Daydreams and Diaries

Posted by on 04.20.10 | No Comments
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During her treatment for brain cancer in 2000-2001 my daughter Taylor and I kept diaries; she until shortly before her death, I until shortly after. Some of you folks read my story “Conversation in a Car” several years ago, but this memoir is entitled “Daydreams and Diaries” and alternates between Taylor’s diary and my daydreams about her. The first selection is from Taylor’s diary when she was 17 and unlike Frank Sinatra’s song, it wasn’t a very good year. This is her diary entry from September 23, 2000.

I have just lived through the most indescribable night of my life. It all began when I was taking a shower on Thursday afternoon. My vision started to go in and out, I couldn’t breathe. The next thing I know, I’m lying on the shower floor. I stood up and brushed it off as some fluke accident. For the rest of the day I was perfectly fine. And then, yesterday morning, my left leg became heavy began to drag. Still, I thought nothing of it. So, naturally I thought Mom was going a bit overboard when she insisted on taking me to the Emergency Room. There I was, extremely frustrated, wasting a perfectly good Friday night in a hospital waiting hoom. Finally, they got me in and took a bunch of tests and did a CT scan.

When the doctor returned he looked visibly shaken. He approached us as if we were porcelin dolls, whispering something about a mass on my brain. All of the sudden I was whisked away in a wheelchair. As I looked down at the chart that I held in my hands I couldn’t believe what was written there: Diagnosis: Brain tumor. This can’t be me, things like that happen to other people. People I don’t know.

And so I settled into my hospital bed, too shocked to think. Then, Mom left to get my stuff (and freak out I’m sure) and I called Jeff to have him reassure me that this was a mistake. After I hung up on him I called Katie to tell her that I was not going out with her tonight Mom returned looking like she had been violently crying and bringing Chad with her. He assured me that everything was going to be alright and asked me if he should call my Dad. No way, that is just what I need on top of this mess: a dead father. Because if he were awoken at midnight and told that I have a brain tumor he surely would have a heart attack right then and there. No, I’ll tell him tomorrow.

September 28, 2000

These past efw days have been a whirlwind. It feels like a haze has come over me. Everyone is sending cards and calling. They look at me as if they have just run over my puppy. It is a look that reaffirms the magnitude of what is happening. Tomorrow, I go for brain surgery. I’m still waiting to wake up from the nightmare.

They are not sure what kind of tumor it is. So I’m spending the night before my surgery watching TV and talking on the phone. This can’t be real! I have never, until last week, spend the night in a hospital and now I’m going for surgery tomorrow. Maybe after I do this then it will all turn out to be no big deal and everyone will feel stupid for getting so crazy over nothing.

The doctor claims he will cut as little hair as possible. I hope he is telling the truth. So, I have to go under the knife for 8 hours and then this will all be over. Well, that’s not bqad I guess. I should get some rest.



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