I am a lucky chick. That’s the first thing I want you to know, if you are reading this post. I have an awesome family, a nice place to live, and a job with very caring and concerned coworkers. I also have the opportunity to take a few trips now and again and share my experiences with my readers.
I really appreciate YOU, my readers. I also want to share a personal story, in hopes that you will think about all the things you want to do, but just keep putting off.
I’m sick. I’ve been sick for a really long time. Right before I left for a trip to San Juan last spring, I discovered a knot on my shoulder. This was scary, because my grandfather was at the end stages of his long battle with cancer, and I didn’t even want to think of what was wrong with me. I went to my doctor and he advised to watch and keep an eye on it.
So I watched it. I watched it get bigger and it began to hurt. I noticed a loss of strength in my left hand. I was tired all the time. Then I had all kinds of drama in my life, and I kept putting off that visit to my doctor.
During this time, I would visit my grandparents in “The Country” and help my Paw Paw move the dial on his radio, because he wanted to listen to Tiger Baseball as we both sat on the back porch in rocking chairs. He was so very weak and I knew that he was waiting for something. So I said to him, “Paw Paw. It’s okay. You know I’ll be here for Maw-Maw.”
And I wanted to cry, but knew I had to be strong when he said, “Sugar, I can’t leave her alone.”
And I promised to take care of my grandmother and be there for her when he passed. A few days later, my grandfather died. At that moment, any problem I had in my life seemed insignificant compared to the grief of my grandmother and the pain of my entire family.
My life got really crazy after this. My full-time work schedule seemed to consist of all nights. I was so tired and exhausted, but still managed to make every press trip that was scheduled. Heck, I even boarded a plane two hours after having an IV pulled out my arm. What was I thinking?
It was time for surgical removal. Apparently, my new friend, Tammy the Tumor, had grown to size of a golf ball. I cried and I was scared each time a pre-op nurse would come check on me, look at my chart, and then I would get a toe squeeze with a, “Baby I’m gonna pray fo you.”
I kept thinking about my kids and wondering why this happening to me. I kept thinking of that movie Mean Girls and all the great restaurants out there that I have yet to sample and write about. I thought about money, and how the heck would we be able to pay for yet another expense we couldn’t afford. I kept thinking of the promise I made to my grandfather.
Tammy was removed and she wasn’t malignant, but (oh yes, there’s a but) the surgeon wanted to send me to a neurologist for some other tests. All during this time I continued to make my life look hunky-dory and peachy-keen, using the magic of social media, pictures from previous trips uploaded to twitpic, and pre-scheduled blog posts. Amazing how technology can fool people into thinking you’re in California when you’re really sitting in a recliner in Louisiana.
So now, I have a brain tumor. It’s called a meningioma, and is only rarely malignant. It is located on my right brain (hence the left side weakness) and my husband swears up and down that it has to be located in the house-cleaning section of my brain. In other words, things are going to be okay. My brother has helped me name this one: Mr. Miyagi the Meningioma, in honor of The Karate Kid, because I’m going to start kicking some ass.
I’m going to do all those things I’ve been putting off and I want to encourage each of you to do the same. Don’t wait until you get a slap in the face from some gross thing growing in your head like something out of a Stephen King novel.
I’m going on my first cruise and I plan on kissing my man like crazy. I’ll probably drink a good bit also. In fact, my husband commented that our liquor bill just shot up another 25% thanks to Mr. Miyagi. But I also plan on laughing until I can’t breathe. I plan on dancing until my feet can’t take it anymore. And I am going to enjoy myself and forget about all the crappy things (and people) going on in my life and all over the world.
And here’s one thing I hope you’ll do when you finish reading this (if you’re still here) – Close your eyes and think of one place in the entire world that you’ve always wanted to see or experience. Leave it in the comment section. Now go look it up online (or in that super-cool new Lonely Planet Book) and start making plans to go someplace awesome. Do it soon. I mean like so soon you just go ahead and charge it to your credit card and worry about paying on it later.
Disclaimer: You can rest assured that while the author obtained these tumors free of charge, this in no way impacted her opinion.
Special note to my family and friends that have been there for me: I count myself fortunate to have you in my life. I would not have made it through the past few months without all of you. To my awesome and supportive bosses: You rock. And Mom, thanks for the pie. I would like another please 🙂