I was reflecting recently about a phrase that I feel like I know well. It's called the "point of recognition," and it is the absolute moment when you know nothing will ever be the same again. Many times it is for better, and sometimes worse, but never the same. These moments happen all the time and we've all had them. When you propose to your girlfriend you know that things will be forever changed, when you have a baby you undoubtedly know this feeling. It is a very powerful feeling to experience and one should try to step back and reflect on it, and maybe write about it in a journal or diary, or blog. These are the moments that shape and define our lives - they'll never be forgotten.
The day the neurosurgeon walked into the room and immediately said that, "this is pretty darn serious," was the point of recognition for me. Everything immediately before or after that piggy backs on that one particular moment. The seizure that kick started this was a fleeting moment of uncertainty but wasn't a moment when everything in my life and myself changed.
It is human nature to adapt and form a new reality that we move along with. None of us would be here if it weren't for our unbelievable abilities to adapt. It has been 1/3 of a year since I had the seizure that started this whole thing and while everything is still pretty new I'm learning how to deal with this new reality around me. I am dependent upon anti-seizure medicine, I am not allowed to drive, and I definitely have the occasional thought of impending doom, and fear but these are all good things if you look at them properly.
While there are many seemingly negative new factors of my new reality there are twice as many new pieces that I am proud of. I've never been a very empathetic person, but I've changed in that regard at least three fold if one can measure such things. I've commented to several people that I feel part of a community. Those living with cancer and survivors who wonder if it will ever come back. I am connected in the most unbelievable way to people I hardly even know. I have rekindled friendships with childhood friends. I learn something new everyday about my body, and everytime I go to the 12th floor of the hospital I see people who are enduring and fighting. I look around and know why each and every person on that floor is there. Little people and big people, old and young, people with hair and without hair, but all trying to see one more day - all fighting and coping.
My new life is about to change again as I take chemo tomorrow for the first time. Thanks for all of the cards and well wishes. I certainly don't want to take these little pills that pack so much weight, but sometimes you have to do things you don't really want to do in order to accomplish what you really want.
The battle began at the point of recognition and maybe even before. I had to decide right then and there what the outcome was going to be. There are many miles still to go, but I will get there in one form or another. I simply try to remember to be positive. You'll get back what you put into life.