Life-or-death suspense on man’s most mysterious frontier, that was my summer adventure. I left base camp at 5am, fully briefed on the presence of a monster predator ready to strike.
On the first leg of my trek, there was no food at all. Starvation rumbled through my gut as I stripped, peed and donned a surgical gown with pre-cut peepholes to my most secret locales. The sherpas–no nurses–equipped me with needles, tubes and rope-like catheters for our surgical ascent. We would reach the summit in six hours if my weather didn’t turn deadly.
The guide, an anesthesiologist, led me through a dark, cold dreamscape while my surgeon battled the predator, my tumor. Navigating the delicate twists of my brain stem, he hacked at that aggressor, fully aware that one slip could initiate its most deadly defense, a stroke. When the timer reached six hours, he was still in the thick of battle. The tumor had the edge.
Could my heart stand the pressure? Would my brain hold out against another attack? As my family summed up the life insurance, I slept.
(Okay, I’ll admit my family was crying.)
My samurai surgeon revised his strategy. Armed with only his blade and instinct, he finally got the upper hand. Through a steady beep-beeping of every imaginable type of medical monitor, he disemboweled that tumor.
The view from the summit featured 180-degree smiles … from my husband, mother, my sister and boys. Dinner featured the house specialty: raw ice chips with delicate overtones of plastic. There was no pool, but an occasional sponge bath and massage.
**** I give four stars to my summer adventure, brain surgery. The food was awful, the view nonexistent, but the journey was worth it: I’m alive.
A battle with MS forces Elizabeth Jameson to constantly confront
brain scans which she now turns into art.
“Celebration” is one of several images in her gallery at
Lucie Smoker is an Oklahoma mom writing her second suspense novel, PARADOX, thanks to the miracle of modern brain surgery. Check out her first book, her many articles and her blog at luciesmoker.wordpress.com.