Gray. The color between black and white. The color of the brain tumor/cancer awareness ribbon. The area where those of us who have been diagnosed with brain tumors/cancer reside when we are between MRI scans–and the space we occupy as we apprehensively await our MRI results.
Don’t get me wrong, I like gray as a color. Psychosomatically though, I prefer black and white. When situations are black and white there are clear boundaries and to me that means there is a chance that circumstances can be controlled. I, like many others, find it very challenging to cope with the ambiguity of the gray area.
The “low grade” Oligodendroglioma diagnosis is itself a gray area. Is it cancer or not? There is debate about this very topic within the brain tumor community. After my craniotomy I almost didn’t go to the first appointment with my neuro-oncologist since as far as I knew, my neurosurgeon removed all visible tumor. I didn’t realize I had cancer. This is the ominous nature of an Oligodendroglioma because inherent in the tumor are cells that do not have clear boundaries.
Even the word gray is spelled differently within the brain tumor community. Is it “g-r-a-y” or “g-r-e-y?” I researched it briefly and found the United States tends to use the “g-r-a-y” spelling so that was what I decided to go with for the title of this book.
Through Life in the Gray, I share my journey from brain cancer to life rediscovered. Join me as I continue my transformation from life as a workaholic–where I was under the illusion that I could control my environment if I just worked hard enough–to learning the value of balance and the eventual acceptance of my diagnosis.