Surviving Face Off, Black Tie Frenzy and Plain Life

Wise words of the day:


Image lifted from: via Pinterest.

In case the deafening silence did not clue you in, the months leading up to surgery were quite a struggle for me, and I wrestled with depression, the reality of being alone and often invisible, the roles I fill in the family circle and a bunch of other soul-searching type of activities.  And, although to most I didn’t express it, I was scared shitless.  I mean, we get in the car every day and could die from a car accident or something, but that fear is minimized. Anesthesia, opening up one’s head – serious stuffs.   My emotional energy levels plummeted, and I flailed about trying to maintain friendships and be present to give back a little bit for friends and family.

Phone calls lately have ranged through the following: “Mom, we’re getting a divorce.”  “Mom, I don’t think I can continue to care for him and I’m considering adoption.” “Mom, I have to have another treatment and if this doesn’t work it will mean surgery and I’ll probably lose my job.” “I need to talk to you, call me on my cell, the Doctor had bad news for me and I don’t want to discuss it in the house yet.” “I think we’ll move out of state, which means you’ll have primary care of Mom if anything happens.”  Add to that my best friend’s near burn out with her job, another close friend being put on statins and I am just like daayum, could I have some GOOD news in a call once in a while? How does one support all of those people and still have anything left for oneself?  It would be slightly humorous if I were the only one going through stuff like this, but it is darn near everyone I know – immense pressures via job, finances or health or sometimes the trifecta of all.

So what did I do Saturday ?  Loaded up the music carousel and danced myself silly after making some curried dandelion greens with onions and fresh chicken. I was a crazed sight I am sure, as there were about ten ingredients, most of which had to be chopped, shredded, grated or such.

But hey, I did it!  I survived tumor removal from my head without coming out on the other side drooling (well, not drooling a lot).  The deformity spoken of prior to surgery is there, but it is well hidden by the new style of my hair, which I grew in anticipation of trying to hide incisions and oddities. I suspect over time that it will fade into obscurity.  They detached my ear from my head, which is, well, kind of bizarre. It still doesn’t look right, but again, under the hair so really only I know about it. The nerve severance is beginning to heal, which means, pain = healing!  Most of my face on the surgical side though, remains completely numb.  Kind of like coming home from the dentist, but every single moment of every day.

The surgery went five hours, but man, did that surgeon have good hands! He left me with no purple to pale green to yellow bruising to go through, which is in fact, amazing.  Actually, from the front you couldn’t tell I’d had major surgery even a day afterwards. My physical energy was low and I slept – a lot. Thanks to Vitamin C mega-doses and liposomal glutathione, the cut-work seemed to be healing very very well.  Must however, chat with the anesthesia team as that went horribly wrong afterwards and gave me a terrible scare.

Then, I get notified that they’ve found something in my lung they want to take a closer look at when they were reviewing my routine pre-surgical chest x-ray.  The irony of that is that I quit smoking earlier this year, after 36 years of it.  Being a pragmatist, I thought, “Well, that many years, what can I expect?” I had good hopes though that it was simply another pulmonary granuloma – a calcified healing spot of a previous infection. So soon after surgery, I didn’t wish to burden the body with the radiation of a CT, so I put it out for a month to allow me to heal and build up a bit afterwards.  In I go for the CT and have a bit of waiting for those results too. My primary  did not think it is terribly worrisome and wishes to revisit that in a year to make sure.  However, while viewing my insides, they discover I have a liver problem. By this time, I am ready for them to stop peering inside of me for goodness sake!  I feel fine, dammit!

