than marathons… I have more MRIs, more doctors visits, more surgeries. The surgery is hard to get past. I have pushed so much to get here, to be able to do another half-marathon, even though the overall time was abysmal.  Friday marked my second EMMY celebration since moving out here… The first nomination was for a Public Service Announcements I co-wrote, and now one of the shows I work on was nominated. It’s a very surreal thing to be able to say this.

I have a deeper and clearer understanding of life and despite my happiness with my current state and looking to the future, there are shades of grey. Despite the excitement of this and knowing I had years and years of physical therapy growing up, it’s hard not to get trapped into the spiral of, “well what’s the point, they could screw up and I might not have the ability to run again.” I feel like I’m trapped in the Molasses’ Swamp, almost unable to get out. My neurosurgeon was judicious and now, one of my doctors is suggesting another craniotomy. I knew at some point the craniotomy would be necessary since it was impossible to remove the entire tumor without causing damage to me. I was hoping that I would be able to pretend to have a normal life, despite trying to live it in an any but normal way. Normal to most is go to work, come home, flop on the couch, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed. Regretfully, my life has taken on a shade more like this, but I’ve been running, and despite the facade of Los Angeles being uber-fit, it isn’t. We are like most cities- Pay a gym membership but try to get the closest parking spot to our destination. I’ve tried not to be “normal” but I’ve tried to be above average in my existence.

I want to do so much and make a big difference on this world. Now, that I am getting closer to my normal of work + run + friends + bigger goals, I am told that all that again may have to be put on the back burner AND I may have to go to a different hospital. It is odd to say, but I have a very warm place in my heart for the ICU at Providence St. Joseph’s.  Now, I have over a year to stress about the surgery wonder if I’m making the right decision… even though there really isn’t a decision because the residual tumor needs to come out.  I have a year to get mentally and physically prepared. I want to be in the best shape of my life- I want to be able to walk the day after surgery.

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