Twelve years ago yesterday I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The day, the events, the looks on the nurses' faces are forever etched in my head. The tears my then-husband shed, my yelling at the doctor who didn't see me in person (talked to me on the phone) - it's all forever engrained on the timeline of my life.
There are lots of days I'll never forget but only a few that I remember exactly by date: the birth of my children, my wedding day, the day he moved out, the day my mom fell - all left marks that changed my life.
So, what's a dozen years? I've done a lot in that time, though it's not really what I expected.
I forgot to mention something important. The "little something extra upstairs" was found because I had lyme disease (another fun chapter of my life that continues today). The things that happened to me are likely caused by lyme, not my brain. Important distinction.
My kids were in car seats. I lost my ability to control my hands for a while and had to teach them how to work their car seats themselves. Now they are getting ready to drive.
I had speech issues. Still do.
My kids were getting ready to start school in a few short years. Now my kids are getting ready for college in a few short years. Time, please slow down a bit.
My mom lived independently in PA. She's in a nursing home here.
I was married. I'm not any more.
I was dependent on others to help me. I've learned to depend on myself.
I've learned a ton about medical stuff and how to deal with insurance companies.
I have been to Switzerland and Paris twice in the last 12 years. I have been to California, Colorado and a few spots in between, though I haven't seen as much as a girl who thought she was going to die should see.
I've learned to stop taking things for granted and to stop waiting for things to happen. I have to make things happen.
Mostly I learned that I'm stronger than I ever thought. I'm pretty tired of being tested but at least I know I'll always end up on my feet.