Month 12: #2 Final Update

Hello Friends!

To mark the 1 year anniversary of the brain surgery journey- below is something of a word and visual collage. it’s not feeling like a long essay kind of experience. 

As you know, today will be the final update on the progress. A year is that measurable amount of time we seem to use for so many milestones; birthdays, grieving a loss, the passage of one round of the seasons….

And so, this chapter of life has come to a close. The story is long from over, but it is taking new forms.

A year of life that looks like this:

(Where it all began.)

“Determined to Thrive: Brain Tumor Surgery

While we had hopes of getting back to a semblance of “normal” this summer: beach outings, picnics, woodland hikes-quality time with family and friends –

Life had other plans.

On Thursday, July 22, 2021 my wife Deb started having problems with her eyesight. She described it as if you turned the brightness on your computer screen up too high and she also was losing visibility in her lower left eye.

On Friday, July 23rd she was admitted to Lawrence General Hospital. The results of an MRI showed Deb had a large brain tumor (approx. 4cm). She was transferred by ambulance to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Tufts Medical did their own battery of tests which included blood samples as well as CT scan and MRI with contrast which would provide more detail. We learned that she had a rare hybrid pituitary tumor.  The tumor had wrapped itself around her pituitary gland and carotid arteries with compression to her optic nerves. It had grown so large that she ran the risk of losing her eyesight completely as well as other neurological complications and was advised to have surgery immediately.”

196 GoFundMe donations….surpassing our goal to help pay for out of pocket expenses….a humbling generosity from so many ……forever grateful…

(Us, a short time after the surgery. The tumor helped bring important healing to the family).

“It pleases me to think of ways in which physical improvements may not be as difficult to achieve as we might imagine. For instance, as easily as cells have moved out of their perfect place for health, why should they not return just as easily?”

– Sandy Edwards, Spiritual Healing in Hospitals and Clinics

(Wild Magic Sisterhood currently- a few of the dear women who cared for me and looked after me, gave love & much support in numerous ways.  Back from L to R: Denise Vanvooren, Ellia Resto-Rosado. Front L to R: Melissa Belliard, me, Selena Goldberg, Bon Ashmore. I had the shirts made up for us.)

(I remember being impressed Tufts had coloring sets for patients, I loved having mandalas to color while there).

(Bouquets from loved ones and a healing altar with meaningful objects.)

(A new brand logo and website were birthed.)

(The joy of Elfin, our new family member.)

( Eco-print journals and bookmarks , all fresh creative processes for me.)

( Mancub added his handcrafted Shrines and Card Altars to the Handmade Holiday event. So proud of his talent!)

(Handmade Holiday event at the Little House with my, Diane Amadeo and Terry Lindholm’s goods. It was quite a day!)

(The Wooly Sacred Hearts with secret hand stitched message on back, “Live”)

(Gifts from friends and family while recovering.)

(My slow stitch contribution to a powerful community art installation, The Alchemy of Grief through  The PEG Center for Art & Activism).

(A first: a fundraiser for Ukraine. With 94 hearts sold and over 250 hot meals provided to those in need through World Central Kitchen.)

(and, now.)

“Your pain gives you a unique insight into the minds of people who have experienced trauma and heartache. You can draw from the wellspring of strength that allowed you to emerge on the other side of a painful experience and pass that strength to individuals still suffering from their wounds. You may be able to council individuals in need by showing them the coping methods that have helped you survive or simply by offering sympathy. A kinship can develop that allows you to relate more closely with those you are trying to aid and comfort. 

Helping others can be a restorative experience that makes your own heart grow stronger….Your courageous decision to reach out to others can be the best way to declare to yourself and the world that your pain didn’t defeat you, and in fact it helped you heal. “

-Daily Om, Channeling Pain into Compassionate Service

May it be so…..

Please do stay in touch. You can keep up with everything by signing up for the newsletters here

YouTube: I’m interested to explore visual storytelling and have a channel I’ll be playing with. Not much new at the moment, but I’ll let you know when new posts are up.

Pinterest: Can the world have too much Beauty? I find Pinterest low key and full of pretty things to look at. So I’ll be adding to my pages ongoing. And may add some helpful content along the way.

Coming in year 2 will be self-study offerings you can purchase and go at your own pace.

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