Thursday, November 29, 2012

1 year 10 months (2 weeks early)

I decided to do this one early. My 1 year 10 month anniversary is December 16. December 16 is also the 5th anniversary of my mother’s passing away from lung cancer which metastasised to her brain.
As you can probably imagine, Christmas for us now have a bit of a pall over them, remembering that mum isn’t here. What adds to that is her overwhelming joy and excitement over Christmas. There was always a family Christmas celebration. The house was festooned with streamers and lights, the tree was up and decorated, Christmas music playing constantly. The big baked dinner (even though it was summer and we were all melting) the traditional pudding and cake.  My dad and I were sitting with her holding her hand when she slipped away. Last year’s post completely avoided the topic.
That said, I am feeling it really hard to get into the Christmas mood this year. Everything is a bit disjointed and flat. I am going to try and get some decorations and things up in the next little while and start working on the cake and pudding, may be that will get me into it a bit more.

The things that have been running through my head lately are mostly related to how different things are now. December 2010 I was heading off to Sydney for an appointment which would change the course of my life in so very many ways. My life depended on the outcome of that appointment. All other avenues were lost and this was my last hope to survive what had been up til that point debilitating pain from a brain tumour which was steadily moving one half of my brain around. I was told in that appointment I had 6 months to a year left if I didn’t want to go ahead with the surgery. I spent a lot of that appointment in shock or crying. Not because I had been given a “time limit” but because for the first time in 8 years, a neurosurgeon was actually listening to me and offering to fix it. We then spent Christmas and January sorting out our travel arrangements and accommodation so I could go back to Sydney for the surgery.
December 2011 is a bit of a blur really, I remember being caught short and having to spend the 2 weeks before Christmas trying to buy and track Christmas presents. “Normally” I would have been accumulating things throughout the year so that by the time December rolled round it was all pretty much done. Seems 2012 is a bit the same, though I’m tracking things a little better.

As I said the last few weeks have been about reflection for me. I have been thinking about whom I am now, who I was when I was sick, who I was before I was sick. There have been incredible changes in direction, in hopes and dreams, in confidence and determination. The differences in what I thought mattered and what didn’t have shifted significantly.
I spent many years being a mother, and researching for fun, costuming, dressmaking, studying web design and building websites. I didn’t finish studying web design as my tumour started causing problems just before I finished. Seems things have come full circle and yet still shifted in direction. Our children are grown; I don’t need to be full time stays at home mum. I’m not ill anymore so spending days in bed is no longer necessary. Now I have different battles to fight with my education but I am reaching much higher.

I would not have thought 2 years ago that I would be where I am now. I didn’t dare to dream back then. I’m now lined up on a path to take me to Uni and science and a world where I want to be a positive influence on people’s lives in a very real and hands on fashion.  I had been offered a place in a science degree in my last year of high school but it was withdrawn. I don’t think geology would have taken me down the road I am currently walking. I have now completed a dual certificate in business and business administration, five weeks early. I saw the disability officer earlier this week and she is amazed I did so well and very positive and excited about next year’s study and beyond.
I used to have a pathological fear of failure. Now, it doesn’t play a large part in my life. I do the best I can do, if that isn’t enough, I know I have done the best I can and given it a shot. I would be failing myself and disappointing myself if I tried to live in that “safe” head space and didn’t give everything I try my absolute level best. I wouldn’t have recovered the way and as much as I have if I had continued to let myself be afraid of failure. Giving up is not an option. I have fought long and hard to live, I’m not about to throw in the towel now!

I have recently experienced a short bout of depression. I needed to withdraw from everything for a few days to get myself back on track. I’ve very happy to say it doesn’t look like I am back to experiencing those ever downwards spirals of depression that I used to have. I’ll let this stand as my 1 year 10 month post. I could of course decide to post again in December.
I hope you are well and enjoying life.