Monday, October 27, 2014

October MRI Results

Of course, of course, of course, the day I go to get my MRI results, I have a seizure. (I was at 4.5 months seizure free. DAMN IT.) In fact, not to be outdone, I had two in quite close succession (a window of about 60 minutes. And it took forever to come back down from that short circuit. So stupid. It was humiliating, too. I was in the shower, and started feeling "off". I got out but was confused. I was walking back and forth in the house trying to figure out what what happening, all the while, curtains are peeled back throughout the house and I'm a drenched cat, totally naked. I couldn't think to dry off. Or manually get clothes on. Hopefully I didn't terrify pedestrians walking by. In those moments it's too difficult to even function. And the more you do the more it spurs increasingly aggressive seizures. So I made my way to the bedroom snatched a phone and hit redial. Lucky my mom answered. All I could say was, "mom, I am alone. I'm having a seizure. It's worse than normal. It's going to get bad. I may lose consciousness. Please call Dan to come home." Then I hung up. Once in bed I couldn't move, I was paralyzed. I couldn't feel my right side, then came the painful throbbing. It started in my right arm, and spread up to the brain, then it flushed out from my right hip until my whole pelvis was throbbing in pain. I had never had effects on my pelvis, so that's a new seizure detail. I also don't think I've ever had two seizures in one day. Not a record I wanted to break.

I still made it to the hospital this evening - just before they closed - with Dan's help, to get the radiology report. I had to.

Here it is:

Findings:
There has been prior left frontoparietal crainiotomy for tumor resection. A rim enhancing collection is again seen adjacent to the resection site. On today's study this measures approximately 4.1 x 1.2 cm. This is stable in size compared to previous. No new areas of enhancement are seen. There is unchanged surrounding FLAIR signal abnormality which extends to the ventrical margin.

The midline structures are central and the ventricles are stable in size with minimal ex vacuo dilation.

Impression:
Stable resection cavity and surrounding FLAIR signal when compared to multiple studies. No new enhancement is identified. 

It all looks pretty good to us, but of course we need the final analysis from Dr Linda Liau's tumor board at UCLA.

I would prefer that they didn't have anything on the report to measure (ex: 4.1 x 1.2 cm). But hopefully it's just innocuous. 

For now. I must rest for the remainder of the week. I am going on total and complete hibernation. 

We'll see how that goes. ;)

For tonight, we toast to more good health, to miracles, and hard work, and smiling, and laughter! It all seems to be working pretty well. 



Saturday, October 25, 2014

October MRI Completed


Just finished the MRI. Time in the tube really gets you thinking. To stop myself from worrying (especially when I can feel the contrast dye make its' way into the tumor cavity which terrifies me) I spent time repeating my mantra, "thank you, thank you, thank you". I forgave myself for not being able to eat healthy all the time. I forgave myself for not working out enough. I forgave myself for not being perfect. And I spent the rest of the time swollen with gratitude. I am so grateful for this life, this husband, this family - immediate and married into, I'm grateful for our amazing friends. I'm grateful to have a home to live in. I'm grateful that I'm capable of so much, like bending my body at yoga. I'm grateful to be alive, to be here on Earth. I'm grateful all the time, for everything. It's probably annoying, but it certainly makes me really happy even when life is unsure. I guess the thing I've learned recently, perhaps just now as I write this, is that you don't have to have answers to be happy. You don't have to have everything be good news, or the best life situation. Just by being grateful, and forgiving myself for my downfalls, my humanness, keeps me happy. What a cool ability, to have control of our minds. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Keeping Connected

Do you ever feel like you're living a movie? I do. And yesterday was the most hilarious illustration of it. I had a doctor's appointment in Ballard, so for the first time, I packed up my venom and secured it into the basket of my bike. I strapped on my too-tight helmet that I borrowed from my friend Meghan, and I started out on my ride. I had yet to ride on the street, so far I had only ridden at the park under Dan and Emma's watchful gaze. I wobbled on my squeaky bike, cool breeze on my face, passing block after block. There are probably a billion different ways to get down to Ballard from Green Lake, but being a newbie biker, I decided to punch the address into my Iphone so that she could just give me voice instructions as I peddled. I don't know if she sensed that I ate carrot cake the night before, but she picked the hardest hill, and since I was distracted sniffing all the sweet air reminding me that it's jamming season, I didn't have the opportunity to reroute, and before I knew it I was in serious trouble. Quads were burning, face flushed, a man even stepped out from his landscaping to ask playfully if I was going to make it. I hollered back over my shoulder, "I doubt it, this was a horrible idea!" I caught his big smile, and I pushed harder, lungs on fire. Luckily it was a quiet street so I could eventually wind back and forth like a sedated snake. At the top, from several blocks below I barely heard behind me, "Woo hoo! I knew you could do it!" I tossed a wave, and laughed. I couldn't help but absorb the charm of living life slow, the difference between driving everywhere and walking, or pedaling, and how connected it keeps us as humans.


That big hill was just the beginning of the trip, and as I was timid, afraid of cars, I found drivers stopping where there was no stop sign, just to let me cross over busy streets. Me on my rickety rusty buddy. It was amazing. I was having so much fun peddling all around Seattle, re-energized by the niceness of people. Other bikers probably sensed my newness, but I couldn't help but smile and laugh and soak up the experience. I checked out streets I'd never seen, saw plants I'd never known existed, read crazy Seattle homemade signs. (I love us, but we're weird up here.)

Isn't it fun how the littlest things can make you laugh for days? Even in the midst of a crazy life, even when dealing with heavy topics, life always has a way of balancing things out. It's beautiful.