When you find out that a loved one has a brain tumor, your world stops for a second. Everything shuts down and all you can think about are the times when you didn’t tell them you loved them, or you let go of a hug too soon.
For me, the brain tumor was in my dad’s head and I found out over winter break. I had been home for almost three weeks before he went into the hospital and we found out about the tumor. For me, the hardest part was that for those three weeks my dad and I argued a lot. It was clear to me that he was not functioning at a normal level, and I thought that he was doing it to himself. Now, looking back, I can see that that was all due to the brain tumor. It hurts knowing that the last memories he has of be before the surgery is us arguing.
He made it through the surgery, and they think they got it all out, but is was cancerous, so after rehab he will be undergoing treatment for the cancer.
I only saw him once after his surgery, and he was really out of it and doesn’t remember much of that visit. His memory is still a waiting game to see if he will have any short term memory.
His outlook is beyond positive though. He doesn’t want this to upset the family, and he can laugh about the things that are troubling him. Like how it can take him a half hour to get dressed in the morning.
Another hard part of this has been being able to still focus on my health. I have an appointment with a new doctor coming up and I was tempted to cancel it, because why should my health take precedent when Dad has brain cancer?
I credit not giving up, or slacking on my own health, to my mom. With her, everything was normal, with just the added news that it would take some time for Dad to recover and we would be there for him. Without her steady presence, I don’t know how any of us would have gotten through this.
Another steady presence has been my boyfriend, who has held me through the bouts of crying and not knowing is he would be okay.
Cry when you need to, realize that some parts of recovery will be overwhelming, but you still matter. Your thoughts and feelings still matter.