Update, 4 months post-op

May 28, 2009

spinning

At the 4 month mark, one of the biggest changes in my life is my perspective. Every day is a gift, something to make the most of. Things that I hummed and ahhhed about in the past I now just do. My tolerance for unhappiness is gone, whatever irks me must be solved.

Sometimes I stop for a moment, and the realisation hits me that I had brain surgery not so long ago. I don’t know that it is something you can ever truly wrap your head around. You can barely see the scar in my hair now, in fact the only give-away is to the trained eye, and in the form of a scar on my neck from the central line.

My sense of smell has yet to return, but hopefully I can get some more answers when I see my new neurologist in a couple of weeks. *New* neurologist because I was less than impressed with my last one, and didn’t feel like seeing a doctor in the long run whose opinion I simply did not trust (Lesson = shop around for good doctors like you would anything else). My new one is also affiliated with St. Michael’s Hospital which will make co-ordinating him  with my surgeon and records SO much easier.

I am now back at work. I have been lucky to be able to slowly build my hours week by week, starting at just 12 hours to full time by June 1st. It certainly has not been without it’s challenges though, and I really feel it has been an internal personal and professional battle.

One of these personal battles at work has been with my brain of course. It doesn’t want to focus for long, and is easily distracted by the sights and sounds an open plan office brings. I feel anti-social, but putting the headphones on has helped, now if only I could wear blinkers to tackle the peripheral vision!

Then of course there is the exhaustion. Before I was back at work I was able to exercise several times a week, either out on my bike or running. As work hours increase however, my energy for exercise goes down considerably. So I have learnt that I can only increase one thing at a time. Right now, frustrating as my inner-athlete finds it, that has to be work.

I am back spinning at Quad however. I would normally have a pretty defined cross training plan, but I have decided to just go with what feels right. Spinning while tough after such a long break, is where my motivation is taking me. It’s a sport that takes not only takes physical endurance, but mental endurance too. If you are mentally focused and have a clear mind, you can physically achieve so much more (which is why talking during spin class is a big no no). As I already mentioned, my focus isn’t great right now so spinning has double benefits for me.

I have also started sewing at The Workroom. Much of what I have read about recovery involves flexing that brain and learning how to do new things. It helps get your mind out of the same old patterns. So I have learnt how to use a sewing machine properly and am quickly getting a buzz from making things for myself.

A major side effect of all this is the need to do something worthwhile, to balance out the industry in which I work. I really need to do some work that gives back and makes a positive difference. So, I am now a volunteer for The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in a variety of capacities. They have lots of ideas on how I can help them out, which I am really excited about.  There is no better cause for me than this one where I can combine both my personal and professional experiences.

In a few weeks my husband and I are off on our honeymoon. It was supposed to be Christmas in Paris, but due to my diagnosis and being warned not to fly, we had to cancel. Instead it will be Summer in Paris. Now I am off to make a new purse for the trip :)

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2 Responses to “Update, 4 months post-op”

  1. Gerry Says:

    From reading I think we are on the same path. My surgery was only 3 weeks ago and really would like to know what to expect in recovery. Are there stages to go through and how much can I do before I have a problem and how to identify the problem?
    They operated on a golf ball size meningioma, non cancerous.

  2. Gerry Says:

    Hi
    Thanks for the response. I must be getting better as I am so slow in responding.
    I have not had your smell issue and asked the therapist about it. He mentioned because the area my mass was in does not affect the smell. I keep wondering what is affected maybe heat and cold since he told me that is where my body thermostat is in?
    I read you were flying and how did that go? I have not asked the neurologist about it but again the therapist mentioned between air pressure in flying and the brain healing probably not a good idea. That is okay since I have no where to fly. Hope your trip was fun and you were not to tired.
    How long did it take to get the energy back? It is so slow that at times I find it very frustrating but with no cancer I had better not complain. I now need to remind myself it is coming by the week not the day.
    Yes my body tells me when I have had enough but I keep pushing a little harder every week, same as the therapist is doing. He keeps working on my balance and again did yours change as the healing progressed.
    Did you have any issues with ankles and feet just plan aching when not working them? This could be age but a new one for me since surgery. At least it is not getting worse..
    I still have not gotten permission to drive out of city limits. Did you have this issue or have any limitations and how long? Living in a small town and a road runner it has been a big adjustment especially as I get my strength back.
    Yes I love to sew purses, quilts, garments,and now it is simply finishing up a few UFOs that are taking up space. Again it is getting easier especially since the anesthetic is wearing off. I need to start cutting new fabric to see how that goes. The bike is in remission also but may need to wait until spring with that one, I think winter is around the corner in Iowa.
    Enough for this time and thanks for answering. It has be very difficult finding anyone with my type of surgery. Good luck with all you have gone through.

    Gerry Neuroth

    gerr@premieronline.net


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