Changes! Keep on keepin’ on…

A lot can happen in a year…its been 1 year since our last Brain Matters Fall Fundraiser! It’s hard to believe. In some way it feels like it was just a few months since last year’s fundraiser and in another it definitely feels like it has been a whole year.

So much HAS happened this year! These are just some of those things. My youngest daughter graduated from college, my Mom turned 90 a couple of weeks ago and is movin’ and groovin’. My husband and I (and our graduated daughter) moved to a new house (it takes a lot of energy to sell and move), and our new house is about 40 minutes away from where we used to live; that’s an adjustment. I realized this was my 21st move in my life so far; it’s not unfamiliar and I would go as far as to say I actually like the organizing and change, it’s what inspired my love for my previous career in television commercial production. When  you move to a new neighborhood that’s not around the corner from where you had previously lived, you have to find new grocery stores, new drug stores, new restaurants, some new doctors (you can keep some of the other doctors If you’re not TOO far away), and you have to figure out how to get to them all. But let’s be clear, this is all good stuff. My daughter and son-in-law coincidentally bought their first house about 10 minutes from where we moved about 4 months after we moved to our NEW neighborhood. Also, very good stuff.

This summer I made my usual foray to Mass General Hospital for my check-up, I didn’t go last year because I was in the middle of selling and moving from one house to another house. It’s hard to believe it has been eleven years since I received proton radiation treatment at the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center for my chondrosarcoma tumor after having had my second brain surgery. I still had no tumor growth for what tumor still lingers in the center of my skull. This is extremely good stuff!

A few months after all my moving and perhaps because of the house move, or maybe just because I’m me and a bit more than a little arthritic from all the medicine I take because I’m a brain cancer survivor, I began to have more than a bit of trouble walking. My knee was in a lot of pain. I chose to take the less invasive road (I’m not up for knee replacement surgery yet…maybe in the future), but instead I went for the alternate “gel shot”. I did that a couple of weeks ago and I’m still waiting to feel some “good stuff”.

The picture on top…is of me, my husband Jon, my oldest daughter Jamie and her husband Alex at the beach. The picture just below is almost twenty-nine years ago on the same beach, on almost the same day; I was with Jamie about a day before I was about to check into the hospital for my first brain surgery back in 1990. I wasn’t sure where life was going to go. I was very scared. I was not yet 31 years old. My whole family has traveled along many bumpy steps on at times what has been a very bumpy road, but we’ve still managed to look up and see the sun. It’s so important to see the sun, not just the clouds.

This September 23rd, I celebrated my 60th birthday. It seems like a long time ago and yet not that I was first diagnosed with a skull-based brain tumor sitting among my 12 cranial nerves. It’s the speediness of time that I mentioned at the very beginning. I was then just about the age my oldest daughter is now…she just celebrated her 30th birthday this year…also, good stuff. I had my second brain surgery about 17 years after that first one, prior to receiving my Proton Radiation. There were many times that 60 didn’t seem like an age I would get to-but I’m here. I’ve gotten to see many things I didn’t think I’d get to see. I continue to hope that will happen-that I will see things on “my bucket list”. I continue to raise money to help brain cancer research so that can happen to other brain cancer patients and survivors. This is extremely good stuff! Please donate to Brain Matters 2019 fantastic Fall Fundraiser.