Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 Update

Hi blog readers,

I took a necessary hiatus, and truthfully I’m not sure how much blogging I will continue to do in the future. I’ll have to feel it out.

I have been focusing on my brain surgery recovery. I still have various therapies several times a week, and I'm trying to enjoy my life as much as possible. I have several new deficits that I'm trying to correct, but it's a lot of work, and headway has definitely slowed.

I became very overwhelmed with this last brain surgery. In fact, there were some unexpected and damaging events that are taking me a long time to process. When I get severely overwhelmed, my whole body starts shutting down. Since I’ve been living with these brain tumors, and experiencing surgery after surgery, the stress created an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. From the advice of my various doctors, and specialists, I chose to stop the blog, and stop social media including emails and texts. 

Over the past several months I also had my DNA sequenced, and the most interesting finding is that I have two mutations on the same gene (one from my mom and one from my dad). These mutations are on the genes that detox stress hormones (like cortisol). Instead of being able to hear stressful things, witness stressful things, or experience stressful things, and process it out of my system, my body just keeps recirculating all the damaging hormones for weeks, or even longer. Because of these two mutations, I can feel the stress hormones in my body. I have anxiety attacks frequently, I get stress rashes, hives, and rarely sleep through the night. The circulating stress hormones do a number on my quality of life. But the most damaging aspect is that it causes the release of inflammatory cytokines that feed cancer. So anything that is negative, or hurtful, or overtly aggressive, or even perceived negativity, triggers a cycle of debilitating anxiety, and tumor growth. Stress literally kills me, it's written in my DNA.

I’m trying to mitigate my stress response, and release stressful things in my life, but I have a lot of internal fear and anxiety already. I have regular nightmares about my surgeries, and I still have a lot of physical and emotional pain. Because of all that, I have had to completely change my life.

I really appreciate those of you who have been patient and loving toward me at this time. And to those of you who voiced frustration, you are exactly why I had to protect myself from unkind, hurtful statements. 

I started this blog to keep my friends and family abreast of health developments. I could never have imagined it would bloom into a massive web presence. But at the core of this blog is just me. I’m just a woman trying to navigate her life as she lives with MRI after MRI, brain surgery, after brain surgery, after brain surgery, after brain surgery. And as if the demands of normal daily life weren’t enough, I have to find a way to remain positive in a nearly impossible situation.

I have been very fortunate to have so many kind, thoughtful, and special people that I have met along this journey. I hope to continue to blog, but I have to put my health first, even when it upsets people. I wish I wasn’t so sensitive, but so far, I can't seem to be able to adjust that aspect of my personality. I hope you can understand, and that no one takes my choices personally. 
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