|Posted by EHancock2 on January 31, 2017 at 12:45 AM|
Given that I had a previous blog called "45", I expect the title of this blog to probably throw some of you off just a tad. Let me go ahead and say the two are not related in the least.
The 45 blog was about the peaceful transition power. This blog is about growing older. In 32 days, I turn 43 years old. Ten years ago, I never thought I'd see 43. 15 years ago, I thought I'd never die. 13 years ago, doctors found a tumor on my pituitary gland.
You don't know what's it's like unless you've been there. Unless you've heard the word "Tumor" spoken by a doctor with a low countenance, you cannot understand the flood of emotions that overcome you.
It was 2004. I'd just hit 30 years old. I was feeling unstoppable. I had the world in the palm of my hands. And then the headaches started. Headaches, neck aches. Whatever was going on, it was an increasing burden on my person.
So I went to my doctor, who ordered a CT of my cervical spine. Bone Spurs, he said, and sent me to a pain management doctor. The pain management doctor wanted a deeper look than a CT could give him, so he ordered an MRI of the head, neck and T-spine.
The bone spurs were real, and they still cause me pain, but he found the source of my headaches. Of course his degree was in pain management, not in brain surgery or neurology. So, I got referred to a neurosurgeon and endocrinologist. Long story short, the pituitary was not having a tremendous effect on my hormones and the Neuro said that there was an 80 percent chance I'd lose vision in one or both of my eyes if they attempted to remove the tumor, as it was sitting on my optic nerve.
I still have a small blind spot in one of my eyes. I don't really even notice it until I get really tired. But the tumor is still there. The headaches are all but gone. As with the blind spot, they seem to only come when I'm overly tired. A friend of mine had a similar tumor, but in a different position, thus less risk in the removal. He opted to have his removed, whereas I opted to let Pete the Pituitary Tumor stick around, knowing I could always change my mind if he decided to start growing again, or causing me major issues.
2010 or 2011 was really the last time I had a major issue with ol' Pete. As I said, I still get headaches here and there, but it's not like it used to be. Stress brings them on. I divorced in 2009. Grieved for a long time. When the grief subsided, the stress lifted and ol' Pete the Pituitary tumor and I agreed to live in relative harmony. Now, I don't wanna blame my ex wife for the headaches. The headaches were due to the tumor. But the relationship was very stressful. The ending of the relationship, while sad in its own way, was ultimately a relief... for both of us, I can say.
I've been single since 2011. (Had a girlfriend after my second divorce.) Honestly, I'm happy. Sure, I have a broken back and other health issues, but I'm not dead and I'm not giving up. I'm prospering, actually.
There is life after divorce. I've learned that twice now. There's life after loss. I can't even count how many times I've learned that. But, perhaps most important of all, I've learned there's life after tumors.
If you're struggling today, I wanna encourage you to keep living. Keep pressing forward. Keep struggling. I've struggled for most of my 43 years of Spina Bifida-having life. My birth was a struggle for both me and my mom. Do not give up! I'm nobody special. If I can beat life at its own game, you can too! I'm rooting for you! Whoever is reading this right now, I am saying a prayer for you. The Bible says "to everything there is a season." Maybe some of your seasons of struggle have been going on a while. Don't quit! Don't stop! Don't give up! You're almost there. I know it may not feel like it right now, but one day you will look back at all you've gone through and be amazed. Remember the Bible also talks about "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
The thing about that valley is you DO have to go THROUGH it to get to the other side.
Whatever you're going through today, just remember that it's just a valley. And God has promised that you WILL get through it. "Because [God] is with me..."
I turn 43 in March. And my valleys are plentiful and powerful. But I've gone THROUGH many of them. And I swear I'll do my dead level best to go through the rest of em.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.