Recovery from Brain Surgery

October 1-24 2018

I am now 3 weeks post-op from having a metastatic brain tumor removed from the back of my brain. I’ve been working since about the 4th day after surgery. My incision is healing nicely. My vision’s not completely back to “normal” yet, but I’ve seen some positive changes already. I’ve been going back and forth between my old and new glasses and readers and my contacts. For the most part, the contacts with one pair of readers or the other seems to work best when I need to see the laptop screen. I’ve finally gotten to where I can see my phone screen with readers on as well. There are still things I’m missing right in front of my face, but the peripheral vision seems to be slowly coming back. Very slowly.

Something new after surgery is a problem with glare from artificial lights. I think it’s more in my right eye than my left, and I think it has something to do with the giant floater I have there after the gel sac decided to release from my retina last fall, but it has been a big issue that’s been a struggle to overcome. While my friend the RN was here, we ventured out to make sure I could handle life after she had to go home. Target was a no-go because of the glare from the fluorescent lights.  The grocery stores were a little better. After she left, I made myself walk up the block to Starbucks every couple of days. Both the walking there and trying to look around and be cognizant of what’s going on around me, and sitting in the dining area were an act of making sure that my brain is actively re-wiring itself to compensate for what’s no longer there. I’m not 100% yet, but am feeling a lot more like myself today than I was a few weeks back. As they say in the business, it’s a process.

Something that’s hard after surgery is working around the restrictions. When I had the lumpectomy, I was not allowed to lift anything more than 5 pounds. This time, I can’t lift more than 10 pounds, I’m not allowed to bend over, I need to sleep at a 30 degree angle – I can’t lay flat and no straining while pooping. I am supposed to wash my hair every day and keep the incision dry.  The hardest thing is not bending over. I had to arrange things in the house so that they were at least at waist level, so all of my counter tops are covered with stuff. That’s a little annoying. It’s sometimes a challenge to load/unload the dishwasher, and I need someone to come and help with the trash, and to put clean sheets on the bed.

Keeping the clutter down has been a huge challenge since starting this journey nearly a year ago. My sister set up my bike trainer before she left. I still have about a week before I can go down and ride because I’m still on post-surgery restrictions. I can manage some short walks. Between chemo recovery, surgical recovery and just cancer in general, I have next to no stamina for much of anything.  I need to get some of my strength back. The issues with my vision make me nervous when I’m out, though. One day at a time.



About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
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