Memory Loss Due to Brain Surgery
by Gweneviere Mann
(New York, NY, USA)
Editor's Note: This is a true story of courage, determination, and hope.
UPDATE: Gweneviere Mann passed away July 22, 2018 from a rare form of lung cancer. This story page, which she submitted, will remain online in tribute to her, and additional Comments are welcome below. In honor of her memory, please consider making a donation to the Gweneviere Mann Foundation for brain and lung cancer research.
- Tuesday, October 12, 2010 -
GWEN: I'm 40 years old, and had brain surgery to remove a benign brain tumor in November of 2008. My brain tumor was located in the part of my brain where short term memory is.
Following my surgery I have been suffering from difficulties in both making and retrieving memories. I remember very little of what has happened over the past 2 years.
In 2011, Gweneviere was interviewed by NPR's Story Corps.
Listen to Gwen now in the video above.
Unfortunately, I am getting to the point in time where the doctors say that whatever isn't back, likely won't come back. So, I am facing the very real possibility of living the rest of my life without my memory.
How does this make me feel? I won't lie, it makes me feel terrified. But every day I wake up I remind myself of how lucky I am to be alive, and I vow to do what I can to make the most of what I have left. It's not a perfect life, but it's mine.
Although I have many friends and family members who have been there for me to support me through this difficult time, it is really hard to not feel alone on this road. Loss of memory is very difficult because life is
built on memories.
I often feel alone in the world, because life without memories can be very lonely. I feel disconnected from the world and from my friends. Even when I spend time with friends, I don't remember it the next day, and so it feels as if it never happened.
But I have worked hard on finding ways to make up for my memory loss and to feel more connected to the world around me. I make sure to keep in touch with people, I started a blog so I could share my experiences with people, and I joined a support group.
several times a day. I journal so I can remember what I have been doing, remember whether or not I've eaten, remember time spent with loved ones, remember something funny I saw on the subway, anything.
I also spend a lot of time exercising my brain
trying to get it back in shape. I ran across this website while doing searches for anything related to memory training. I use the site often and am thankful for it.
If you are reading this and are experiencing difficulties, remain strong and know you are not alone on your road.Doug's Reply:
Gweneviere, others around the world whose lives are affected by brain surgery or other causes of memory loss will surely be inspired by your courage, determination, and positive attitude. Hearing about your experiences makes me appreciate the good things in my own life all the more.
Thanks so much for sharing your story.
This is information only. It is not medical advice
, diagnosis, or treatment.