I’ll admit to feeling a little paranoid about health things for the last six months or so. It’s a little embarrassing.  My hip hurts – has the cancer spread to other cartilage? I have a particularly severe […]


Mom pointed out I should probably post about how the whole craniotomy/brain tumor recovery process is going, and she’s totally correct. The craniotomy was on May first, 2015. I returned to work at the beginning […]


Not really. The thing is – I’ve had what appears to have been a successful surgery to remove the brain tumor. They removed enough that Dr. Ferriera says it won’t be necessary to go back […]


The thing I’ve struggled with lately has been how to integrate this cancer/tumor thing into how I think about the future in a comfortable way. It all feels pretty surreal. Physically, given what’s happened, I’m not feeling too […]

Head Scar

The craniotomy left a pretty substantial head scar. It has healed on the surface, and pretty much looks the way it’s going to look from now on – large and winding in meandering curves around my cranium, […]


I picked up new glasses yesterday. It was a trip to get my annual glasses prescription that launched this entire chunk of strange turmoil. For the last few months, I’ve been wearing my old glasses […]


Abe’s been hard at work on his latest illustration. It will be posted later today on merkstudios.com. I’m incredibly proud of him – his work is just awesome. UPDATE: Okay – maybe a few days… […]

Fallout 4

What does it say about me that I’m inordinately excited about Fallout 4 is coming out in November? Seriously – I can’t remember the last time I was this thrilled about some upcoming entertainment offering.

Missing Words

I seem to be temporarily misplacing some really basic words. Example: I thought it would be nice to do an inventory of our kitchen items this morning in an effort to get rid of some unnecessary […]


In addition to napping, healing, and all the other appropriate activities, I had hoped to be able to use this time to accomplish something meaningful, but that hasn’t happened. My level of attention isn’t up to […]

New Bald Spot!

Crazy. We’ve been monitoring the fairly extensive incision lines on the left hand side of my head since the surgery, of course. Thursday, however, we came across a new one that we hadn’t even noticed before! Strangely, […]


Just before surgery, I decided to buy a few books for my time in the hospital. Both were written by neurosurgeons about what it’s like to do their jobs: Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: […]


I really don’t like taking pills unnecessarily. I don’t like swallowing pills, and especially dislike those uncoated pills that leave awful-tasting powdered residue in your mouth after you take them. Yuck. So I’ve always been inclined […]

Physical Therapy

So, two days ago I had my first physical therapy appointments. Really, appointment one was physical therapy, appointment two was occupational therapy, and appointment three was speech therapy. I had been curious about what occupational […]

Visits from Friends

I’ve had a few visits from dear friends in the past few weeks, which I’ve enjoyed immensely. Today, a few came by and brought an incredibly wonderful card and gift basket from my co-workers at Costco. I’m deeply touched […]

Feeling Better?

As of today, I can hold a relatively coherent conversation about straightforward things. I can stand and walk across a room most of the time without falling. I can get dressed and usually take a shower without […]

Head Cold :(

Bummer. I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a head cold. No especially high temperature – just a very slight temperature, cough, mild stuffiness, and the occasional sneeze. I’ll have the doctor’s office double-check it tomorrow to make sure […]


I just checked Facebook a few days ago for the first time since surgery, and was really deeply touched by the responses from my old friends. I had waited to post anything about the brain […]

Strange Dreams

I’ve had extremely strange, vivid dreams about random things ever since the surgery, probably due to all the exciting drugs they’ve prescribed. Last night I dreamed I returned to work.  I was super-happy to see […]


Hi, everyone. Surgery was last Friday, and this week has been a bit blurry. We arrived home from the hospital the night before last, I think. Lots of drugs and naps since the surgery, and […]


My awesome parents are in town visiting. I’m really grateful to have them here. It’s been a while, and I’ve missed them. This is the last weekend before the craniotomy pre-testing begins at UWMC and […]

Other Blogs

It’s been interesting reading others’ accounts of what a brain tumor is like: 70 Things I Learned From Having a Brain Tumor What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Craniotomy Favorite Things: Brain Surgery Recovery Edition […]


As the surgery date approaches, it’s a little anxiety-provoking to think about what’s in store for my poor noggin.  Oh, sure, I’ll have an awesome head scar and maybe even an eye patch, which is […]

Risky Decisions

It’s not just choosing a medical team that’s challenging. Choosing a hospital is also difficult. There are a variety of information sources out there about hospitals, and some seem to be significantly better than others […]


“Whatever you do, don’t start searching on Google – just talk to your provider.” Every medical provider I speak with says this, and I know why, but I hate it. It’s super-condescending. I get that a […]


So, my excellent neuro-oncologist has indicated, depending on the outcome of the surgery, radiation treatment may not be necessary. She shared an article by Almefty (2007), where on page 2465, he says the following: “Radiotherapy […]


I’ve been incredibly lucky all my life, and I’m lucky today. I had a wonderful childhood. My parents are kind, dedicated and loving and we have a great relationship. They spent a lot of time and […]


Nothing like the word “oncology” to make a girl think about death. I know, I know. It’s too early to think about things like that, and it’s important to stay optimistic, and platitude platitude platitude. […]


It’s been difficult to figure out how to approach this at work. My work friends are kind-hearted and gather around to support people in our department who fall ill. It comes from a caring place, but […]


Here were the findings from the initial MRI, for anyone who is curious: There is a high T2, homogeneously densely enhancing mass expanding the petrous apex and left side of the clivus. Dimensions are 29 […]