Ten or twenty years ago, having problems with my liver would have been expected.  I was a rowdy thing as a young’un and that continued on and off through my thirties up to about forty.  Drinking and dancing, drinking and playing darts, drinking and watching hubby play pool – that was part and parcel of our lifestyle back then. I shuffled through my labs from back then and sure enough, the liver and a lot of my body was hollering – then. Now? I have the triglycerides of a  healthy twenty-year old!  No elevated liver enzymes. HDL/LDL ratios good and numbers well below suggested levels.  So I am stymied at the liver thing because nothing is showing up to indicate “Hey, this is your liver, and we need to chat.”  This week I saw my GP for a 2nd opinion  after explaining the film review and so went through more fasting and more blood-letting and of course, now more waiting.  Although it is hard to argue with a picture, at least we can check to see if something went wonky between my last physical and now.

One incredibly positive thing is that I can participate in the outcome of this diagnosis!  It also requires no toxic medicines to treat. And it doesn’t put a dent in my plan to hike the AT or to run away and live in the woods (well, okay, maybe adds some time to the timeline, dang it!)

Added to this simmering pot of anxiety stew is a leetle black tie event coming up in January at the new company.  Posh stuff, with open bar and hotel rooms and the lot. It has been decades since I’ve attended such. I must admit though, that the shopping and trying on of gauzy, glittery, beaded and shiny girly stuff was fun, including silver shoe shopping!  Too bad it’s a company function, as I could do with a night of letting my hair down; however, I don’t think the new corporate arena would be a stellar choice  to do that, hah!

I’ve written in my journals, mostly introspective stuff- very little creative juice running around right now. I’ve shot a few photos, one 0r tw0 worth uploading later this week.  All in all?  I’m burned out. I’m hoping a little R&R in the PNW at a friend’s farm will help me regroup and start the new year off with a change in perspective -or at least some snow!

Yes, I am back and have some written observations to share that were jotted (does saving a text note count as ‘jotting’?) while in the hospital, including the hilarities of anesthetized chat with hospital personnel  🙂  Until then – Just Dance! (fun video of dancers from around the world)





  18 comments for “Surviving Face Off, Black Tie Frenzy and Plain Life

  1. December 20, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Reblogged this on SURVIVORS BLOG HERE and commented:

    Did someone say Lazarus?


  2. December 21, 2015 at 1:38 AM

    I’m so glad to hear from you. Sounds like we share the same body, just please don’t get Lyme. I had brain surgery at 13 and 33 yrs old. No cancer, so glad. I wore a do rag away from work and bought two wigs before surgery, best decision ever made. It took my hair a year to grow enough for a haircut.

    The cowlicks leave some scars in the open. Almost 20 yrs ago. I’ve shaved my head twice since getting Lyme, when you can’t lift arm messing with hair last thing on mind. I also have a chest port and it can not no way ever get wet. I started the process again, its to long.

    Don’t forget you can talk to me, your never met friend. We’re not to far apart in age, I’ve had my share. Heart included.

    I started drinking at 9 yrs old and stopped 42-45. I have Liver issues, they are basically fatty tumors that aren’t removed unless vessels tangled and causing problems. I have gone thru the entire line up of test. Drinking the Barium shakes are the best part! 🙂 If you have to, drink them fast, extremely cold thru a straw. I’m an easy puke! TMI huh? They even went as far as taking a sample of tissue, no pain but freaky. If everything is in line or better, may want to lay off the stress. You’ve had your share. The least intrusive way for me was ultrasound.

    Remember to listen to your body not doctor’s unless there is solid proof. It took me a long time to ask “is the surgery/procedure necessary and why! Nothing like finding out after.

    I can’t stop by during this crazy time but I’m always good for listening. Please email anytime.
    You’re on my mind and in my prayers.

    Daniel said he can’t understand some of my emails. Lyme is having a party in my brain and my cognitive ability is 30-40%. I use wrong or leave out words. It might make reading easier knowing.

    Sending Hugs

    Happy holidays.


    Liked by 1 person

    • December 21, 2015 at 7:25 AM

      Thanks M. I’m fortunate that I have a DO for a Doc. He’s all about approaching everything with diet and natural approaches before we get to drugs or surgery, if that is a viable approach. I’ve only seen him four times in the last twelve years, but he’s been our family Doctor for 17 years.

