Getting Support…You can Lean on me

As I write the last installment on my Acoustic Neuroma series, I find that it is appropriate to lend from an excerpt from my eBook (So You Have an Acoustic Neuroma?…A Tale of Two Surgeries) on where and how you can get support when you have this tumour.

Family / Friends

It was a very scary time for me. I had a young family and a lot going on in my life and to see it all crash before me was very scary. Having your family and friends by your side can be so comforting. I was lucky. They were right there for me and did everything they could to be helpful. They followed everything I was researching and not once think I was crazy. They accepted the fact I didn’t take the first surgeons word and go through treatment right away. If this tumour gives you any blessings, it is the ability to search out other opinions.

My wife was amazing. She took care of everything when I wasn’t able to. She made sure I wasn’t straining myself, taking my medication and keeping an eye on any post operation symptoms that might be cause for concern. She jokes and says she was my real nurse, making sure I got the care I needed and she is right!!

My kids have grown a lot over this, especially over my two surgeries. They were a lot younger when I first had surgery. While they knew something was going on with me they didn’t fully understand. All they knew was “daddy was sick and he was going to the hospital to get better”. They couldn’t visit me since I was a plane ride away at the time but they did very well.

The second time they understood fully what was going on. We were able to talk about it at great lengths before the surgery and they were quite helpful. It really taught them about compassion and realizing that the need to help others always exists. They were great with me.

My parents traveled with me and did everything possible to help me. They were always there offering support. It is times like these when you are grateful that your parents are around even if you don’t see them as much as you used to.

My wife’s parents and sister helped out with the kids when we were traveling. The kids didn’t have to worry about a thing!

I have a couple of really close friends. One is going through something similar to me (a tumor in a different part of the brain). They were really supportive. Checking in on me through texts and phone calls. I would go out for coffee when I had enough strength and was able to drive. They are all around good friends!

So you can see that it really helps to have a great support system in place. The next few weeks or months after your surgery can be a bit stressful. While the body will eventually recuperate, it can be at times hard to reconcile this with your mind. A great circle of family and friends will make it easier. That and Netflix…….yeah…..a lot of Netflix LOL.

Faith

I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t get through this without my faith. It doesn’t matter what faith you believe in, the fact that you have someone watching over you, you feel at peace. No matter what happens.

Like your family and friends, your members of your faith are like your second family and they will do what they can to make sure you are OK. I got prayers, well wishes, visits and prepared meals to help out with the chaos at home after the surgery. When you look back you are truly grateful for what everyone has done for you.

What if you Don’t Have a Support System?

Thankfully, there is the Internet. From all the research you may have been doing finding out as much as you can about this tumor, you can also find several support groups. There are several associations around the world. Here are a few:

-Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canada (www.anac.ca)

-Acoustic Neuroma Association – USA (www.anausa.org)

-British Acoustic Neuroma Association – (https://www.bana-uk.com/)

-Australian Acoustic Neuroma Association – (https://www.anaa.org.au/)

A quick google search will bring up other AN associations local to your a part of the world.

Facebook

Facebook has a lot of support groups you can ask to join. I am a member of a bunch. I love hearing everyone’s stories. I offer advice and support where I can, even if it just a sympathetic ear (in a lot of cases it is just one! LOL). Just search for Acoustic Neuroma when you are exploring what groups are available. Here are the groups I belong to:

Acoutic Neuroma

Acoustic Neuroma / Vestibular Schwannoma Group

AN Warriors(Acoustic Neuroma)

Neurinome acoustique/Acoustic neuroma: Canada and “Province du Québec”

Acoustic Neuroma Support Group

Life After Acoustic Neuromas

I hope you have enjoyed my blog series on dealing with an Acoustic Nueroma. I have always said that they are like snowflakes, no two are alike. However, by telling our stories we can help each other out immensely and give hope to others who come after us.

-Dan

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