Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Childhood Dreams



When was ten I had a cancerous brain tumor. It was the size of a grapefruit, half of the tumor was wrapped around my right facial nerve, around my optic nerve and in the sinus cavity, the other half was in the base of my brain.

This was 1971, before micro surgery and before laser surgery. My Oncologist was AMAZING. He cut along my hairline and around my ear, peeled half my face back and was able to remove all of the tumor with no ill effects. He was worried about nicking my facial nerve as then half my face would be permanently paralyzed and droop, if he nicked my optic nerve I would be blind in one eye, and if he removed too much of the tumor in my brain I could lose major IQ points. If he did not remove all of the tumor in any of those places, it could come back and I could die.

As you can tell, I am here, my face is not paralyzed, I can see out of both eyes, I have a minimal scar and my IQ is 129. I would say he did a damn good job!

The problem though, is that even though I was on Darvon (Now illegal) I was not moving my neck and shoulder, as the muscles hurt so bad from being peeled off my face. As my family had an in ground swimming pool (Arizona) and I LOVED to swim. My Doctor recommended swimming to loosen the muscles and increase my range of motion. My best friend would come over daily and swim with me, then we would watch Esther Williams movies. We just knew that someday we were going to go to the Olympics and do partners synchronized swimming.

Unfortunately, Synchronized swimming made it to the Olympics long after I was too old, and had given up on that dream. But to this day, I am like a dolphin in the water (even though I look like a whale), and still love to swim and watch Esther Williams movies!

So what did you want to be growing up?
Have you grown up yet?
Do you think it is too late to reach for your dreams?

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