I have a what in my where?
Highlands TodayIt isn't every day you learn you have a brain tumor. I have to admit, I was more than a little perturbed at this revelation.
Published: November 24, 2012
Published: November 24, 2012
The journey into my brain functioning began last year after I had a seizure, and I suppose I should consider myself fairly fortunate that my neurologist has been so interested in keeping track of my gray matter.
I had an MRI last week and Friday I received a cryptic message to call my neurologist first thing Monday morning — but to tell you the truth, any message left by a doctor's office never sounds exciting.
I was working Monday, but I called to make an appointment. They wanted me in there as soon as I could come. Could I make it today? No. How about tomorrow? No, I would be working then too. Would Wednesday work? Yes, first thing at 9 in the morning.
Even though I attempted to badger the receptionist, there would be nothing divulged over the phone. I knew this, but I thought I'd try anyway.
Then I remembered that I work in the hospital which had administered my MRI and all I had to do was go sign a little paper and they'd give me my results at the radiology desk. I would have to wait if I wanted a copy of the CD, but I wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway so what would it matter?
One word popped out at me from the impression section of the results: schwannoma. Any word that ends in "oma" means tumor. My anxiety level exploded and I hit up Google for more information.
I learned that this tumor was usually benign, or not cancerous, and can be removed by surgical procedures.
A picture of a man in a mask with a hooked probe jabbing around in my brain flashed through my head, but I immediately blocked it out.
The measurement noted was 6 x 7 mm, which is a little bigger than a pencil eraser, so it wasn't like I had some baseball-sized sac pushing out my eyeball. Good to know.
I went through all the stages of emotion: anger, sadness, denial, grief and acceptance.
The wait was agonizing, but my sister accompanied me to my appointment. She got off work to go.
My neurologist walked in the room: "So, I brought you in today to talk with you about …"
I interrupted, "My schwannoma?"
He asked, "Who told you that?"
I said, "I had my report printed from the MRI because I didn't want to wait so don't butter up the details, just tell me what this means and what the plan of action is."
He responded, "You were supposed to come in here and let me tell you in a calming way so you didn't get upset."
My sister said, "Well, she didn't let that happen, did she?"
The plan is to monitor for six months and see if and when we need to cut that sucker out. My friend, Tonya, has high hopes that its removal will change my political affiliation and help me become a better dancer. She is such an optimist.
In the meantime, everyone is being super supportive and I'm trying not to be too upset that I am carrying around a Coco Puff-sized lump that may or may not cause me some issues.
Let's just say I've got my finger hovering over my mental panic button … for now.