a surgery six months ago

I’ve had today marked on my calendar for a while. I don’t want to belabor the experience by writing about it over and over again. But I do think it’s going to be a fairly significant part of my life’s experiences. And if it’s not — yes! I would love for (awesome) experiences to far outshine this one really scary experience.

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing surgery switched on the fresh perspective lightbulb for me in two big ways.

1. My time on earth is not guaranteed. I have spent so much of my first 26 years worrying about and aching for the next step in life. When I was in high school, I was desperate for college. When I was in college, I was desperate for a full-time job. When I was in an apartment, I was desperate for a house. Get it?

In the past six months, I’ve been reminding myself the truth that God has given me today, and He has not guaranteed anything further. While this in itself is pretty scary and sort of sad, it’s freeing, too. I am trying to focus more on today’s activities and the people with whom I will interact. I am free to push aside the worry and stress of future events. It’s nice. And I wish it hadn’t taken a night in the ER to get to this point.

2. There are many aspects of my health I can not control, but there are some I can. Though Dan and I had already been on a let’s-lose-weight kick before my hospital stay — and though I did go through a let’s-eat-all-the-things phase — I’ve decided to take more control of the aspects of my health that are within my reach.

I’ve (begrudgingly at times) learned more about the importance of being healthy… not just thin. I’ve learned that 200 calories of cupcake do not equal 200 calories of almonds, and burning 200 calories does not take the effects of that cupcake away. I’ve learned to look at food as fuel and sustenance and not a reward for the stress I’ve endured. 

I am in control of my fitness level. And my fitness level over the span of my life matters to my health. (So, pow, let’s do this, Whole 30 week two!)
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  • Just found myself explaining our “joint” diagnosis again to someone last week, and as they expressed disbelief and “sorrow” for what we had to go through, I was able to share, from the heart, that a brain tumor was one of the sweetest gifts God ever gave to me, after the gift of my children and my salvation. And best of all, I really DO mean that! Found myself getting all “happy-teary-eyed” as I told the story. 🙂

  • miranda

    I recently found your blog and wanted to say HI! We have a lot in common. I too am a social worker and my husband and myself are in the process of adopting our first child through foster care..The waiting is currently getting to me… Anyways my husband is also a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with Leukemia almost 5 years ago and has been cancer free for 4 years!! At times the struggle and illness got the best of us. It’s hard to be positive all of the time, and it’s okay! But the good times are sooo good, don’t forget that! I can also say that his cancer diagnosis was a blessing in disguise and has made our relationship stronger. So if you need anything please reach out to me. I will be sending you all the good vibes and positive thoughts as I read your great blog!

    • natalie

      hi! glad we connected. love all the similarities! hope your adoption process speeds up and smoothes out!