1. You slightly freak out. And by slightly you mean seriously.
2. You pretend to only slightly freak out because you have the kind of mother who says things like, “It is what it is” and “Bodies are strange” and “So what? It could be so much worse!” and “I like big butts and a I cannot lie” (I include that last quote not because it is relevant to this post, but because it gives you a glimpse into her character).
3. You learn that meningiomas are far more common than you realized. According to the neurosurgeon as common as 1 in 5, however most people’s don’t grow (unlike your mama’s), and that they usually aren’t cancerous, so hooray for that. #silverbrainlining
4. You slightly freak out anyway. (Reminder: Slightly = Seriously)
5. You think that maybe the tumor IS affecting her brain when she starts carrying a mini-brain, a 5 inch cross-section of a human head, that she borrowed from the anatomy teacher around with her, as a way of trying to explain her brain tumor to people.
6. Even with mini-brain, you feel like you don’t have anywhere near the level of understanding about the tumor or the surgery that you need, so you decide to go with her to her appointments.
7. You realize that even with mini-brain, your own mother wasn’t exactly certain where her own brain tumor was. You determine that she just liked the mini brain. It was kind of cute, in a creepy, cross-section sort of way.
8. You squint your eyes and tilt your head and start whispering, every time she says or does something you think is a little bit off, “It’s the brain tumor, isn’t it?”
9. You buy brain hats and have people wear them during a celebratory send-off. A farewell toast to the tumor.
10. You stop complaining because every complaint is met with, “You think that’s rough? I’m having brain surgery”. And you really can’t argue with that. You say goodbye to empathetic responses.
11. You go to the pre-op appointments with her, and recognize that just knowing what is going on helps you feel more in control, while simultaneously reminding you that you really don’t have any control.
12. You ogle brain charts and pretend to know what you’re looking at.
13. You ask enough questions that the surgeon gets you a 3d model, which helps your understanding immensely.
14. At the appointments, you make fun of her, per usual, and she laughs good-naturedly, per usual.
15. You notice how her left eyelid is pushed out so much more than the right. You wonder what the difference will be post surgery.
16. You say, “Go Blue!” Words you’ve never uttered before, that have always been considered essentially cuss words, since you usually say “Go Green!” instead. You might even buy her a blue and maize beanie to cover her scars.
17. You tell her you thought she needed a cup of coffee and hand her a mug you made her, and when she doesn’t look at it and goes on a fifteen minute tangent about not having cream you finally yell, “LOOK AT THE MUG!” and then whisper, “It’s the brain tumor, isn’t it?”
18. You remember that even though this might not be that funny, that you have the best sense of humor out of your siblings, who asked you if you meant to put an “h” instead of a “t”.
20. You eagerly await surgery day.