clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom blog: Bride of Frankstein

I know some of you think I'm a fathead, while others of you just think I'm fat.

Well, neither condition changed appreciably during my recent trip into Brain-Tumor-Land, during which I had surgery to remove a benign meningioma tumor and then spent five weeks lying on my couch with a head full of staples, feeling like the Bride of Frankenstein.

Most of that time was spent watching The Food Network.

I wasn't very productive during this period, but, hey, I can really make an awesome Thai curry now, as soon as I go to the Asian market and buy the 37 ingredients the recipe calls for.

Incidentally, while I was in the hospital, the nurses told me a lot of patients watch the Food Network, which seems pretty masochistic to me considering what they give you to eat in that place.

My surgery was June 3, and numerous friends suggested that, while the surgeon was in there, maybe he could fix some of the other problems with my head, such as my inability to remember the names of their children.

In fact, it's a drag that I can't use having a brain tumor anymore as an excuse for my bad memory. It was nice for a brief period to blame the rogue tissue for all my problems.

In case you're interested, the tumor was located on the back of my head, above my neck, attached to the inside of my skull.

After growing for a year or so, it had displaced nearly all of my cerebellum, which is the lobe of the brain that controls movement, coordination and blood pressure. I was pretty uncoordinated before the tumor, so you can imagine what I was like afterward.

In these CT scans, the big nasty white blob is the tumor, before surgery, and then below you can see how my brain had already expanded back into the space a month later. I'm having some wallet-sized prints made, by the way, in case you want one.

The best thing for me, aside from the fact that the tumor wasn't cancerous, was that I was able to regain all my function that I'd lost.

I feel pretty lucky, actually, because among the many readers I heard from over the last few weeks were some whose brain tumors had a much greater impact on their lives than mine did. I almost feel guilty for getting off so easy. And, thanks, by the way, for all the good wishes.

The first time I sat down to use my laptop, I realized I'd forgotten how to type. But after a few minutes of tapping away, it came back. So I can work again. Darn it.

When I was finally ready to drive, I got into my 1997 4Runner and realized I wasn't sure if I could do it. I managed to turn the key on, hit the brake and put the car in gear, but then drove only slowly, as if I'd just gotten my learner's permit, until the full memories of 35 years of driving returned.

Too bad, because I was enjoying having all my friends chauffeur me around everywhere. I can also do all my own household chores again, which means no more food deliveries, sigh, and no excuses for the mess in the kitchen except that I'm a slob.

Cheetah Boy and Curly Girl did pick up the slack and do more chores than usual during my convalescence, but when they saw me getting better, as you might expect, it got harder and harder to get them to do the grunt labor.

This week, though, they've both gone off to Scout camp and left me alone, (insert small teardrop here) so it's just me and Buddy the Wonder Dog to watch some R-rated movies and dirty up the house.

Buddy says he'll try to do his part.

Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.