Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two penguins walk into a bar

This isn't truly a grouchy face.  I was falsely
grouchily showing off the plastic knobs on my head.
My brain tumor surgery is tomorrow morning.  Starts about eight hours from now.

So for that reason, I'm offering a slightly more upbeat post.  I'm not going to be falsely cheerful, but I'll share a few things that aren't entirely focused on fear/danger/pain.  Instead, I'll tell you other aspects of this process.

For instance:  last night my mom and I arrived at our very nice hotel to get ready for today's 8:30am pre-op process at the Duke hospital.  I went out to the car to get my suitcase, which not only has my clothes, toothbrush, and books, but also my medicine.  The seizure medicine.  Which I have to take every morning and night.  The suitcase is fairly important.  So here's evidence of how freaked out I am:  the car was empty.  No suitcase.  I carefully packed it, then left it at home.  Because mom and I were able to get replacement seizure drugs at CVS, the situation was funnier than it was distressing.

And here's another example:  After I wrote about gratitude and pain the other day, I've gotten probably 20 emails from students telling me how important I've been to their lives--in ways I wasn't aware of.  Plus, as I'm sure you've noticed, there have been some powerful comments on the blog (Robin Bowers, I'm talking about you) and on Facebook (SO many of you have written things that have moved me).  Wisdom.  I'm trying to breathe it in.

Freaking delicious.
And another:  after I went through a series of exciting pre-op activities (urine test, blood test, EKG which required a guy to put all kind of pasty stickers on my naked boobs), mom and I were told by multiple staff people--including the admissions person--NOT to be admitted until we'd had some good food to eat.  "Once you have your bracelet on you can't leave," they sort of whispered, "So go now!"  We went to Nosh and I had a fantastic brunch:  French toast with peanut butter and bananas.  The best food I'll have (and have the appetite for) in days.

And finally, I'd like to celebrate friend-from-afar, Kris.  She became part of my life five years ago, when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, because she'd had one recently, and a women's studies friend had connected us.  The brilliant thing she did was text me with jokes every day leading up to the surgery. She's doing it again!  It's fantastic.  I'm eager to read every text she sends.

So I'm going to offer two.  #1 is my favorite.  #2 is most appropriate to this evening.  You can read either or both--your choice.

#1:  Two penguins walk into a bar.  The third penguin says, "Huh--you'd have thought the second one would have seen it."

#2:  A brain walked into a bar.  "I'll have a pint," she says.  "No way!" says the bartender.  "You're out of your head!"

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Previous posts to give you background:


  1. Thinking of you, Alison. Also, in the spirit of the post, a joke:
    Past, present, and future walk into a bar.
    It was tense.

  2. Sending love and positive vibes your way, Alison! You are and always have been one of my sheros!!! You rock!

  3. Well wishes to you. You were very kind and generous with your time for a very nervous girl two years ago. Her name is Carson and she interviewed you for a fifth grade project. Your words had such an impact on her and she can't wait to interview you again for her girl scout gold award project in a couple of years.

  4. Lifting you, your mom, Maybelle and your medical staff up in prayer. I will look forward to hearing good news!

    Wish I knew some jokes to share!

  5. Alison! I just opened Facebook for first time in ages and found this right on top! Prayers and every ounce of healing light the heavens can muster heading your way!

  6. There is a group in Toronto called Nanny Angels that provides free babysitting to moms receiving cancer treatment. They are
    I tweeted them to ask if they had ideas for support in New York. Best wishes to you!

  7. Sending kick-tumor-ass energy from Northern Idaho. I started reading your "old" blog back when you were married to someone who shared my surname, but have followed you up and away in the "new" blog and new life and remain a supporter of you and your day-to-day with Maybelle. As one Momma-Feminist to another I send "Raise the Sky" healing and love. Thank you for sharing your journeys with us. We are stronger because of you. Now get well!