Saturday, August 27, 2011
A Retrospective on the Last Month
As anyone living with a brain tumor can tell you, the process is not easy. Like training days- there are good days and bad days and some days will be easier than others. I was prepared for this, but when I got the declaration from my secondary brain-tumor expert that I need surgery, and no, I cannot wait a couple months, hanging out makes me feel like an elephant in a room.
I love my friends, and I’ve always relished opportunities to hang out with them and meet their friends. To be able to connect more with the people and be able to pull them into my fold of friendship is something that I’ve always enjoyed. But for the past month, hanging out with friends where people I may have met only a few times before was not appealing. There was that thing looming over my head like a giant neon sign- brain tumor. When will the surgery be? Where are you having it? What kind of brain tumor is it? Is it Cancer? Aren’t you scared? These questions not only put me on edge, but they took away from the meaning of why we were gathering. The gatherings were not for me to receive attention and questions. The gatherings were for something bigger— a birthday, a return home, a baby shower… I do not want to have the focus put on me, especially in this way. If/when these questions are not asked, it feels like they are on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Those who are friends quietly ask me a more provocative question away from the group, and those that are on the perfierary may want to know more and when I tell them, I get the look and usually the series of questions.
For a long time, it seemed best not to tempt fate or to start a series of actions that will result in the same thing- a question or look of “Poor Sarah.” For this reason, I have chosen my activities carefully. Sometimes, there are prior commitments that keep me from celebrations where new and old friends will be, and other times, it’s just easier not to be the elephant in the room.