Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reflection For This Evening

As I was doing biceps curls on the nautilus machine at the gym and glared at my reflection in the mirror, I looked deeply into myself and my mind began to wander. At first glance I thought about how my trials have aged me and weathered my face. Then I began to ponder over exactly what I have been through. Suddenly, the magnitude of my life changing events hit me.

"My God! I am alive!"

As if enduring stage 3 cancer and surviving chemotherapy when I was barely 21 was not enough, I actually lived through a brain surgery! One...ok, is not really expected but now that I am 37, cancer is kind of normal. Never in my young life could I have fathomed I would be hit with a double whammy and need to go through both.

What is even more amazing is that I am not just alive, but I have managed to preserve a good portion of my quality of life. As I admire the tone of my biceps, I contemplate all of the things I do have and appreciate what it means to not only have life but quality of life. I am still able to run, walk, lift weights, eat, drive a car, see, and recently engage in my passions of hiking and diving.

Thank you Dr. Delashaw (my brain surgeon in Portland at OHSU). That was the goal. It never was to fully remove the problem tumor or to be rid of it forever. Unfortunately, that does not exist yet for those with NF2. The focus was to find someone with skilled hands that had the experience to remove just enough in order to no further harm. It requires an incredible amount of trust as you can imagine.

I really hope my good fortune and luck continue in the future. For now, I am just going to relish in what life I have right now.

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