I finished the next portion of the story of my life and so I share the first and last paragraphs:
Fear and recovery
Reflections on surviving a Brain Tumor
He stood there, tall and thin with wire glasses that looked dark against his pale skin. He was the "best" neurosurgeon in the area and in his white doctor's coat, he exuded confidence. He had a MRI scan in his hands and he looked down, as if studying what he had already study many times, for the first time. I did not see a neurosurgeon, nor even a doctor, rather I saw a judge and in his coat was not white nor a coat, it was a dark robe. In his hands was the verdict he was prepared to hand down, for some infraction I did not commit.
He looked down at the scan, looked up, and spoke; "It is a tumor, it is against your brain stem, it has to come out." I stood stunned as if I had just been sentenced to the executioner's guillotine. He must have seen the blood drain from my face for he looked down at the picture in his hand again and looked up; "Yes, it has to come out. The sooner the better. I am away next week, but we will schedule for the following week. I have to be here after the operation."
Fear, deep, gripping fear rose up inside of me and all I could do was nod my head, yes. Was there some one outside waiting for me? I could not remember.
The doctor interrupted my train of thought and said; "I need to get one more MRI, just to make sure I get all of the...". He pronounced some word that was gibberish to me, I assumed it was the name for the type of tumor and he continued; "The doctor who did the MRI thinks it is...". Again, a meaningless, unpronounceable word, which sounded exactly like the first world, but he continued; "but I think he is wrong." I asked him about the headaches, the ones that brought me to his office in the first place.
... and the last portion:
I would love to say that everything continued without mishap, until I fully recovered, but this is an adventure and adventures are full of ups and downs, missteps, mishaps and misdirection and my adventure of recovery is not an exception.
A cloud of fear lingers still around my thoughts, a fear of going to that place of shadow where my mind was of no use, but never more do I have a fear of death.
As I wobble on my feet, like an old man, when I stumble and fall; or not fall, or when my eyes become strained and the glasses no longer correct my vision and all I see is double, my heart becomes troubled and I waver on the path that is my adventure. It is at these times, and there are many, those closest to me, those of my community who are my family, help me back onto my feet to continue.
My life has changed, whether I accept it or not, I have left the job, the one where I found so much joy and moved on.
My road to recovery continues, for it is not finished.
There is not an end, but something new each day, encompassing the rest of my life.