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God Blessed Me with a Brain Tumor

It’s hard to believe that in less than a week, I’ll be celebrating my 28thbirthday. Ironically, my birthday marks exactly 4 months since the date of my brain surgery. 4 months ago, I went into an operating room to have a brain tumor in my right frontal lobe removed not knowing exactly what the future held. 4 months ago, everything changed – but not in the way you may think.

I’m a better person today because on April 26, 2018, I had brain surgery. While my recovery was in no means easy, and during that process, I lost my independence temporarily and lost a couple of friends possibly permanently, what I gained is more important. I gained perspective, and that’s worth more than gold.

God Blessed Me with a Brain Tumor

There are so many things that I once took for granted and the first one that comes to mind is health. I used to feel invincible. I used to think that things like tumors were things that happened to other people and not me. I used to think that health issues and surgeries and medicines were reserved for people that either lived an unhealthy lifestyle or were over 50. Since my brain tumor, I realize that that’s not the case, and I thank God every day for good health, because it’s something that can change in an instant. On the list of things that I no longer take for granted, I also have to include good friends, mobility, family, unconditional love, independence, and sound sleep. Because of my brain surgery and subsequent recovery, I express my gratitude a little differently, appreciate little things a little more, and hug people that are there for me a little tighter.

During my recuperation, I began to value self-care on a deeper level. It was no longer a fun, trendy practice that included yoga and massages, but it turned into something that was vital for my health and recovery. I learned that a huge part of self-care is establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries – picking and choosing the things and people to say yes to and knowing when it’s necessary to say no to protect not only my mental health, but my physical health as well. In the silence and darkness of the nights when I found myself awake from yet another nightmare (apparently vivid dreams are normal post brain surgery), I got to know myself on a deeper level. In the sunlight of the mornings when I found myself faced with the decision of whether to put my head under the covers in defeat or get up and try to make the most of the day that I was blessed with, I recognized that I am resilient. Throughout the entire process, I became more confident, more outspoken, more authentic, and more focused on self-love than I ever was before.

I had brain surgery in April and this Sunday, exactly 4 months later, I’ll be celebrating another year of life. I’m not only alive and well, I’m alive and BETTER. I’m alive and STRONGER. I’m alive and MORE BEAUTIFUL. I recognize in retrospect that God didn’t punish me with a brain tumor, He blessed me with one. Because of what I went through, I’m in a much better place than I was 4 months ago spiritually and emotionally. I’m more driven, more grateful, and more invigorated. I also recognize that God didn’t give me all of this to keep to myself. I hope that my brain tumor inspires resilience, strength, and growth in others, just as it has in me. I hope that just as my brain tumor empowered me, I can use it to empower others to live intentionally.

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