Those directly affected by the repercussions of this pandemic, as well as my family and community of AN survivors and their friends and family, have been on my heart and mind for months now.
At the same time as communities all over the world are in various stages of shut down, while others are enjoying, as well as panicking over, partial openings, this is the 8th Annual ANAwareness week. (It’s weird having been around long enough to be there at the beginning of something.) ANAwareness started in 2013 to elevate the community’s understanding of this common/uncommon tumor many of us are intimately familiar with. I’ve attempted to do something creative every year to mark the occasion, and to pay it forward.
I was going to just write a blog post like I have done for many years (see below) but then, people were doing parody songs right and left about the virus, washing hands, social distancing and loneliness. I got into the act in April with a video about how much I enjoy being an introvert.
While I was working on the “Introvert” parody, on one of the many Facebook social media pages, member Michael Putnam posted lyrics for a parody song about having an acoustic neuroma. We sent messages back and forth about finishing the lyrics and getting it recorded, and he basically handed it off to me. I thought it was a perfect way to bring a little levity and education together.
I’m very lucky to have some very talented friends, who took the lyrics that Michael wrote and I tweaked. This is what we ended up with. Enjoy.
I am very aware of how lucky I am to have had people to reach out to and lean on back then for both physical and emotional support. Thank you for reading this far. Know that every day is a celebration in my heart, even the shitty days when I can’t hug you because I wouldn’t want to put anyone’s health at jeopardy. And please know that if you are standing less than 20 feet away, that never would have stopped me before.
And wash your hands. Stay home if you can. Stay safe if you can’t.
Also know that if you have been diagnosed with, and/or treated for an acoustic neuroma, you are not alone.
BTW, I have a follow-up MRI this month, my first in four years, but honestly, i’m more nervous about being physically in the hospital environment than the results. I’d wait a year, but insurance is changing in June, so unless new symptoms warrant it, I plan this to be the last follow-up. Ever.
Mayor Kelli Linville of Bellingham, Washington, issued a Mayoral Proclamation to acknowledge the City of Bellingham’s first Acoustic Neuroma Awareness Week in 2015.
I did just regular blog posts in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Also in 2017, I made this ANAwareness video, and then in 2018 I made this video in ASL. Bad cuts and bad resolution, it’s a camera I no longer use.