I have been having an internal conversation with myself lately. We have all heard about the power of words. Our internal dialogues are as important as the words we speak out loud. Speaking positive affirmations out loud is even supposed to impact our DNA. I have noticed how much I mention my wacky brain or having half a brain or being blind, etc. I say these things sometimes in a joking manner, sometimes in a matter of fact explanatory manner. I don’t even really think about it. I’m just speaking my reality. The awareness, though, got me thinking about what impact, if any, this is having on me. Humor is certainly a valid way of dealing with difficult issues. It has helped me over the last couple of years for sure. I even think I’ve probably had more laughs related to my brain tumor than the average brain tumor landlord. I suppose the humor is my way of letting the people around me know that I’m OK and it is not a sensitive topic. I would say the humor has been a positive thing overall and as I write this, I realize that I think I have answered my own question. It has brought positivity to my life, so I think I’ll keep it around. I’ll remain a positively awesome, partially blind girl who likes to laugh at my wacky brain. It’s probably more fun anyway.
I still struggle with feeling like I’m a productive member of society. I volunteer one day a week, but I’m on full time disability because my brain is still healing and adjusting to its limitations. I wrestle with wanting to do more but not being capable of what I used to. Today I decided “my job” would be to spread some joy by wearing my “Smile. You’re Awesome.” shirt. I had this shirt custom made a while ago but forgot about it. I find that the shirts that say “Smile IF you’re awesome” don’t have the sentiment I really want to convey, so I made one that did. I don’t know how many people actually noticed it beyond the two women who work in my building, but it made them both smile so I consider that a success. If it also has the same effect on you, then more success!
In addition to my shirt, I picked up trash during my morning walk, I said “Good morning” to everyone I passed, I helped an older gentleman cross the street, and I gave a flower to my building concierge. While I may not be solving world problems, at least I can influence the space around me for the better.
Although I mostly write about my bizarre experiences with my brain tumor and my wacky vision, I thought I’d give a few words on brain tumors overall for the month of May.
Did you know that the ribbon color for brain tumors is is GREY? As in grey matter!
The best article I’ve come across that speaks to what it is like to have a brain injury is this one and so many of these things ring true for me (I couldn’t remember whether I posted it on here before (which will not be surprising once you read it!)
Celebrate Brain Tumor Awareness Month!
- Sign up for your local Brain Tumor 5k
- Donate to the American Brain Tumor Association (https://www.abta.org/ ) and/or the National Brain Tumor Society ( https://braintumor.org/take-action/ways-to-give/ )
- Give your brain tumor survivor a hug!
For more than 2 years now, I’ve been afraid to ride a bicycle. In fact, I’ve been worried that I may never ride one again. In the past I have enjoyed renting bikes at the shore and riding on the boardwalk while enjoying the fresh morning saltwater air. However, after my brain surgery, my loss of vision, my slower reaction times, and my occasional balance issues have all made me concerned that riding a bike would be both dangerous and disconcerting. I’ve been wanting to try it now for a while to find out one way or the other. This past weekend, I rented a bike and went for my first ride and it was AWESOME. It wasn’t scary or difficult. In fact, it was, literally, just like riding a bike! As long as I keep to paved trails or flat surfaces and there aren’t people or animals running out in front of me that require quick reflexes, then I’m good, especially if the only brain power I really have to give if following someone else on a bike in front of me. I am so very excited for this new discovery and to add to the list of things that I both enjoy doing and feel comfortable doing. Woohoo!
And if you haven’t ridden a bike on a nice sunny day in a long time, I highly recommend you do it soon. I bet will put a smile on your face too.
I do think for my own sake, though, I’ll stay far away from scooters and segways!