Last week was a big week for me. I finally got the staples removed from my head! (Read more about this in my last post.) But more importantly, I got the pathology results from the neurosurgeon.
My tumor was benign rather than malignant. That means I won’t have to receive radiation at this time. (WAHOO!) Even though the neurosurgeon was able to remove most of the tumor, he had to leave a piece behind because my brain started bleeding during the operation. I feel so lucky. I get to avoid (freaking) radiation! Over the next 6 months I have checkups scheduled and I’ll get my brain re-imaged to make sure the residual tumor stays dormant. (This will be a part of my life going forward.) Plus, may recovery is going pretty well at the moment. Last week I started walking unassisted and yesterday I passed the milestone of taking my first shower unaided! All that to say, I’m improving, but I have a bit further to go. I’m still sleeping a lot, getting headaches if I push myself too hard, and my reading, although it’s improving, hasn’t quite returned to normal. With all these blessings, there remains a critical piece of my journey that I haven’t mentioned yet.
I have never felt more loved than in this moment of my life. (I was reflecting on the hyperbole of this statement to determine if it was indeed true. Honestly, the other times I’ve experienced great love in my life are being overshadowed by this moment.) Sooooo much love from so many people. You have been my foundation as I’ve tackled this challenge. From the first moments of waking up in the hospital and being surrounded by family and friends, to receiving the news of the tumor with my wife at my bedside, to folks driving hundreds of miles to visit me, to being showered with encouragement online—I have always felt your presence. And it hasn’t stopped there (not even close).
As I started to recover, I received dozens (if not hundreds) of messages, multiple letters, gifts of toys, books, hedgehogs, food, gift cards, games and more. Then online encouragement arrived in the form of tweets, facebook messages, and direct messages of all kinds (Please forgive my lack of response to your messages, I’ve kept my phone on silent for weeks and only read notifications from time to time. Plus, my reading is still recovering. I hear you, I see you, I appreciate you, I love you, I promise.) That being said, when I’m in need of a boost, I love revisiting your kind words. There’s so much for me to enjoy! For example, this game jam and this Flipgrid.
Another surprise outpouring of love came in the form of a GoFundMe. My friend Sarah had the fearlessness and the foresight to create one of these fundraisers and I’ve been amazed with everyone’s generosity. One of the freighting aspects of this ordeal has been the financial component. While I’m concentrating on my recovery, I’m also worried about costs and how much insurance will try and worm its way out of paying. But these concerns have been overshadowed by your support. I feel so much more at ease due to your generosity. Being gifted over $12,000 is no small gesture and I don’t know where to even begin to express my appreciation. So let me end this post by saying thank you. Thank you for all you’ve done for me and my family during this time. Thanks for all love you’ve shown me as I tackle my new reality. And last but not least, I want to shoutout all of the folks who came together to bless me financially during this time—I am less frightened because of all of you.