October, Shocktober

October has always been a bitter-sweet month for me and my family.

The Sweet:

  • my nephew Ian was born (he’s now a handsome 19-year old!)
  • my step-nephew Adam was born
  • my sister Dori was born

The Bitter:

  • my Dad was diagnosed with cancer in October (lost him in 1994 – 6-months after diagnosis)
  • my Mom passed away in October last year (2014)
  • my brother-in-law Fred was killed in October
  • I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm in October in 2006.

And I’m sure I’m leaving something out, but those are the biggies. I think that’s enough, don’t you?

October 25th is a bitter-sweet day for me as well. It was Dori’s birthday, but it was also the day I was released from the hospital after a three week stay┬ánine years ago next week. I remember speaking to Dori on the phone after I got home and she told me my coming home was the best birthday present I could have given her. We were both crying.

How awful that six year’s later, I was crying in a London hotel room after findiing out Dori had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm too and I never got a chance to say good-bye and let her know how much I loved, and adored her.

Brain aneurysms simply suck. They take the lives of young, old, healthy, joyful people, and devestate the lives of those they love. Granted, they don’t always kill, but they certainly can cause distruption and change the lives of all those around you forever.

October is also a stressful month for me at work. With my rupture happening in the critical last weeks of catalog production, it was left to our small crew and a poor graphic artist brought in to pick up the pieces to finish the book. They did the best they could. Three months later I returned to work part-time to find my office with calendar’s still set on October and reminders on my computer for jobs that needed to be completed…in October. A surreal experience for sure.

I am one of the lucky ones who #1, worked at a great company that allowed me the time to heal and recover and #2, I was physically able to perform my job full time after a 6-month recovery period. Soooo many are not so fortunate and the needs of survivors and their issues after a rupture are so varied, it’s difficult for employers and co-workers to truly understand the depth of recovery needed.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons I speak out about brian aneurysms and try to educate others. Although this blog as been theraputic for me personally, I have received a few comments from other survivors and those who have lost loved ones who tell me it has helped. That means more to me than any amount of money I could raise. Support is what we all need. I have survived a rupture, a coiling, a re-coiling and a stent, then a craniotomy on a 2nd un-ruptured brain aneurysm. And that first large brain aneurysm is STILL giving me issues. Look for updates on more potential “brain bling” in the New Year!

Every October I remember the day of my rupture. Every October I remember my mother’s death now. I remember my father’s diagnosis with cancer and I remember my sister’s birthday on October 25th. I still hate October, but I’m here. For whatever reason, I. AM. HERE.