Today marks my four month anniversary since my surgery to remove what they could of the tumor a whopping 98%, which still blows my mind (no pun intended). Dr. Weaver, my Neurosurgeon has such a special place in my heart. I love this man.
My recovery has had some ups and downs and I post a lot of photos on Instagram and Facebook hoping to keep people up to date on what is going especially for my loved ones who do not live nearby. I also enjoy writing this blog because I love writing, but most importantly, I hope to inspire others during their struggles to keep on going, and not to succumb to despair.
A lot of folks have continued to ask me how I have stayed so positive throughout my diagnosis and recovery and I wish I had one definitive answer for people, but I do not. I do want to share that I choose to practice gratefulness every single day. What I mean by this is that even on a day that I may not feel very good emotionally, physically or both, I remind myself that some of my closest friends and family members are struggling through physical and emotional things with far worse symptoms than what I have or knowing that things for me could be so much worse especially physically, so when I don’t feel well, I tell myself, at least I have my vision or I am not having horrible headaches or I’m able to do things for myself even though it may take me longer for me to figure out as I am having to retrain my brain.
At night, I will sit in bed and write my grateful list in a journal and sometimes it’s short just because I am tired because actually my list could go on and on. This should not be confused with me stating that I choose to be happy. As someone who has struggled with depression since childhood, I do not believe that people just choose to be happy and that’s the end of it. I am a natural optimist, though and do try to find the good in people, situations, and circumstances.
The kind of tumor I have is the most aggressive form, so knowing this, I choose to make the best of things in my life and I just have so many things to be grateful for. Sometimes my list reflects the day I’ve had based on the people I have been with, situations, discussions, etc.
This morning as I awoke feeling pretty funky physically due to being back on chemo I was grateful that I didn’t actually puke when I thought I was going to, grateful to have been able to fall back asleep, grateful that there was flat ginger ale in the pantry and the for the beautiful, warm sunshine when I ventured out to run errands with my daughters and we sang in the car.
It is different for everyone what they are grateful for, but it’s an easy practice for me and it keeps me moving forward, focusing on the big and little things that accumulate and make me happy. Although I hate what has happened and how mine and my family’s and friend’s lives have changed, I still have so much happiness in my life. Again, grateful for that!