If we haven't talked in awhile (or ever) here's what I've been up to the past twenty years or so. I’ve ridden a mountain bike over actual mountains, sold all my stuff to travel the country, dated someone who died of lung cancer 9 months after doctors told him he definitely did NOT have lung cancer, spent 7 years in public health graduate school training as a health scientist, and my current day job is working as an an editor who helps fiction authors learn the skills they need for their writing career.
On August 2nd, I learned that I had a massive brain tumor (meningioma) which was pressing on the part of my brain that processes visual information and was also pushing on the midline of the brain (This is bad. Like it will kill you in the near future bad even though the tumor itself was benign.)
So, on August 2nd, I was admitted to the hospital. On 8/6, I had an angiogram to check out the blood vessels around the tumor and try to shrink it. On 8/7, I had brain surgery to remove the tumor. On 8/8, I had an MRI to see if the tumor was removed and it was confirmed that the tumor was benign. SUCCESS!!
MRI showed that the tumor is gone. I was sent home from the hospital a few days later but then ended up back in the hospital the next week with complications. You can see the details in the updates here and on Caring Bridge .
10/3 I am home and in the middle of many, many appointments. I have to see a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and a speech therapist to help get back the functions that I’ve lost or that have weakened. I have a numb left foot, a loss of coordination and strength in my hands, and some cognitive deficits. The speech therapist is still helping me figure out exactly what’s missing cognitively. I’ve also got the normal challenge of recovering my physical strength after a surgery.
I’m getting better but it’s a long, slow process. Because it’s my brain that needs to rest that means that a lot of activities that normally count as “rest” don’t count as “rest” for me: watching TV, talking to people, reading. (No reading is a very cruel punishment for an editor!)
10/10 I’m starting to do small tests of getting back to work, but it’s likely to be early 2019 before I get back to work full-time. I tire out so, so easily. (It took several days to write this overview.)
Plus, editing is a job that takes a massive amount of brainpower. You need to track about 5-8 threads simultaneously. There’s information about the scene you’re working on, the overall story and the characters, the writing craft concepts, project management needs, the writer’s understanding and emotions about what your saying, and also normal meeting things such as time and how much you talk vs. listen.
10/16 Speech therapist says that I should plan to be at part-time work until 6 months post-surgery. That would be beginning of February.
I’m really grateful for everyone who’s helped me make it through this time off work and at a reduced schedule. Thank you for your kind messages, your donations, and all the other kinds of help you've given!
If you can help me make it through the end of the year by making a donation, I’d appreciate it.
- Michael Mitchell
- Theo Emery
- Anne Hawley
- Anne Hawley
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