Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You've come a long way, Baby!

I have been wanting to write an update for a while, but I just haven't had the inspiration. Most of the time, I blog for one of two reasons. I either have something I want to share with you (N's Whims news) or I have something on my heart. The problem is, there is only a little happening with N's Whims (I create sporadically, when I have energy), and only little changes in my health. On the one hand, there are great changes that I am very thankful for, but day by day, the changes seem so small and I get impatient that I am not all the way there yet. I guess I was waiting for the day that I could shout from the mountain tops that N is back. In the meantime, time passes and I am not updating anyone. It starts to feel like I am not grateful for the changes that have occurred. 

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you found yourself in limbo, looking forward to an event in the future, imagining how much better everything would be when you just got to _______? I have caught myself thinking this way near many milestones in life (graduating college, getting married, Mike finishing residency, having a baby). Every time, I had to consciously make a decision to stop living for the future and enjoy the now. 
Well, that is where I have been for awhile now. Leading up to my surgery to remove PITA (the pituitary tumor in my brain), I was running out of options to help myself feel better. Every day, my symptoms worsened and I struggled, realizing that I just had to let time pass until it could be removed. The problem with that was that I didn't want to just waste my days--we all know we are given a limited amount of time here, as are our loved ones. I didn't want to waste away the only summer I would have with my family when my girls were 9, 8 and 8! So, we enjoyed the moments we could and made the best of it. 
Day of surgery, 6 weeks out, 12 weeks out--See, I have come a long way!
Since the surgery, I can look back and see how far I have come. Less than a week out of surgery (4 days spent in the neuro ICU), I felt better than I had in a year. Three months out, I have lost 1/3 of the weight, have more energy, have been able to take on more family responsibilities (lessening some of the Mike's stress), and rarely yell anymore. I no longer have symptoms of PCOS, and have been off all meds for that since the surgery. I have also been released from Lyme treatment (we think we got it all)! This is all HUGE! Most days, I am so thankful to be here,  because it is doable. Most days, I feel that if this is the best I get, I will be thankful for the rest of my life. Most days, I feel incredibly lucky. 

And then, there are the days when I long to be 100% me again. I long to have that seemingly endless energy. I long to be connected with the community, teaching fitness classes, encouraging others, volunteering, pouring into others and making others feel beautiful. I long to be my best self. And yet, I am not sure what my best self is anymore. Turns out, the tumor had an impact on many parts of me for longer than we realized. It was slow growing, and the impact increased with time, but it was affecting me internally and externally way before I was aware of it. My PCOS and infertility was caused by the tumor, beginning in high school. My endless energy was probably also a by-product. My inability to focus may have been as well. The thing is, it isn't yet clear what was really me and what was PITA. It is very odd to be 40 years old and wonder who I really am. These thoughts and more have bounced around in my head the last 3 months as I notice more and more things that are different. Even my Myers-Briggs personality score has changed (which is usually very constant throughout life). 

At the end of the day, there are things that haven't changed. These things are the very core of me, and have been since childhood. I still care deeply about others. I have lost some friendships through this journey--sickness is so hard, and some friendships just don't survive. Even though I understand this and have to let them go, I still care and hope for their happiness. I also want to use the energy I do have to make a positive difference in the lives of others--and to raise my girls with this same desire. Doing things for others brings me so much joy. 

So, to sum it up, the tumor appears to be gone and my body continues to heal and change. My pituitary gland is not yet functioning as it should, but is starting to show signs of waking up. I don't yet have the energy to work out or create with consistency, but am finding pockets of energy to do those things on occasion. When I do, I have been encouraged. I love everything I have made recently, and am doing very little repetitive creating, mostly new designs. The strength and stamina I still have when working out is encouraging. I have started working on occasion at The Regal Find, which is a lovely little store full of unique hand-made gifts in Middleton. This gives me an opportunity to feel connected to others, and to forget that I am not yet well. And, I am having a Trunk Show for N's Whims at The Regal Find next Wednesday, the 10th from 7-9pm. I will have all of my new creations there and can't wait to help them find new homes! As I type, I am reminded that I have come a long way baby--and yet I still need to relax and give myself the time I need to heal. 

Thank you all for your patience, encouragement and support on this journey. I have been overwhelmed on many occasions by the goodness and love you have shown!