Feeling Far from Home

by Melissa Brunner

I love Topeka, it's my home now, but sometimes it just stinks to be 700 miles from my first home and the family there.

Today, for example, is the last day for my mom at the job she's held the past 37 years. The JCPenney store where she works is closing. The store and her coworkers were a big part of my life. And, yes, our back-to-school clothes always included "Super Cords." (Anyone remember those from the late 70s/early 80s? I have vague recollections of a robot in their ads. But I digress.)

Also today, my 9-year old nephew underwent his second brain surgery of the week. Owen is the one with Neurofibromatosis that I've told you about before. When he developed his first brain tumor at age 4, they put in a shunt to drain fluid from the right side of his brain. After a major seizure Sunday, doctors discovered fluid putting pressure on the left side of his brain, too, so today they had to basically poke a hole to give that fluid a way to drain as well.

Thank goodness for smart phones, web sites and text messaging! They can make you feel so close - and so far away at the same time. My sister sent me a photo of Owen giving a "thumbs-up" just before being wheeled to the operating room this morning. Nice to see his smile!

All today's outlets also bring something else - a lot of support and prayers from people you don't even really know. Messages about Owen on my pages and my family's have been met with promises of prayer and good thoughts from so many people. It's all very much appreciated. Owen should hopefully be out of the hospital by the end of the weekend and back to basketball in no time!

Big virtual hugs to all... and counting the weeks til I can give them in person - I told Owen we'd bring Bam Bam for a visit this spring!

For info on NF, visit www.ctf.org.


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