The Brain Tumor (part 2)

When I imagined a week without my kids, it sounded luxurious. Even if that week was spent in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices. The vision of no one whining at me, fighting with me, or having to feed sounded like a vacation. Plus I’d have a hotel room with my husband! Woo!

I was surprised at how devastated I was in reality to leave my kids. I knew they would be fine. My mom and stepdad were staying at my house to watch them. They would be in school and on their regular routine. But as the trip got closer, I stopped referring to them as my kids and they became my babies again.

On the plane ride to Minnesota, my husband M had to sit in the row in front of me. The guy sitting next to him quite possibly shat his pants. The guy next to me was a very big guy. We had to put the arm rests up so he could fit. He slept most of the ride and kept falling over on me. I kept wishing that it was socially acceptable to push him over and snuggle up with him in a way where we would both be comfortable.

Rochester was interesting. I had never seen so much snow in my life. I couldn’t believe how well everyone drove there. Everyone lived up to the Midwest reputation of being incredibly nice. The Mayo Clinic is so huge and well organized.

We saw my neurologist, Dr. Uhm, who assured me that my tumor was indeed a big deal. While most people would probably be stressed by this news, I was relieved to hear this as I felt like the Princess and the Pea Sized Brain Tumor. I was referred to a neurosurgeon and had some tests scheduled to see what was up with my neuropathy.

When I saw my neurosurgeon, Dr. Parney, he did some neurological tests on me. One of them was telling me to write a sentence. I was shocked to discover that this was super hard for me. Since the sentence wasn’t for a purpose to communicate something and I wasn’t given a subject to write about, it took me forever. It was agreed that this was due to the tumor which was on my language cortex. Dr. Parney explained that the operation would have to done while I was awake so that my language and motor could be tested during the surgery so that nothing important would be removed. Of course being awake during brain surgery is scary to imagine but I decided that I would not want to sleep through something that important, control freak that I am. Apparently they don’t give the option of awake brain surgery to everyone because some people, even if they want to do it, are not suited for it. I have no idea why I, a person ruled by anxiety, was thought to be able to handle it.

The worst part about the surgery was having to be away from my kids for two weeks instead of one. I talked to them on the phone every night and set my son up with a Facebook account to stay in touch with him more. I did not tell the kids about my surgery as I didn’t want them to worry any more than they had to. I was anxious but not more than I usually am. I never cried or felt sorry for myself. I felt sorry for my mom and stepdad for having to watch my kids. I felt sorry for my kids. I felt guilty for abandoning the kids in my classroom. I felt bad for M, sitting in waiting rooms. I felt like the drama queen causing trouble in the lives of everyone I knew.

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