It was one year ago today that my husband and I experienced the most terrifying day of our lives - the day he had brain surgery to remove a large tumour. This is the kind of shit that nightmares are made of. And we're still dealing with all that comes with a brain tumour one year later. Oh what a year it has been, with a ridiculous amount of lows and some highs mixed in. The biggest high being that my husband made it through brain surgery and is doing reasonably well today. Lows included two months of radiation treatments, mini strokes, side effects of large amounts of strong medication, really miserable days, a ton of doctors appointments and currently recovering from hernia surgery.
I can't believe it's been one whole year since this mess started. Even though time has flown by this past year, I forget what our 'normal' life was like. I miss it. We all miss it. Our family doctor even suggested that the trauma of the last year could be why our son hasn't started talking yet at 2.5 years old. Yet another reason to curse the shit out of the brain tumour. Even now, Isabella will ask Pablo to do something with her 'only if he isn't too sick'. This is what makes me blame the tumour for the shitty year we've had and how it has affected not just Pablo and I, but our two young kids.
Fuck you brain tumour and don't you ever come back!!!
The morning of Pablo's surgery was miserable. I remember my stomach was so sick that I kept wanting to puke. Pablo was in good spirits and spent some time visiting the other patients near his room. There was a young woman a few rooms down who I think also had a brain tumour and right when the nurse came to tell Pablo that they were ready to take him to surgery, I was introduced to that woman's daughter who I think was around one year old at that time. I broke down crying. Talk about bad timing. This girl was around Simon's age at the time and I couldn't help but think about our kids and if something bad happened during surgery.
The hours that Pablo was in surgery were stressful and loooooooong but I'll never forget the look on the surgeon's face as she walked into the waiting room where my sister and I were waiting.
Here is what I posted from that day:
SURGERY IS DONE!!!!!!!
The surgeon actually walked in with a smile on her face and I broke down (at 6pm). She told my sister and I that she managed to get the whole tumour out without a problem. I asked if she thought anything was affected, ie. speech, memory and she didn't seem to think so. We'll have to wait for Pablo to wake up to know for sure. She's still not sure as to the exact type of tumour so now we have to wait for the pathology reports to come back. She smiled the whole time she was talking to us so I think she was pretty damn pleased about how the surgery went. I love her and am forever grateful to her for taking care of my Pablo. She said I can see him around 6:30 or 7pm and she said if he can walk, talk and eat tomorrow then he can go home!!!! TOMORROW!!!
Pablo didn't end up going home the next day. He had to stay at the hospital for around a week because he had a TIA (mini-stroke) although some thought it was a seizure. He needed to get his pain under control and the doctors wanted to make sure he could do some everyday activities by himself. When Pablo did get released, it was wonderful. The kids were overjoyed and we hoped life would get back to normal. We quickly realized that we would have a new kind of 'normal' and learned to deal with the after effects of brain surgery. Pathology reports came back that the tumour was benign but there were a few abnormal cells. Abnormal is not good and Pablo quickly decided that he would undergo radiation treatments to get rid of those abnormal cells. Without radiation, Pablo had a 50% chance of the tumour growing back and with radiation, a 20% chance. Pablo's neurosurgeon told us that if the tumour grows back, surgery will most likely do damage to his memory and that is a damn scary thought.
68 hours after surgery:
one year later:
We're living life one day at a time. We even started buying lottery tickets. With all the bad luck we've had the last year, who knows, maybe we'll get lucky one of these days...
Our deepest thanks to all our family and friends for all the support we've been given this past year. And thank you to everyone who has sent emails and left heartfelt comments - I can't even tell you how much that has meant to us.
Words we live by:
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.
Pablo, I love you so much. You are an amazing person.