Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beginnings - Small Town News Spreads Quickly

Knowing that I live in a small town, work in a small company, and have many friends in and around all those areas, I knew that the next few days would be spent telling the story many times. Was this necessary? Possibly not, but I wanted those close to me to hear the truth and not something through the grapevine.

Of course, as soon as I left the doctor, I tried to catch my boss and immediate co-workers before they left for the day. I was able to get a hold of everyone and they were all relieved. Then I called my Mom and told her what was going on. I will just say that my Mom and I have very different views on doctors but for the most part the conversation went well. I continued with my phone spree (John was driving) and called my best friend and left a message on my chiropractor's voice mail to let them both know the good news. Finally, we got towards home and swung by to pick up my son at the sitters. I let her know that everything was good and you could see the visible relief on her face. (I had to tell her prior because we weren't certain if we'd be on time to pick him up.)

We had plans already for this night. There was a "going-away" party for one of the ladies at my hubby's work so we didn't have much time to think about things that evening until we found ourselves in the car again. However, I did find the time to sit my son down and tell him what was going on. He took it like a 10 year old. I think he heard the news that I was going to be ok and pretty much ignored the rest of it. He did ask questions as the night moved on but really, what is there to talk about with it?

Although I really didn't want to say too much at the party, several had noticed John's "absence from work" during busy season and some had noticed one or both of our vehicles in the driveway at odd times so it really wasn't easy to keep it quiet. Eventually, I just gave in and I ended up telling most of his co-workers that was at the party. They took it well, things were fine, and they all gave offerings of support and prayers. At least now if John received an "urgent" call or had to leave unexpectedly, they knew what was going on.

I proceeded to call and "floor" some of my friends and learned quickly to start off conversations about it like so: "Listen to everything I say before you react," and end them with: "Remember, anything you read online is based on someone having symptoms that led to the diagnosis." However, I think it was a good thing because it reminded us all that life is short and we really shouldn't have let ourselves stray so far apart. Maybe this will be a new chapter in friendships and not just my life.

Finally, I called my baby brother (ok so he's 23 and taller than me) and let him know what was going on. He took it well, considering, and I had only shocked him enough he didn't even bother to tell me he had a new car!!! That's another story in its entirety, however.

We had a busy weekend planned with a square dances on both Saturday and Sunday night. I was both looking forward to our first square dance in well over a month and nervous about it because I knew questions would be asked. Now you have to understand the relationship we have with our fellow square dancers. We have danced for a little over a year and we are the youngest couple in our area. However, we love square dancing and don't let age or anything else stand between us having a great time with our square dance family. We have made A LOT of friends in square dancing and I really do see them as family. That's why the absence of us for over a month was going to raise concerns and sure enough, more than one mentioned that they had been asking about us.

Yes, I had only just found out about the brain tumor but the facial numbness that led up to the MRI had gone on for six weeks and it made me uneasy and afraid I'd lose my balance, so we refrained from dancing during that time as well. Whether I liked it or not, the two were linked and one couldn't calmly be explained without the other.

After the very first dance, I had the opportunity to speak with the wife of our local caller (the person that does the singing and calls during a dance). They are a wonderful couple that truly helped bring us into the square dancing world and made us fall in love with it. She was shocked but confident that we would be ok. As was everyone else that we talked to that evening. Some shared stories of their own battles with similar things and that was very encouraging. Several more people were added to my prayer list over the weekend as much more than a general "Please take care of all my friends".

He probably doesn't realize it, but the most touching response I received was from our local caller. He had been "on stage" when I told his wife what was going on and apparently some time throughout the night she told him what was going on. He came up to me, gave me a big hug, and said "I'm so sorry kiddo." It probably didn't seem like much to him, but it literally touched me to my very soul and gave me a new sense of strength. Sometimes the little things make the biggest impact.

I think that was the major events of that first weekend. I believe it might have been a good thing that I was so caught up in other activities but at the same time this prevented some of the details from truly sinking in. I was going to be ok. That was all that was really sinking at the time.

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