May has really started out a little greyer than usual in our house. It's not the weather, for once, we don't have anything to complain about there. And being from the prairies, that's not normal. Neither is having two family members having brain surgeries within weeks of each other, but since when have we been normal?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my brother, Dero, here, who had undergone his third brain surgery in an attempt to once again, slow the growth of a tumour that he has been dealing with for several years. The pesky thing just keeps coming back and inhabiting the cosy little cave that has been carved out for it. Unfortunately, that means having to go in and evict the thing when it threatens to spread out.
Thankfully, my brother is doing well and feeling good and on the road to a full recovery.
And then there's my nephew, Mac. He's a pretty cool kid (don't tell him I said that) but unfortunately for him, what he thought were headaches and side effects from a hockey concussion actually turned out to be a nasty brain tumour as well. So, last year, he had it removed and carried on living life to the fullest in the way that only teenaged boys can do...playing hockey, going to school, jet setting around Europe on his class trip....only to find out in a recent MRI that the tumour had, as well, been living life to the fullest and now had grown back into the cozy little cave that had been carved out for it. Eerily similar and yet unrelated. So, this week, on Monday, Mac had his second craniotomy and today, Thursday, he's home and resting up for return to full life living, graduation and whatever the summer brings his way.
I didn't know there was such a thing as Brain Tumour Awareness month but apparently even before our family had been affected, there are so many others. Our dear friends lost their Dad this year to a brain tumour. A friend told me that her mother and mother in law both had to have brain surgeries to fight tumours. Is it one of those things that once it happens to you, you hear it everywhere? Like when you're pregnant and suddenly it seems everyone around you from the gas station attendant to the receptionist at the obstetrician's office is having a baby? I don't know...I hope it is that I'm just more open to seeing and hearing the stories, and yet, it seems pretty prevalent. Especially if it accounts for 20-25% of all primary paediatric cancers? Those are frightening statistics.
I'm not asking anything of you here. I'm just putting it out there. If lightning can strike twice in our family, then just be aware. Be proactive. Don't procrastinate on checking out symptoms you may be having or hearing your friends or family mentioning. That's it. Just a public service announcement, friends, for no reason other than I really, really like you guys.