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PLANNING FOR A BRAIN TUMOR?
In one way or another, every one has a plan. You might plan what you’re doing next weekend, a vacation in several months or even where you think you’re life might take you in 5 or 10 years.
What about plans for brain tumor survivors, or a survivor of any serious illness, for that matter? Your plans might change. It may be that you had your life laid out in front of you already: a specific college or career track, you may have wanted to be married or live on your own by the time you were 25. Or you might have grown up knowing you would have to factor in all the "brain tumor stuff" into what goals you set for yourself.
Last night, CBTF had a career development meeting for young adult survivors and they were asked how they would answer the common job interview question: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” It seems like a valid question but one survivor answered it by saying, “Wait until I get the job first, then I can tell you when it gets closer!”
It made the group laugh but the insight behind that comment is very true. Many young people have ideas and dreams that they can plan out by outlining their years in college, where they might have an internship or job placement and opportunities. Non-survivors probably don’t think about factoring time “in case” they get sick or anticipate struggles that might slow them down.
It’s difficult to anticipate where you might be in 5 or even 1 year when you have to take care of a chronic medical condition. It could go very smoothly or you can get side tracked and have to take a little bit of a pause from “normal” life. Or for many survivors, taking these pauses ARE a part of their normal life.
Going along with this idea, I just read a blog called “The Liz Army” written by a brain tumor survivor and she posted a pretty funny hand drawn pie chart (posted as the picture along with this blog) showing her levels of worrying since shortly before her diagnosis. Again, it makes the reader laugh but it also expresses a very pertinent issue among survivors about how much they have to invest in thinking about how their brain tumor will affect their life, even after treatments are over.
To read “The Liz Army” and her take on this topic, go to: http://thelizarmy.com/2013/02/four-months-at-a-time-time-between-brain-s...