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Brain Tumor/Surgery My Recovery Story: Chapter 3 - Is there An Elephant in the Room?

Updated on February 26, 2011

About 2 weeks before surgery I began to tell people of my condition. I started with my son and sister...well, I had my husband tell them the news. I felt I still couldn’t handle their natural first emotional reaction. Then an hour or so later, after they had had time to process the news, I would call them. We would work back to the place where I wanted to be …totally comfortable with talking about the news and totally accepting this situation as fact. Again with no room for a “Pity Party” or “Fear Fest”.

I shared with them honestly how I felt and directed them to call me if they became fearful or scared. I wasn’t fragile. Furthermore, I told them how sad it would make me if they put on a false bravado.

Truly I didn’t want an elephant-in-the-living-room syndrome to appear. Now I knew it was time to let the rest of my family and friends know about the brain tumor and the up and coming surgery. Calling everyone would be too taxing and with each telling naturally would shift my mental focus from healing to the illness . So I decided to have my husband call key family members and have them relay the news and I would send an email to my friends.

 I carefully crafted a letter which outlined what was going on with me and specifically what everyone could do.  Here is the e-mail letter entitled ... A Favor

"A favor"
Sorry about this email but it is the only way I felt I could share this news. I  would like you to do something very specific for me.  A few months ago I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in the right front lobe of my brain.  Surgery to remove the tumor is scheduled for Wednesday May 23rd.  The surgery will be at Evergreen Hospital.  The doctor is Varun Lashaprasit, aka Dr. Lau.  He is an incredible human being and rumors have it that he is an equally fine surgeon. However, before then at my request I go in this Saturday – tomorrow- for a second MRI.  I have been working very hard with amazing spiritual and energetic healers to have the tumor gone and the film be clear of the tumor and my brain happy and healthy. So I am asking a few things from each of you.  The first is to hold me in your thoughts as healthy and well.  To see the film clear and to see me and my family enjoying each other’s company far far away from the hospital on that day.

It was a fluke that it was diagnosed as I went in for a routine hearing exam…. Go figure.
I am doing fine. My family is doing fine.  One of the major reasons that we are doing so well is that I chose not to discuss this medical condition with anyone.  I just could not process anyone else’s fears or emotions.  And by retelling this story a lot of energy would have been spent reinforcing
the news.
So the second thing I ask is that in the off chance that the film is not clean and the operation goes forward, I am asking for your prayers of light and love.   I am asking that you put me, my family and the doctor/surgery team in your prayer - good thought list. I am asking that people visualize a holy temple in the operating room, filled with angels and God’s guiding light.  I ask that you see me as whole, healthy and better than ever.  Prognosis for a perfect recovery is great. 
So don’t be sad or worry for me – just hold me in God’s light and love, knowing all is well. 
In plan “B”, recovery from surgery is about 6 weeks. If you are moved to do something more than prayers, a casserole and visit would be nice during the recovery as Gary is cooking- challenged.  It will be a wonderful adventure having him futz in the kitchen – I am sure producing much laughter, but not so many edible meals! Gary and my sister will stay with me during the first four weeks – they will get the privilege of watching me sleep.
I don’t think we will be answering the phone for a while, Gary hates talking on the phone and Iam focusing on healing.   Love you my friends,   Barbara
PS. If you want to share this news – feel free, as I have an insufficient email list.  We will email you any further news.

“Listen to life.  It produces valuable tools.”

Unknowingly over the past two months many people had given me guidance on how they handled a challenging or tragic event.  What worked for them and what they would have liked to have happened.  How they worked through situations and asked for help.  Every conversation I had during that those months prior to surgery were filled with “how to” blessings and yet no one knew of the health issue I was facing.  All I did was just listen and become totally engaged in their life.  People and pearls started to pop up much like beautiful dandelions on a freshly watered lawn.
“Figuring out what you really need and being explicitly clear builds a solid foundation plus gives direction to those who care about you and want to lend assistance.”
Doesn’t this sound like a no-brainer?  Well perhaps for many of you , however, for me, NO. This was the first time in my life that I was forced to think solely about what I wanted and what I needed, without considering how my  decisions would effect others.  Up until now I had based my life’s decisions and actions in part on making sure that other people’s feelings and needs always came first.  This pattern had played a significant role in how I conducted my life.  
So I collected my courage and told everyone succinctly about my situation and how I needed to structure my life.  I was petrified that someone or everyone would take offense.   To my relief a miraculous shift occurred, not only in myself but in the dynamic structure of all of my relationships.  What I later realized was that I had given my family and friends a solid clear foundation upon which to stand.  I learned that it is ambiguity which leads to relationships based on expectation and obligation.  Truthful honesty, however led us to a space of  sharing of love and information..  


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