Friday, June 10, 2011

A Bump in the Road.....

This might be a good place to tell you a personal part of my life.  Not to snivel, complain, or even feel sad about the experience, but to inspire those who have had to fight through their own physical and mental set backs.  I am a brain tumor survivor. 

In November 1999 I had what they call an acoustic neuroma tumor removed the size a small lemon.   They told us that an abnormal cell started growing on my hearing nerve behind my right ear and was pressing against my brain stem.  I lost the hearing in my right ear,my facial nerve was destroyed resulting in paralysis on the right side of my face. A paralyzed vocal cord nerve delayed my ability to talk and swallow.  I had a feeding tube for three months. I was completely numb on my left side.  Now I'm just numb, not completely but my balance is way off which is embarrassing sometimes, because it looks like I've had one too many, and I haven't. 

You know, alot of people suffer pain.  I think the trick is also somehow find joy.  I feel very fortunate in this regard.  I am surrounded by family, extended family, and friends who have this gift of dealing with sad and hard things in a way you can find happiness.  The secret?  The law of attraction?  The source?  Hope, Faith, Love, Charity.  These are just words, but to truly possess the real meanings of these words gives your life a great purpose. 

9th Grade-Jim-Cari-1974

 I keep thinking about the lyrics in a old Carly Simon song, " I Haven't Got Time For the Pain."  She is describing her own despair and genuinely thanking the person who showed her how to fill her heart with love, and how to open up all that bright light coming down from the heavens.  I'm surrounded by people who do that.  It makes difficult things easier.  I have a large family. They give me all my strength.  That is why I am almost embarrassed to say, my life is great. My wife, Cari and I met in 7th grade. Our lives are interwoven. We have shared things both good and bad and somehow through all of it have become stronger. Don't ask me how but somehow we have remained loyal and rely on each other. I think hope, faith, love, and charity have had something to do with that.

I can't tell you how old Cari is,
but I am 52 and she is 6 days younger.
I was able to slowly become stronger after about a year and the doctors said that whatever improvement made by then would level out.  They were correct.  But I feel fortunate.  I can work, drive, eat, see, and hear (at least in one ear) and otherwise function fairly well.  I feel the same on the inside.  The outside feels like it has been in a car wreck.  But, I'll take what I can get.  Some minor things I cannot do like whistle or run ( as I discovered when a shopping cart got away from me in a parking lot) that's OK.  I didn't run much before.  However, I did like to whistle.  The main thing now is to keep going forward.  I'm on the verge of a break through.  This has been my mind set for many years now.  The word perseverance and all similar words eventually lead to success.  How that success is defined, I don't know.  It could be had in the journey alone.  But the opposite of that is failure and I try not to look for the definition of that word. 

Daughter- Alisa with husband Justin
Grandsons Nathan-6 and Kendall-3

Son-Doug and wife Sara
Grandsons Tanner-5, Mikey-2, Jake-4,
Luke- our little angel.

Son-Todd and Wife Martha


kittrean tanner said...

oh my.... I love love love this, Jimmy... all of it. I am so glad Myron posted this on his Fb. Why are there tears in my eyes!?.... I know, you brought back so many happy memories... that picture of you and Cari.... AND, that photo of 'the boys'. All my crushes.... of course, the extra special one for me... Butch. ;) This has made my day. You are such a wonderful writer. Much love, kittrean

Niki Carter said...

I really love this post and I really love you.

Skye-Unicorn said...

Beautiful, Jim. Beautiful post, beautiful words, from a very beautiful soul. I had tears in my eyes, too. You're an inspiration!

Skye-Unicorn said...

It's Skye, Adam's girlfriend, by the way!