Thursday, June 23, 2011


Untitled digital watercolor
Judy Westergard
all rights reserved
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My husband and I recently attended a party to celebrate his sister and brother-in-law's 45th anniversary, and, as usually happens after the general congratulatory toasts are made, the food is eaten, and things settle down to quieter conversations, folks catch up with one another. My catch-up consisted mostly of updating relatives who asked with great concern how I was holding up with the brain tumor. I was surprised because, quite frankly, I don't give it much thought. (Refer to my 9/30/2010 blog, "This Story's Done!") True, "The Little Bastard" is still there, but equally true is my conviction that my next MRI will confirm the January MRI -- that TLB (see above) is still dying. The process could take a few more years, but I've been assured that things are moving in the right direction. Still, answering questions about TLB had me pondering a question I addressed here not too long ago -- specifically, whether this experience has changed me. I've already talked here about no longer tolerating thoughtless people. (The latest boorish comment was about my eye glasses: "Kind of freaky looking, doncha think?" Suffice it to say that my response did not put him at ease.)
Added to my new-found ability to deal with confrontation is my new-found need to purge. (Not that kind of purging; I'm talking about stuff here.) I'm surprised at this because I've never been a hoarder to begin with. Not many clothes in my closet, not much in the way of knickknacks on my shelves. Nevertheless, ever since September’s radiation, I find myself urging my husband to help me rid ourselves of things we don't need, don't use, don't want.

The obvious up-side to this is a cleaner, neater house. The surprise, though, is my cleaner, neater thought process. This new lack of visual clutter has led to a mental calm that has allowed me (finally!) to finish projects before taking on new ones. My life-long pattern has been to bounce from one thing to another -- not an ADD issue but rather a joy in multi-tasking. Generally not a problem, but often I'd prematurely abandon a good idea while I moved on to something else. But my brain tumor experience has left me with a much greater appreciation for the sanctity of the here and now. "Live for the moment." "Appreciate the present." I used to hate cliches; now I see them as truisms. It's unfortunate that I had to experience the fear of a brain tumor in order to understand, but I'm so very glad that I still have a good 20 to 30 years of a life to live with that understanding.

1 comment:

Sara (your niece) said...

Freaky-looking?? Bah. Your glasses are awesome, and they suit you wonderfully.

I'd pretty much forgotten about TLB until someone else brought it up at the party, and then I felt rather doltish for not remembering to ask about it myself. Isn't that funny?

Regardless, it was wonderful to see you and Dean last weekend!