It all happened so fast.

Later, friends sometimes wondered: didn’t you see it coming? No, of course not.  I mean, the headaches, I guess. But who has a spate of headaches and thinks: Oh, I better go get an MRI cuz I think I have a tumor? Even the ER doc didn’t jump to the tumor conclusion.  He said, it’s probably vertigo, and man: I wanted to believe him so bad.

I loved the MRI machine. It was cool. I don’t mean technology-cool. Temp cool. I’d seemingly lost the ability to regulate my body temperature and the chill of the MRI was heaven sent. I wanted to stay in there forever.

The only reason they even did an MRI was to make sure I hadn’t had a “deep stroke,” so I suppose this all could have ended badly if they hadn’t done one. But they did and they didn’t find a stroke. They found something worse…or at least it seemed so to the ER doc, the color draining from his face as he reported that there was a large mass in my head and that it was likely cancerous.

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hell night at the ER. Image is reversed, right is left, left is right. That seems poetically so right on.

At that point, my body started shaking violently; they shot me up with tranqs to calm me down. I held my partner’s hand. I slipped into a dream state. They whisked me away to prep me for emergency brain surgery.It all happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to process anything. And later I wouldn’t have the mental capacity to process anything. Everything came to a crashing halt. I couldn’t remember my life before and my life now was a chaotic mess of bits and pieces that made no sense. But I took notes—not much at first; I just tried to keep track. Then I made pictures, too, cuz that’s how I figure things out, so that’s what I did.

For months and months, that’s what I did.

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