Sometimes, balloons happen

As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been crazy, and I’ve heard or uttered some of the craziest sentences imaginable. Here are a selected few to give you an idea of what we’ve been dealing with:

On the morning of the surgery, the surgeon said: “There is  a blood vessel wrapped around the tumour, so you have a 20% chance of having a stroke today.” (Seriously?! How do things keep getting worse?!) Another surgeon then told me that, “There has been a lot of swelling in your brain and when we cut into your skull, it will relieve some of that pressure but may also cause your brain to pop right out, causing a serious seizure.” (Stop it! How much bad news can one person handlle on the day of her brain surgery?)

Thankfully, neither of these things happened. The surgeons seem pleased with the results and the recovery continues to go well.

When I was discharged, I asked about the sutures (which look like staples) in my head and when they would be removed, and the doctor said: “Twelve to fourteen days after the surgery you can go to a walk-in-clinic or to your GP and have them removed. In fact, we will give you a little kit and you or Mitchell can even do it yourself. It’s a simple procedure and shouldn’t hurt much.” (I may have just had brain surgery, but I’m not stupid! As if I’m going to attempt to remove a row of staples from my own head!)

Two weeks after the surgery, I find myself saying some crazy sentences too. For example:

(on the phone with my doctor’s office): “I was there two days ago to get the staples removed from my head, and it appears that one was missed. I still have a staple in my head. I would like it removed immediately.” (awkward.)

These! (overshare?)

These! (overshare?)

At the doctor’s office, the doctor said, “Sorry this is going to hurt. Because the staple was left in a little too long, the skin around it has healed more than it should have, so this will be more painful than the ones we moved a couple days ago. (not fair!)

As I’ve mentioned, my appetite has been crazy. On Saturday, I finally uttered the words, “I think I’m full,” and it felt like a momentous occasion.

We also got the pathology report back and learned that this cancer is the same one from earlier this year. So it is a recurrence, not a new cancer. This is the news we expected to hear. I am healing well. Right after the surgery, I had a pretty bad black eye and my face was swollen. It’s much better now.

There have also been some great sentences or phrases too, mostly said by Nate. Here you go:

Nate: “Mommy has an ouchy. Mommy, be careful. No more ouchy.”

Me: “Nate, do you want to sing a song?”

Nate: “Yeah!”

Me: “What song?”

Nate: “Desperado” (I kid you not!)

Then I start singing it, and Nate says, “Daddy sing Desperado. (Diss!)

Over the last year, Mitchell and I have become skilled optimists. I hope this is a skill we are passing on to Nate. Things have been tough for us for a while, and Nate has been amazing about all the changes, big and small, in our home routine. I think he understands that mommy is sick, and that things are different right now. I hope he understands  that even though sometimes things are hard, there are also many pockets of happiness and love too. The other day, I bought him a big bouquet of balloons. I want him to know that even  though some times are tough, and seemingly randomly so, sometimes, balloons happen too, and for no apparent reason.

Cane in one hand, balloons in the other.

Cane in one hand, balloons in the other.

A blue balloon for Nate.

A blue balloon for Nate.

Bonus photos:

Working on an art project with Nate, and feeling punk rock in my studded bandana to cover the sutures.

Working on an art project with Nate, and feeling punk rock in my studded bandana to cover the sutures.

More egg-cracking fun

More egg-cracking fun

Sharing a look with Audrey on a walk around the neighborhood.

Sharing a look with Audrey on a walk around the neighborhood.

About Naomi

Writing about health/wellness and motherhood at and academia and research at
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22 Responses to Sometimes, balloons happen

  1. ericrosenberg470772621 says:


  2. Y says:

    Dear Naomi, i’m sending you lots of strength and as always i am blown away by you! You give me little and big inspirations ALWAYS! I thank you so much for that. And i always love your selection of photos. For instance – we can’t crack open a fresh egg for fun with our little one, we can’t even have an over easy or frittata at home on a Sunday morning 🙂 . But i can definitelly show him the picture 🙂 It would be good to have a play date with Nate, Leo would really love it a lot. Lots of hugs, keep strong please

  3. David says:

    Big smiles here…nice to hear that the recovery is moving along. I am looking forward to seeing you guys in 2 weeks…till then hugs and kisses…

    And the vision of Mitchell even potentially removing the staples made me laugh out loud….hard!

  4. Jenny åkerbäck says:

    You are just amazing! Keep on smiling. I am sending you smiles, hugs and love! Jenny

  5. duff says:


    I have to say the Rocker look is awesome!

    Glad you are back home getting some good QT with Nate. Your pics and quotes are fantastic! You have really shown great strength and you deserve the best! Keep staying optimistic and we will chat soon.

    Much love from Duff & Annie

  6. jb says:

    A. disses me all the time with songs too! Even songs that O doesn’t know (kids songs in english) – she’s like, “no, mama – papa sing.” Even sometimes when he’s not there! Snap!
    Seeing you and Nate paint, and Mitch and Nate crack eggs makes me feel so happy in my heart. Love you all, proud as ever, and sending you my biggest hugs, j.

  7. Vince says:

    You’ve made me believe that balloons need to happen more often. See you guys real soon. 😉

  8. Christa Quint says:

    Hi Naomi,
    I’m new to your blog and have to say you are amazing. Also it does really suck about the staples. Lady- you are a trooper. Your son is adorable and he looks like he is having such a nice time with you. Keep on keeping on! Love the headband!

  9. Mary says:

    I am so happy to catch up on your blog. You’ve been on my mind. As ever, thank you for your words, your wit, your gorgeous photos, and for sharing your experience. You really are amazing. Sending love from waaaaaaaaaaaay over here!! xoxoxo

  10. May you all only have balloon days from now on. Much love. Arlene

  11. Chocho T says:

    Hi Naomi
    Glad you are back home with your family. We are still praying for you. Keep the faith & the positivity. We pray all of this to be behind you soon.
    God bless.

  12. Marla Fenn says:


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