Wednesday, 04 August 2010
I don't do well with change. I never have. It's not a secret and if it's is, it's one of the worst kept I've ever heard. Looking back that's one of the first characteristics about myself that I realized. From the time I was a very little girl. I avoid it at all costs. I ignore it, until it hits me smack in the face. Going on the assumption that maybe if I ignore the change, maybe it will somehow go away or I possibly won't notice it. A very intelligent assumption I know :)
I have stayed in all different kinds of situations (ranging from mundane to the most serious) for far too long just to avoid change. Silly. When I really stop and think about it. Life is just too short.
Change is inevitable. Being frightened or avoiding it complicates life completely. Life evolves. There is no stopping that. I'm not the girl I was at age 5. I'm not the girl I was at age 25. At 45 I doubt I'll be the girl I was at 30. We, human beings, evolve. We change because of situations, wisdom, idiocies or even for things completely out of our control...like tumors. Why couldn't I be scared of something like...Water Buffalo? They are not native to anywhere I have ever lived and I think I would have a much better chance of avoiding those :)
I have gotten much better over the years with change. We aren't BFF's, change and I, but we are definitely not enemies either. I just avoid him at all costs. The little bit of progress I have made has been hard fought. Facing junk you don't like is no fun and let's face it, those kinds of tasks usually get sent to the back burner. (I know you all didn't know any of this. Huge breakthrough I'm sure :)
I think that has been one of the hardest issues with my brain tumor and subsequent spine tumors. They have changed things. They have changed EVERYTHING! There's that awful word again, I feel like there should be scary movie music in the background. I can honestly say there is NOTHING in my life left untouched from all the changes.
I have been in a constant fight to regain my life. To right all the wrongs that have been out of my control. I'm spiraling. I'm spiraling farther and farther away from me, from the person I know as me and closer and closer to this person they call a 'Patient'! Oh the horror! (You should all gasp here) It has tortured me, this change. I have fought this transformation tooth and nail. I have fought the change. It's a losing battle and I hate losing.
I have mentioned more than once (who am I kidding more than a kagillion times) that I, Francis Brock Spann, the Brain Tumor Chick, want my life back. I want me back. I want the pre-brain tumor chick back. I have pleaded with my doctors, each and every time I have seen them, get me back...back to where I was, to the life I know so well. None of them have had the guts to utterly honest with me...that's it's just not possible...and I have to say I don't blame them one bit. I don't do well with people telling me I can't achieve something so it was probably best to just leave that one alone.
I've realized in the last few weeks...it's impossible. It came more to a head when I visited the Mayo this week. I saw a Physiologist. Someone who's going to help me 'live' more fully and eliminate some of the neck pain. It was there that I walked into an exam room to meet this new physician that I was very hopeful that he could 'fix' me. He was sitting there, up to the desk, in a wheel chair. Spinal injury. He had rigged the whole room to adjust to him. It was amazing. He went over my spinal tap results...ALL NEGATIVE! YAY! Then he got to the neck pain. He was so matter of fact. Cut to the chase. My kind of man, got right to the point. He said (in his awesome Jamaican accent) "you've got these tumors down your spine, not much can be done about that right now. You're having severe pain in your neck and numbness in the left arm and leg. I am going to help you fix the pain in your neck and we're going to get you off all these meds through hard work and stregthening. The numbness though, let go of that. It can't be fixed, at least not now. It could be from the tumors or it could be from the brain surgery. But you...you are doing good for all you've been through...let go of that." It was like...OK...alrighty then...I will. I LOVED HIM! My kind of Doc!
The things that I have wish for and worked hard for will NEVER happen. (There's another word I hate...never) I'm come to realize...that's ok. I cannot go back, no more so than I could go back to when I was 5 or when my children were babies. It is just a fact and as much as it's wonderful to think I can and I will, I believe those thoughts, those efforts, are now hindering me. I have taken the time to cry over this fact. I have morned the old life, the old me, and I'm done. I have been so completely consumed with getting back, back to my old life and the old me that I have hardly noticed this 'new' person emerging. A stronger, more confident person. More self aware and more controlled. I have hardly noticed the girl I have become. Taking a closer look, I'm kind of digging her. She kind of rocks!
I was reading recently, probably in some doctor's office and I came upon a quote. I had an epiphany. I've never had one of those before or not one I've been aware of. It's the only way to describe it. A realization that all this change is simply a part of this life. The quote was, "...one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation". Unbelievable. There it was. In black and white even, the words that pushed me through all that pointless morning of my old self. The words that pushed me into seeing that maybe all this change isn't a bad thing. Maybe there is a point to it all.
This knowledge, this understanding, as simple as it seems, has allowed me to take a step back and observe all the transformations that have taken place. How I have changed. The things that I continue to hope, change. For instance, I hope in a year from now I have changed again and evolved to be even stronger even wiser, both physically and mentally. It's allowed me to understand the things that won't change...ever. I am and will always be The Brain Tumor Chick (along with umpteen dozen spine tumors). It's always the things that you would love to change that you can't :) I will always be (gasp) a patient. It's a part of me. A part of this new life. I'm learning and I'm growing into these new shoes that are bigger than I am. Why this had to happen to me? I have not the slightest idea but nor do I care anymore. It is what it is and it's just that.
I have to adapt. I have to learn. I have accepted the new me and who I am. I will no longer allow myself to yearn for before. Before, doesn't exist anymore. I cannot attain it. Only in treasured memories. Like the kind you have from childhood. You cannot relive it or retrieve it, it's simply there, and a part of who you are. I have to figure this new me out, this new life. I have to give 'it' a chance to thrive. It's a thrilling idea. I feel like I'm at a starting point, the starting line and the possibilities are endless. Change no longer frightens me, not in a bad way. It's a frightening that's a rush, an opportunity, something you just have to do. I'm not a pro yet, but I say yet because I fully intend to change that.
Life is short and life is so sweet. I intend to embrace every day that I have. No two are alike and there's no telling what the next is going to bring for this Brain Tumor Chick but for the first time she is strong enough to say...BRING IT ON!