I was going through the Facebook Enoji’s this morning to see which one I would choose if I was posting anything. There are SO MANY that I could pick right now. Confused, surprised, scared, determined, blessed, loved…just to name a few.
And then I went down to the deli earlier this morning and the sweet lady who was ringing up my Tylenol said “Are you ok? You look bad.” Gotta love brutal honesty, right?
You ever leave work at night with a horrible stress headache? And it’s no big deal. It’s a headache like you’ve had a hundred times before. I’ve never been a person who handles stress very well. Growing up I would throw up and get migraines that were supposed to be caused from stress. It’s all I’ve ever known, so the headaches and inability to hold food down lately are nothing new. I’ve had CAT scans and MRI’s in the past, but they were always normal.
I woke up on Friday, October 18 with swelling on the left side of my face. It was odd, but I figured it was just some sinus junk because I was having sinus symptoms. I started having numbness on my left side. For lack of a better way to put it, I felt off. My balance is off, I’m walking into things, and make myself dizzy driving. So I went to the doctor last Monday hoping he could help me feel better. He was unsure as to what was going on, so he scheduled me for an MRI on Tuesday. On Wednesday, during our Kidd’s Kids Day show, he called and told me that the MRI showed a mass that wasn’t supposed to be there. Next thing I know a neurosurgeon is calling me to tell me when I’m coming in for an appointment. WTH? He ordered and other MRI (which are $1,300 out of pocket each) and saw that yep. There’s something there that doesn’t belong.
I have a tumor on my brain stem. The tumor itself is benign. They could leave it there if it weren’t on the worst possible spot on my brain. I think. It won’t respond to chemo or radiation, so the only way to get rid of it is surgery. They scheduled it for this Wednesday. I went to see the second neurosurgeon who will operate on me and he postponed the surgery. I wanted to get it done in time to recover for the Kidd’s Kids trip, but there is too much swelling in my brain. I’ve got non-bacterial meningitis that is causing the swelling. Removing the tumor would be too difficult and dangerous with the swelling, so I’m on steroids to try and reduce it. If the steroids work, I will be having surgery to remove the tumor after the Kidd’s Kids trip. The meningitis is here because flakes of the tumor have come loose and mixed with my spinal fluid. So here I am.
Here’s the rundown. This tumor is a genetic defect on my brain. It is slow growing. I’ve had many cat scans and MRI’s before, but it’s not been noticed. It looked like spinal fluid. But it’s grown enough now and is putting enough pressure on my brain stem that it’s a problem. The surgeons will not be able to remove it completely, but they will do what they can. The surgery will last about a 2 hours. I will spend a couple days in ICU, then a few days in a regular room, and then be released. The recovery time will be at least 2 weeks. The surgery is risky because it can cause nerve damage. I could have paralysis on my face, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and I can’t remember what else.
It’s a lot to take in and I’m not a doctor and I’ve been pretty out of it the past few days, but that’s how I understand it to be. So if you have a second to ask God to please help me out with this dang brain tumor, the tumor and I would both appreciate it.