March 3rd, 2012; 1 year since I had brain surgery. When people are stressed, a piece of wisdom that I was given and I share on occasion is, what was stressing you out six months ago? It always blows my mind that the number of people who simply cannot remember what was stressing them out six months ago but it often puts things in perspective that maybe what stresses us out…is not as important as we imagine.
Well, the stuff that was stressing me out six months ago still is a nuisance. Brain cancer is still part of my life. Kiana's mom and I unfortunately have not made nearly enough progress in our coparenting relationship. I am not sure she’s let go of all that inspired her to leave and it takes only a cursory reading of this blog that while I think I’ve made some progress on this healing from having my brain surgery and having my heart torn, the healing on neither is done and both wounds probably carry some permanent side effects and scarring.
This became fairly evident two days ago when back on the running schedule, I had what can best be described as a strange experience. I kept smelling cotton candy on the run and worried that it might be brain related since strange smells is something I’m supposed to look out for. I was listening to Offspring and Nirvana and believe it or not couldn’t seem to hear their voice but was just hearing, of all things, Sesame Street inserting their own lyrics. About a half mile from the midway point in the 10 mile loop, I thought I might be about to have a seizure, went off onto the grass from the road, stopped my GPS watch (don’t want your time to be incorrect) and looked back. I didn’t see anyone and a few minutes later, I was waking up in the middle of an ambulance. Apparently, while I have no memory of this, my running buddies would gather around me waiting for me to wake up and the first thing I did when I came back to, was give them a thumbs up and a smile. I pray that’s always the raw version of me.
The ambulance staff and I would have a discussion where, like the first time, I was refusing to go. However, this time, showing experience I suppose, it was not about the fear of going to the hospital. It was about the fact that my current insurance charges nothing for MRIs if I go to the imaging place and charges a lot more if I go to the ER. I had to sign some documents and there will still be a bill but it will be less than if I had gone to the ER. Also, my doctor wants me to go the same machines so if there’s any changes they are driven by the brain not a different machine; in addition, it turns out the ones there are better than the ones at the hospital. The ladies at the MRI lab helped me out with my paperwork, gave me some crackers and juice. I had decided by then both what they thought I should do and what my doctor would say the next day, to double up on my Keppra. I had slowly gone back down to the presurgery level while marathon training without any issues (there was never any intention of getting off but I am a fan of less drugs). The fact that I was marathon training without issues made it seem feasible and I never want to insert more drugs than necessary. But let’s just say that Thursday’s event made it to where the doctor and I agreed on Friday that for ever and ever, I will be back on the immediate post-surgery levels.
Still, I went home that night and went to bed having left messages for both my neurologist and neuropsychologist. The neurologist has always let me be somewhat directive of my own medicine but buckled down on the amount of keppra I would take. My doctors and I had made a deal that Boston would be my last marathon, or at least the last one where I will leave it all out there. That deal I had second guess but after this it will still hold in both directions. I am not done exercising or pushing, just past the point of exhaustion in events like a marathon might not be so wise.
Another thing that was stressing me out six months ago was all that was going on with Kiana's mom. Because of all that had occurred, and because I want to do what’s best for Kiana but also hope that never means something like only supervised visits with me (in an ideal world it would be with two loving parents), I didn’t know what to tell Kiana's mom right away so I didn’t say anything Thursday night. It was less than helpful that I had received an email a few hours before this run telling me that Kiana's mom was going to be foregoing the Mother’s day weekend with Kiana because of another committment, that they could celebrate that on another day. I also was nervous about telling my job because of all the mess from 18 months ago. Still within 24 hours I had told them both without too much detail, deciding that keeping things open and honest was the wisest idea. How those will play out may take a little while.
Kiana's mom is going to treat mother’s day like another day. I was treating Thursday like another day and it came with a reminder that I had brain cancer and that seizure restricts me from driving for a while. Today is March 3rd, one year exactly since the surgery. I have a few things planned but most of them treat it like another day. When these reminders come, you have to take in that another day is ANOTHER DAY!