Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Life Hands You a Brain Tumor

You know the old saying, "when life hands you lemons you make lemonade?" Sounds simple enough.  But what are you supposed to make when life hands your husband a brain tumor diagnosis?  Can someone please tell me what I'm supposed to make now?

Our world was turned upside down two weeks ago when my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma brain tumor.  I took him to the doctor with what we thought was a headache and some flu-like symptoms and came out with a devastating diagnosis. Hmmnnn...funny how life can change so drastically in the course of one lousy afternoon.

So, I'm no longer a volunteer addict.  In fact, I've wiped my calendar clean of any commitments other than taking care of my husband.  Yesterday I had a problem saying no to folks who needed help on various committees or projects but the universe decided to step in and has forced me to say no today.  No more waffling, no more hemming and hawing -  a simple no.

Our outlook on life has become crystal clear.  Pre-diagnosis we were just plain busy - with the applicable frustration that comes from trying to do too many things at once.  Post-diagnosis we welcome our unscheduled days and the joy that comes from running a simple errand.  It's not so much the errand we enjoy, but the quality time we get to spend together noticing everything we never noticed before.  I know it sounds so cliche but we really are stopping to smell the roses.

The boys are going about their business enjoying their semi-rock star status.  The teachers at school have been packing their lunches (with the essential added "surprise" they look forward to finding) neighbors and friends are popping over with fruit baskets and cooked dinners.  Practicing piano, while still important, has lessened in its intensity while computer time and cartoons have, unfortunately, gone up.  When I look at my boys' beautiful little faces all I can think is you don't deserve this and here, have another slice of pie.

I am a planner and I do like to control things even though I've been reminded on too many occasions that I don't control the universe.  Everything about our current situation is out of my control and it just plain stinks.  Um, thanks for the reminder.  Damn you, universe.

“The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” - Chuck Palahnuik

So, what do you do when life hands you a brain tumor?  You don't make lemonade or melancholy soup or why-me casserole.  You put up your dukes, step into the ring and fight for your husband's life. I may not be able to plan or control, but I can battle with the best of 'em.  And he can and will fight, too. Instead of volunteer addicts, workaholics or over-planners we've become fighters.

And smellers-of-roses.


Cathy Mealey said...

Yes! Fight as hard as possible. Smell the roses as often as you can. Hold hands. Smile even when you don't feel like it.

I am so sorry to hear this devasting news. Sending prayers for you and your family.

Kim Murray said...

Thanks, Cathy. We will take as many prayers as we can get :)

Korrine Britton said...

I'm so sorry to read of your husband's diagnosis. There is no right or wrong response to news like this, only what is right for you.

Prayers and positive thoughts to your family.

Kim Murray said...

Korrine, you are so right. No right or wrong responses here. Thank you for the prayers :)


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