My sister is still panicking that she has a brain tumour, she reckons she has all the symptoms. My daughter has been numerous times to our GP concerning disturbing symptoms, that she thinks show she has a brain tumour.
So it is funny that the only one who didn't think for a minute she had one....did.
When you get diagnosed with a life changing event, you start each day as a new normal. I like that expression. I have no idea where I first heard it. But everyone adapts to a life changing event. When I suffered with chronic pain from my spine. I found a new normal. I would stand for hours during the night, reading the daily news. That was normal for me. A can of Pepsi with my breakfast to counter act the effects of my sleeping tablets, was my normal.
I knew it would take a few weeks to stop the moment when you wake and suddenly realise you have a brain tumour growing in your head. But now I wake and think what is the time. My new normal is, springing wide awake at 4am. I realise this won't happen forever, but if it does I, will adapt and it will be normal. I now open my iPad and catch up on recent posts on all the brain tumour forums I follow and talk on. I used to check out all the blogs I followed first thing. Now they just accumulate and go unread.
Little has changed in the fabric of my life. Teddy my dog is still mad and itches all day. I still reluctantly walk him every day as he is an embarrassment . I drag him or he drags me. People, stop in their cars and laugh. Everyone still comes home from work expecting a gourmet meal to appear as they arrive In the door. But as part of my new normal, I now allow myself an afternoon nap, should I feel the need. I now know the reason I may need one. It is a common problem with people suffering with something growing in their heads. I used to feel guilty, but I don't now.
In my new bedside book " living with a brain tumour " I found a passage which I immediately highlighted with the pen the Brainstrust sent along with the book.
A crisis can be seen as a threat, a loss, or a challenge. The diagnosis of a brain tumour is certainly a crisis ; if it is perceived as a threat it can be met with anxiety ; as a loss it can be met with depression ; but if it is perceived as challenge, a person can mobilise his or her energy and problem skills"
It goes on to say that a persons personality can determine how you cope with such grim news. I knew it would become my new normal, whatever happens in the future. So I just excepted the challenge and tried to learn as much about it as I could.
That's my, old normal. Numerous people said knowing you'll become an expert on your condition . That's my nature to absorb information. I like to know all angles. My mother in law the day after I was diagnosed said, she was worried I would make myself depressed by researching my condition. She is more of the 'normal', to ignore something and it will go,away. I was a bit insulted that she thought I would get depressed, because that is not in my nature. That's not my normal. That's not my personality type at all, I am a VERY strong individual. That is my normal.
How I am dealing with the knowledge of my tumour is a normal reaction to me. It is my normal. But I have come to understand over the last month that I am unusual and not normal. My GP and neurosurgeon I went to see in London have both remarked on my remarkable calmness and acceptance. And said I was to be commended. A tumour support group I attended last week, want me to reach out and help fellow sufferers. To try and help people have a positive attitude. I wrote about my outcome from my second opinion in London on one of the tumour forums. Here are a few snippets from what fellow sufferers wrote;
Oh my!.......What courage you have !
In awe here at your attitude and bravery Karen. God bless you.
Love your attitude Karen
You make me gasp in admiration! All of you who speak so calmly.......
What a woman! xxx
Karen - you are shaming me to get off my arse and do something! More power to you!
Your posts are so brave and In spite of the grim prognosis, upbeat...
I find it all weird, as to me I am just being normal.........