Yes, that’s what I am calling the Friday after Black Friday from now on. It was pretty dark in 2017 so maybe Pitch Black Friday? Today it is one year since my super exciting trip to MRI which triggered a year that noone plans for or puts on their wishlist. But we made it and when I say we, I truly mean we. While I was the one with “the bug” it took hundreds of people to get me to pretty much the same physical and mental state in 1 year. So looking back at the 12 months, what is different?

  • Chemo brain still here… my short (like 1-24 hours short) memory is finicky. I learned to write a lot more notes but still end up looking for things in every drawer. But I can still put my Rubik’s cube together 🙂 Someone in this house will be able to find those ornament hooks I ordered eventually. After holidays, I am sure.
  • I can handle my MRI’s easy peasy. Diazepam or Xanax are my friends for this quarterly ritual now.
  • Mental state – well, not bad. I only cried 2x throughout – once when I had to swallow the first chemo pill, once when my hair was stuck in my hand. I sure cried for other reasons way more often but this beast, not so much. In fact, I may have been smiling a bit more this past year than normal.
  • Headaches – my chronic, lifelong issue – 100% gone. Take that!
  • The keto diet – not sure if it does anything for the tumor cells but is manageable, in moderation now. 25 lbs off is a sweet by-product too.
  • Hair – wild curly, definitely a throwback to my middle school. Hard to style right now and up in the air what I’ll do with it. But it’s back.
  • Drugs – last dose coming in January, a bit worried about it as my mental state decided to hate just looking at it and the act of swallowing it is heroic at this point. The anti-nausea medication itself makes me sick in my mind.
30 years difference, same hair

So not that different on daily basis. I am back at work for 6 months now, in a new job with new people that gives me new challenges and learning a lot. Very happy that brain absorbs and retains. Also feel like I am making some level of societal impact which is a plus.

Someone asked the other day if I am in remission. I don’t know but think with this bug, there isn’t one. You never get rid off the chance completely so I like to say I am “stableclear” for now. The reality of living with this is here and wide. Just this week, a boy in Max’s school passed away from a pediatric brain tumor (those are completely different from adult as the brains are developing – and typically a bit more aggressive). That was tough and a reminder how lucky I am with mine, really. 

Shout out to the #1 support team

So, moving on with my extended support team – thank you all for still being here and checking in on me – here is to annual only updates on my brainniversary, deal?