      You take care of you girl! Sending hugs back atchya 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. December 28, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Schöne Fotos wünsche eine gute neue Woche lieber Gruß Gislinde

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 28, 2015 at 8:20 AM

      Vielen Dank für Ihren Besuch 🙂 (at least I hope that translates correctly)


  4. December 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    So relieved to hear from, you with your positive attitude you. That’s half the battle to recovery in my book, the other half being a doctor you trust, which it seems you also have. Now, back to my own selfish self.

    1. Daughter who plans to be a doctor let me browse her book “How To Get Into Medical School for Dummies.” She plans to read it herself but her alternate purpose was to answer the many questions I have so I won’t be asking them of her. Point is, it also explained what a DO is, so I knew that one in this post.

    2. I assume PNW means Pacific Northwest. We almost retired there but ended up here in TN instead, at least for now. I do have friends who did retire there, though. They have a pseudo farm, which means they didn’t really intend to have one but just kind of ended up with a small one after acquiring a bunch of farm animals. They have 60 acres, most of which is forest. I assume you’ll have the best of both PNW worlds, farm and forest and possibly a bit of water too, as soothing elements to assist in your de-stressing and recovery.

    I hope for you a brighter and less stressful new year, with increased opportunities to progress towards your goals and serenity. And, selfishly, more posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:22 PM

      Thanks Sue for the encouragement!

      And I’m curious to know what caused you to choose TN over the PNW (well, other than those bothersome earthquake and landslide things!)
      There were all of the bits that you named there, as well as snow, ice and beautifully brisk weather in which I flourish.
      And wineries… 🙂

      I will be posting some soon 🙂


      • January 24, 2016 at 12:59 PM

        Didn’t really have a choice since that’s where spouse’s pre-retirement move took us. If I need a PNW fix I can visit my friends. Already been there once and am planning my next visit, probably this summer, to escape the humidity!


  5. January 2, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    What a year for you…and I can see you smile as it slowly fades away in your rearview mirror. You say it well, “anesthesia, opening up one’s head – serious stuffs…” and yet, you’ve arrive in ’16 with a bit of a fury (the curry sounds like a perfect way to get back into the swing of life). What I hope for best, is that your R&R in the PNW will be the perfect remedy for you…the weather was not so hot a week ago, but sunshine and the colors of dusk and dawn are a perfect way to add color to the New Year. Stay strong and wishing you and your family the best for 2016 ~ Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:24 PM

      It was a very refreshing, if over-peopled, holiday. I’m starting to come out of my introvert recovery shell now from the excessive socialization (and getting caught up on work!)

      Thanks for the well-wishes in 2016, and to your and yours as well.


  6. January 3, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Illness is callous in its choice of victim but I feel it has been careless in choosing you. I feel illness has put up a good fight in the first half but is getting a whooping in the second. An inspiring post and I will take your advice. The rest of the evening is dedicated to turning the music up and dancing. All very best wishes to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:26 PM

      Thank you for your kind words, and I do feel that a corner has been turned health-wise.

      I hope the dancing worked out well for you, and that you and yours had some of that lovely food you cook up o’er the sea there afterwards!

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 23, 2016 at 2:17 PM

        Dancing and feasting always work for me. Look after yourself. Good to hear you’re on the mend.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. January 23, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Wow! You are so strong. Sounds like things are on the mend. Best wishes! _Resa

    Liked by 1 person

  8. March 2, 2016 at 8:06 AM

    I hope things are working well for you. After such an ordeal, anyone can feel depressed, but as Resa wrote, you are so strong. May your body have healed, at least to some degree, since you wrote this post. Wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 2, 2016 at 8:18 AM

      Thank you Otto! I’ve healed very well, and now embark upon another life change. The one thing life is not, is static. I look forward to seeing the photos from the upcoming trip to Cuba, and the beauty of humanity you and your students capture with such warmth and light.


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