Friday, August 8, 2014

No, there really is NOT a good kind of brain tumor!

I am all wound up right now. We went out to take the cat to the vet (cat is okay).  Talked to the vet about my scar from my brain surgery.  When she asked, I told her I had a meningioma.  She said "oh, at least you had the good kind".  Boy, did that set me off!  No, I did not yell at the vet.  I smiled and left.

I know, I know.  Compared to what it  could have been, I am "lucky".  As lucky as having a brain tumor.   As lucky as having something inside my head that didn't belong there.  As lucky as having my life disrupted for the last 5 months!  I CAN walk and talk and think and read and do almost everything I could do before.  But, I had my head cut open.  I have a scar where my head was cut open.  I have a metal plate and four screws that will be in my head for the rest of my life.

I am grateful to the team that did my surgery and helped me start getting my life back.

But I am also mad.  Pissed off.  This is a big huge deal .  Grow a tumor and have brain surgery if you think it isn't.

I am selfish.  I want my energy back.   I want my independence back.  I want my head to stop itching and hurting where the ingrown hairs are developing.  I want to stop aching all over from the drugs I have to take.

I am tired.  I am kind of depressed.    If I wasn't already in my house and at my home, I might cry "I just want to go home!"

I am almost 8 weeks out from my surgery.   I can't say really how I feel.  No pain.   No more headaches.  My head itches like crazy at times.   I feel frustrated.  I am tired.

Some people with the same type of brain tumor as mine are only just feeling "normal" after 6 months or even a year.   It was hard enough being me before all of this, but now I find it even harder.   Nick does so much around the house, and with the cooking,  he gets defensive when I ask for more.    But we are so different that even after 42 years of marriage, sometimes I just don't get it.    I cannot stand to sit. It feels like wasting time.  Even when I watch TV, I am usually knitting.   Of course I do waste time, by looking at facebook and reading email.

I am usually a very high energy person, off and running full speed ahead..  But I am not driving yet- not sure if I am ready or not.  I get tired of asking for help.    I get tired of needing help.  I get tired of being tired! 

Nick is retired.  I know, intellectually, that he is entitled to rest and take time off.  He has worked hard for years.    But it makes me think of the time, many years ago, when he said "when we retire..."  I don't grasp the concept.  I don't want to stop.    I am semi-retired from cooking because after cooking for a family of seven, plus half the neighborhood, I am pretty much done.  When I am ready, I may start to cook again

I hear people on TV who say that going through tough times has made them appreciate life's little joys much more.   I do understand that feeling.  I am glad that I am still alive and don't have any major impairments.   Really I am.  But I cannot be a Hallmark card swirling around with rainbows all over.   I do see the dust on the floors.   I am sorry.  Maybe I need a brain transplant next time.    I also see that Nick works really hard at keeping the kitchen counters clean, because he knows I do care about that.   Thank you Nick!

After my mother had her massive stroke (at just a year older than I am now), the first word she said, once she could speak, was "shit".   I think, like it or not, I am my mother's daughter!

That's my tumor before it was evicted! 

A meningioma is a type of tumor that develops from the meninges, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. There are three layers of meninges, called the dura mater, arachnoid and pia mater. Most meningiomas (90 percent) are categorized as benign tumors, with the remaining 10 percent being atypical or malignant. However, the word benign can be misleading in this case, as when benign tumors grow and constrict and affect the brain, they can cause disability and even be life threatening.

Meningioma is the most common type of primary brain tumor, accounting for approximately 30% of all brain tumors. Meningiomas originate in the meninges, which are the outer three layers of tissue between the skull and the brain that cover and protect the brain just under the skull. Meningiomas grow out of the middle layer of the meninges, called the arachnoid. When they grow, they press against the brain or spinal cord.

The most common symptoms are:
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness in your arms or legs
  • Numbness
Other symptoms include:
  • Loss of balance
  • Hearing loss
  • Memory loss
 None of these things are benign when they you have to deal with them, and your life is disrupted.

No foreign matter, "benign" or not, belongs in your brain.

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