Monday, May 9, 2011

Are you there, Gawd? It's me, Joey.

Less than a week ago I was sitting in this big green chair writing my goodbye letters, finalizing instructions for Harrison's care and feeling scared.

I was doing all this mainly to be responsible. It would have been irresponsible to not prepare for the worst.

I had (still have) bands of friends behind me — near and dear, close, family, friends I barely know, some I don't know or have never met, prayer groups, spiritual guides, etc.

Friends told me that I would be OK. But how would they know? Seriously, friends were INSISTENT that I was "all good," and that "I would sail through like a champ." Many of them called me strong, insisting that I was the "strongest they knew." Still, I was unsure.

But, after a seven hour brain surgery on Wednesday, May, 4, 2011, I am most certainly alive! Was it all easy peasy lemon squeezy? Yes, for the most part. Though the docs say that they had a two hour delay when they hit a bulbous vein near my cranial nerve. YIKES? Yikes in deed! I bled out about "two tea cups of blood," and once they fixed it they were able to go around it.

After I woke up from the surgery I don't remember much. I remember feeling groggy and not wanting visitors. I remember being so thankful to be alive. I remember wanting to at least see my little boy's face. I remember moving the left size of my face over and over and over again.

The biggest risks I was worried about:

1. Death.
2. Facial Paralysis.
3. Increased Dizziness and Balance Issues.
4. Brain and Spinal Fluid Leaks.

It's 6 days after surgery and I suffered none of the risks (knock on wood) and was released from the hospital less than 72 hours after being admitted. I was in ICU for less than 24 hours. I was up using the loo on my own after mere hours out of the operating room.

So, all those friends behind me, all the prayers, all the wisdom, all the positive energy ... it worked!!! It really, really, really worked!

Was it divine intervention? That's normally not my thing — I've never been that into religious, though I've always been fond of prayer and spirituality. Was it the positive energy coming from all sides of my universe? Was it my shear desire to live and be a mother to my son for as long as possible? Was it the impeccable steady, experienced hands of the surgeons? A combination of all? Whatever it was, thank you — thank you friends, thank you God, thank you doctors, thank you all! This surgery saved my life. And I am going to take this life and live it. Hopefully for a very long time.

I've always been a happy girl, even through bad times — but I am going to take this second chance and be happier than ever. I have a lot of life to live and lots to do.

New goals:

1. Start a book this week. One that I will be really serious about publishing.
2. Love on my son even more than before.
3. Get well so I can start a new fitness plan — one I take very seriously, just as seriously as I take living and not dying.
4. Go back to work (as soon as I don't tire after 15 minutes at a time) and use the creative freedom I've been given for the past 11 years — propelling women's barbershop music into the 21st century ... finally. Maybe even search for a new career.
5. Find a new husband — a life partner, a best friend, a lover. Seriously this time. Maybe I already know him, maybe I don't. But now I have a new lease on life, and that new lease includes my love life.
6. Become a better friend.
7. Grow closer to my mom.
8. Be a positive support to all those in the world seeking out positive Acoustic Neuroma brain tumor cases.
9. Find a new hobby.
10. Hurt my body less.

Ancora Imparo!


  1. You go girl! You rock this life that you have been given! You have set your don't settle for any less. You deserve every bit of that life you can see ahead of you. Enjoy what you have now, every second of it, as you work toward the future. I am rooting for you.

  2. Wahoo!! So glad to hear that it all went well and that you're making plans for your future!

  3. So so so soooooooooo happy for you! Woo hoo! If I was nekkid right now, I'd do a nekkid happy dance in your honor. (Is that creepy?)

    I know after my surgeries (two bowel resections and a lung surgery), I was so comforted by being with my son. He is my joy, and he also brought some much-needed normalcy to my days. To our kids we're just Mom. Staples and stitches and steri-strips and hospital gowns that show our butts and all.

    Congrats on your successful surgery!