NOTE: I'm taking my article a little on the personal side today. Thanks for reading. -Michael

Facebook "Memories" are usually fun reminders of things in your life because most of us post and share mostly happy things. Maybe today an awesome vacation picture from last year popped up, or you relived some good times at a kid's birthday party, or a night on the town with friends. It's always fun to see the Memory posts from the day you got a puppy or bought a new car. Sometimes your Memories will remind you of sad times, like the passing of a loved one or other heartache.

Every now and then a Memory will pop up that can bring you a wide degree of emotions. Today is that day for me because it was ten years ago today, 2/2/2011, that I experienced one of the most terrifying times of my life. Sure, I'm acting all calm and cool in the picture above, but I can assure you I was anything but. Despite my outward demeanor, I was FREAKING THE F* OUT inside and my blood pressure was so high that they had to delay the surgery for a little bit until medication could bring it down to safe enough levels for the procedure.

A few months prior to this hospital room photo, I started getting weird double vision. A succession of increasingly specialized doctor appointments led to MRIs and CT scans that in turn led to the discovery of a thumb-sized benign blob in my head. It was not cancerous and I hate to use the term brain tumor not only because it sounds terrifying, but also because my little "friend" taking up space in my skull was technically not *in* my brain. This little blob of unwanted material decided it wanted to grow in the petrous apex region of my inner skull. Tucked up real nice and tight by the carotid artery and other pretty important stuff, basically in the lower center of my head.

My neurosurgeon in Billings told me he wouldn't touch it, comparing his attempt to "blindly punching a hole through this hospital door with my hand." I appreciated his candor and the subsequent referral to a specialized surgeon at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake. The 6+ hour surgery was obviously a success (I'm still here!) and I came away without any damage or long term problems (knock on wood).

I don't hate seeing this Memory pop up every year, but I still get a little knot in my stomach when it comes around every year. Anyone who has ever had a risky, major surgery can probably relate. For me, it's a great reminder that our lives are all pretty fragile and affirms that YOLO should be more than a hashtag.

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