Smiling, Angels & Power Shorts

Have you ever taken the little things for granted? I know I have. I never thought that the ability to smile was such a big deal. We smile everyday without even thinking about it. Nonverbal cues are a large part of our communication and smiling, for me, is part of my self-expression. If you know me, I’m always smiling.

My ability to smile could’ve disappeared with this surgery. Dr. Lin warned me a number of times about the risks; the risks were pretty grave if the nerve was entangled by the tumor. Unfortunately, my tumor was wrapped around my facial nerve inside of my Parotid gland. No wonder I had pain in my face!! This facial nerve controls my ability to smile among other facial expressions. Luckily, Dr. Lin and his team were able to remove the tumor without damaging the nerve.  I can still smile!



I have a big smile on my face right now. I am so fortunate that my tumor wasn’t cancerous! I am also quite lucky that I can squint my eyes and make my pout-face. Yes, these are all minor things, but things that I have taken for granted until now.

I am so fortunate that I got the tumor out when I did.  Can you imagine if it grew more?  I could have damaged my nerve permanently or made it virtually impossible for the doctors to get it out. I may have a scar, but it’s minor sequel compared to what could have been. 

So many factors came into play that helped me make it through this surgery. I really believe that my health and fitness level aided in the success of this surgery. All of your prayers and well wishes played a huge role in my triumph. Especially, my grandmother’s prayers and all of the angels she gave me. I love positive energy!! The power of positive energy is so much more significant that we can imagine. As well, I had a great team of doctors and nurses at Mass Eye and Ear. And, of course the shorts gave me the super-human powers that all CrossFit girls have. 



Me, “Stacie Tovaring it” in the hospital


5 thoughts on “Smiling, Angels & Power Shorts

  1. Glad to hear things went well. Are they recommending any lifestyle changes or is it back to everyday life like this never happened?

  2. Nancy Sideri says:

    Hi Alicia,
    I’m so happy that this is behind you. In my heart I knew it was always going to turn out well for you. It had to. I felt like I was looking in a mirror when you expressed your feelings before the surgery and now after. Now that its behind you, even though it may not seem so now, but your life will be that much more enriched as a result of this. A wise old owl (my mom) told me this: We get what we can handle and it only makes the strong stronger! Look out world if the already strong Alicia gets STRONGER!!!! Take care and see you soon……..
    Just another wise OLD owl,

  3. Steven Whitten says:

    Hi Alicia! I had no idea that you were having surgery of this magnitude. I’m so glad everything went well and you are pushing through. I have all the faith and confidence in you that you can recover greatly from this. You are certainly a role model for hard work and positive attitude.
    Get Well,
    Steven Whitten

  4. spartanracer says:

    My Mrs went exactly through the same thing you just did last January. She read your previous post about the tumor discovery and was nodding at every sentence. It’s a hell of a rough patch to get through, from where I’m sitting, and I’m sure it was worse for you. Glad you got through it, and that the facial nerve was not touched. Keep trainin’s and keep healin’. 🙂

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