Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kind-of Attached

I got the diagnosis on a Thursday, saw the neurosurgeon on Friday and the moving truck was parked at the curb on Saturday. My older brother had been planning to move back home that weekend and it turned out to be great timing. The family needed to be together. My fiancee drove back up that day to see me and got caught in the middle of the move. After helping empty the truck into a storage locker a few blocks away, we sat down with my brother, his girlfriend, his best friend and my parents to eat my mom's homemade beef enchiladas. I generally regard moving as a hot, sweaty and tedious task but that day it was exactly what I needed. As I sat there scarfing down my dinner, I felt like I had at least been productive.

After seeing my MRI, my brother's first question was, "Have you named it yet?"
"No...I guess I haven't," I said and laughed.  But why not? I thought.

Later that night, I walked into the kitchen where my mom was cleaning the counter.
"I decided to name it."
"Name what?" she said without looking at me.
"The tumor," I said matter-of-factly.
She quickly stopped what she was doing and said, "Don't name it! You'll get attached!" as if we were talking about a stray dog that wandered into the yard.
"Uh,'s already kind-of attached..." I slowly responded while raising an eyebrow.

I chose the name Goomer. It's a combination of the name Gomer, as in Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith show, and my favorite term of endearment from my childhood "goober." Also, it conveniently rhymes with "tumor" so it has a nice ring to it. "Goomer the Tumor."

In the midst of the emotional roller coaster I was riding, I felt like I needed to be in control of one thing in my life. My wedding. Or at least what I would wear on the day. The night of my diagnosis, I sat at my parents' computer and made a bid on a wedding dress I had been watching on eBay for a week. It was the most satisfying purchase I have ever made. It gave me a small sense of control but even more than that it meant that I had something to look forward to...I made a conscious decision to continue to live my life and be excited for the future.

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