Wednesday, December 9, 2009


[posting delayed by our multi-hour power outage]

Things are going better with the steroid tapering, at least so far. And, as we approach the 15-month cranioversary Thursday, the extent of the progress is more and more clear. I’ll do a status report then. Meanwhile, things are better!

Another corner of my brain reopened for business over the past week, for example. I’ve always made things with my hands, from origami in grade school (not very good) to stitching, knitting and building dollhouses for the girls. In recent years, that impulse had shut down and I hadn’t ever attached it to the brain tumor, figuring it was just a part of the normal evolution of a personality over time. I thought that until last week, when I started having a serious hankering to make something, just about anything. I’ve been busy and not had time to do much about the impulse, which was sort of lurking around in the back of my head.

The other day, excavating the materials I’d pulled together for a project that fascinates me (building a 1/144 scale model of our house), I came across a counted cross stitch project that has lain dormant for many a year. It was calling to me, and I got it out to resume, and had a serious shock: the back of the project looks like nothing I’ve ever done before in my entire life. It was a mess. It was completely out of character for me, and it looked like something an alien had come in and worked on in all the years that it’s been in storage and out of both sight and mind. Since then, I haven’t started stitching yet: I’m still cleaning up the back of the project.

Without any success, we’ve been talking, trying to date when I last worked on this project. So far, we haven’t managed to narrow it down much, but it is dawning on me that this is perhaps one of the early tumor symptoms. Truly, looking at this project--and the pretty clear lines of demarcation from one era to another in how it’s worked--has been a sobering experience. If we’d known more, would we have been able to detect that thing in my head earlier? Just how long had it been affecting functioning after all? These are strange items to consider.

On the other hand, overall things are so much better than they’ve been in some time, that even these somewhat unsettling thoughts are fleeting. My teaching is over for the semester, I’ve done one grading pass and hope to finish yet this week. More soon.

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