Yuuup, I’m wearing a paper mustache over my O2 tube, courtesy of my anesthesiologist attempting to lighten the mood in pre-op. We have been in a holding period for a while now, but we are finally able to give an update. We saw PA Pat at ORMC for the 2 month follow up. The rod and screws in my spine have nestled into their new home well. My new vertebrae will grow over the next year. If all goes well, some of my restrictions will be lifted on Valentine’s Day, and I’ll finally be able to start physical therapy! For now, I have one more month of strictly walking. Pat said he is comfortable with me bending down once a day…couldn’t help but giggle at that. Being clumsy and dropping approximately 52 things all before noon each day makes that a liiiittle hard.
The tumor is expected to grow a millimeter a year. None of us know how often it will need to be trimmed down; every 2 years, 5, 10, 25 years…unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, really), you cannot predict these things. Even with the pain and intermittent leg weakness, the quality of life I have now is a true miraculous gift compared to what it could have been. Whenever they do decide to go back in, the remainder of the tumor is so embedded into the nerves that the risk of nicking a nerve is high. So, we have to weigh our options. It’s something that is giving my heart a serious lesson in patience, trust and gratitude.
One day, you will hear news that will make you long for the bad days you had before. The news will make you laugh at the naive complaints and worries you had prior to knowing the news you do now. Sometimes, maybe often times, you will want to unlearn the news and run back to your old life.
But here’s the deal…
Whatever the news is, it’s not without purpose. Do something with it. Write about it. Talk about it. Embrace it. Grieve it. Connect with others about it. I have felt more connected to more people from all different chapters in my life during this madness than during any other “normal” time. There is magic in vulnerability, and that magic is multiplied when it is shared. So share it. Don’t go it alone. Share it, and watch some really neat stuff unfold. The very best of life can come from the very worst of life…I promise.
To find out more about Orlando Regional Medical Center and their incredible team of Neurosurgery Heroes, go to: https://www.orlandohealth.com/physician-practices/orlando-health-physicians-neurosurgery-group