Although it's been two decades since my brain tumor treatment, I don't think that I've ever grieved. I was so busy trying to move past my many side effects and my trigeminal neuralgia, chronic facial pain, that I never really understood the entire impact that my brain tumor has had on my life. I probably won't understand it in its entirety until I'm 90.
I understand how my education and career was impacted and I'm really not sure if that's something that I will ever accept. It's amazing that I was able to focus on anything since I was so medicated and ill from my trigeminal neuralgia. I am much more optimistic about a fulfilling career then I used to be but, I don't know if I will ever work full time or if I'll be able to support myself. I know that there are many people who did not have a brain tumor and are incapable of holding a job but, that does not really help me. I still feel like I should be able to support myself and be able to have a nice life, much like the one I was given. And it's so hard to know what kind of job would really satisfy me. And then I think that it's scary to try to reach it and I may possibly not be able to manage the hours for my new dream. I feel like part of being an adult is knowing your responsibility and I know that right now I need to keep my disability income. I guess I hoped that someday I'd see a future without my SSD hanging over my head. It took 2 yrs. to get approved. I had 2 yrs. of not attempting to work for fear that I'd be seen as too capable. I spent those yrs. being so... angry that I FINALLY was feeling well and I had to stall my life again. It's like, when can I really move forward? When can I dream (a realistic dream) and not fear that my disability income won't be compromised? I'm afraid that my mom would lose all of her retirement money if I lost either my SSD or my job. I could never live with that, especially after all that she's done for me. She has been my one constant in my life and I'd be dead if not for her love and support.
I have also always been too sick to think about having children. I never thought about having them and I never thought about not having them. I did not have an opinion either way. Plus, I don't have a partner. So planning for a child has never been a big part of my life. And I really do think that it would be way too much for me to deal with. I'm a clean freak, set in my ways, etc. Maybe I would be a great mom. Who knows? I do love kids. I guess I'm just not sure how much energy I really would want to put into raising a child. Most of my friends do not want children but, others have already started their families. But, still, many of my local friends do not have children. This year my step -sister found out that she's pregnant and I am thrilled for her. My other sister is now engaged and will be trying to start a family soon after she's married. Rachel is 10 years younger than me. I think she's 27 and that's a very good age to start planning a family. When I was younger and in college I had planned on getting married at 26 years old. I think seeing the possibility of what I expected for me happen to my sister feels like a big reality check for me. I'm very happy for my sister and even though in my head I'm imagining happiness and good things for both of them, you never know what the future holds. I know that it will not be as perfect as I imagine for either of them, just because that's how life is. But just knowing that they're passing me by is very sad for me. I think even if I could have a career and a husband, there is no way that I would bear having children. I still have a piece of tumor in my brain and I know that I risk the tumor growing between the blood flow and the hormones of pregnancy. I don't feel that I could even chance a pregnancy. I feel like I'm finally moving on from my treatment and can not imagine doing anything to set me back. It's just very upsetting to know that I can't even have that option. Perhaps I'm upset because my options in life seem so limited.
I hope to someday feel genuinely happy and to feel like I found my destiny, something that I was really meant to do.