I have a secret to share. I’ve debated whether to post on this subject for a long while. The thoughts that crossed my mind on whether I should went something like this.
Why I might want to share:
It’s a life lesson
It’s life changing
It changed my perspective on life
It may help explain an approach to life in general
It may help others get through their own personal challenges
Reasons not to share:
It’s not that serious, don’t make a big deal of it.
It’s a personal thing, why share?
I’m not looking for sympathy
I’m not seeking to gain anything from making it public
What is it? Well read on.
During an emergency visit two years ago this month for an unrelated issue, the doctors told me that I had a brain mass that they had discovered and needed to do further investigation. Long story short, they discovered a mengionoma, a benign tumor in my frontal lobe. Yes, it was a bit of a shock I must say.
This week was my third MRI to check on this thing in my head. I go through this once a year on the anniversary of its discovery so they can check on any changes in size or any other characteristic they monitor. It’s about 4 centimeters or 1.5 inches in an oval shape. I’m happy to say that it has stayed relatively stable, there has been no significant change over the past two years.
I’m in good company, about 6 people out of every 100,000 have these; many never know it. Cheryl Crow has one as did Mary Tyler Moore. They went public so I figured I could too.
As a life centering event, there are a few thoughts I’d like to share. First, this thing has never really worried me too much. Sure I fret over it a once in a while, especially when I have to go for my MRI. I am not a big fan of being inserted into a tunnel for 45 minutes. I’m not completely claustrophobic but not entirely free of angst in small spaces either. I deal with MRI’s by thinking other good thoughts, like the other good things in life, my family, the beautiful city where I get to live and work and of course my photography and this community of friends I have. Having said all this, there are others who struggle with this condition and have much more serious issues than I currently have with mine, I don’t want to minimize anyone else’s challenges.
I had my annual MRI on Monday morning this week. In the MRI machine, I tried to work through the anxiety by thinking of the good things I enjoy, life in general. My family is most important of course and my close friends. My photography is also way up there and I’d be devastated if I couldn’t pursue it as much as I love to now. But, having said that, an event like this puts life in perspective and reminds me that there are many, many things to be grateful for. I look at life a bit differently today than I did before my diagnosis.
These reasons I cited above on whether to share or not share are real for me, it took me two years to get to where I am now. I’m not looking for anyone to treat me differently. I’m only sharing for one simple reason. If you have distractions in life, especially the really trivial stuff (by the way, most stuff is trivial), try to put it aside and remember the purely positive qualities of living. Be centered on important things. For me, my faith is paramount. In today’s society, being faithful to God isn’t always something we put out there in public. I’m not good at evangelizing but I do believe, my faith is strong and it helps me get through life’s challenges, this being one of them. So I am grateful for many reasons.
That’s it. I just wanted to get it out there. Bottom line, especially at this time of year, is to focus on what’s important and it will be different for every person. I just want to go on record to say that for me it’s God, family and somewhere very high on the list…photography.
As always, thanks for reading.