Finding a “new norm” was something I struggled with after brain surgery. I’ll admit that I was “broken”. I survived major brain surgery, but lost 90% of my hobbies and professional identity! I used to think that when you meet someone new, you are defined by “what you do.” For me, it was merely a way to categorize people in your memory. After surgery, I couldn’t do much of anything. I was searching for any identity other than “handicaped person”. I lost the career in Physical Therapy that I worked so hard to establish and I lost the very thing that defined me… sports. I remember wanting to go back to the Physical Therapy clinic where I used to work and “shadow” one of my colleagues because I was so bored! Part of me didn’t want to let go of the career I was just starting. I even renewed my California PT license and CSCS certification by taking online courses.
I felt like I was broken… kinda like Humpty Dumpty. That feeling of hopelessness finally went away when I created the Tumors Suck group on Facebook. I met so many people that felt the same way about brain tumors. I quickly found that people felt the same way about ALL types of cancer, which led to the creation of mAss Kickers Foundation (mKF). I eventually recreated myself by finding new hobbies and following new interests. I decided to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t do. It has been fun figuring this out AND stay tuned because I’m still figuring it out! Through mKF, we started meeting survivors from around the world! We went to Tokyo, Japan and Manila, Philippines in 2013. In 2014, we went to Singapore, Singapore and spoke to students at the National University Singapore. Last year, we went to Brussels, Belgium and met with Flemish survivors then spoke at the Institute Gilles Bordeaux. This year, we are planning on going to Cape Town, South Africa in the Fall! We are planning on meeting South African survivors, and presenting “Post-treatment Thrivership” at different venues in South Africa. We could definitely use some help with this ambitious undertaking! With a donation of at least $20 here, we’ll send you some Tumors Suck stickers and put you in a video! Check out this link to see the videos from the past “How to Kick mAss” Programs. Stay tuned for updates!