The lesser of 2 evils?

…but right at diagnosis (after the brain surgeries) I had 2 huge fears.  Fears that kept me up night:  that I would have to have the shunt and have to file bankruptcy.

Thankfully, I have avoided the shunt so far.

I met with an attorney today to discuss my bankruptcy options.

I feel: sad, depressed, scared, alone, anxious, and a ton of other emotions that I haven’t yet identified.

No one can tell me what to do.

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But, what do I do? 

 

2016 in review

I just did my taxes and I have to pay $607 in Federal and $120 in State taxes.

I am in shock.  And probably denial.  Is this really happening?

For anyone who’s heard lately of the GoFundMe scams, I assure you this isn’t a scam.  My life isn’t a scam.

My life is a mess.  My life is out of control.  My GoFundMe isn’t a scam.  Please believe me.

I think it’s time to look at bankruptcy.

 

EFF YOU COWDEN SYNDROME. 

EFF YOU LHERMITTE-DUCLOS DISEASE.

 

I hate you both so much.

Sharing with a colleague about Rare Disease Day and how I’m involved

Can’t stop thinking about it

I wasn’t going to write about this but since I can’t stop thinking about it, I suppose I should.

I was at the dermatology doctor a few days ago.  (I won’t go into the melanoma risks with Cowden Syndrome right now.)  When I exited the elevator and headed to the check-in window, I heard a loud male’s voice.  I could tell immediately that he was irate about something and was on the verge, if he wasn’t already, of making a scene.  The waiting room area is quite large, so I stayed far to the other end.  Come to find out, he was at the exact window I needed to be in order to check-in.

I made eye contact with one of the staff (who are protected behind a plate glass window, but whatev) and she said she could check me in for my appointment.  The man continued to yell, and I told the receptionist she needed to call security.  She did.

Then she finished my check-in steps and I was finished.  Yet, the man was still where I needed to be and he was still yelling.  I heard another female staff (I assumed a manager-type) trying to talk with him to calm him down.  I heard her say, “Do you need to go to the ER?” and then I heard her say, “If you keep saying things like that I will need to call security.” This guy then really escalates and starts yelling such vulgar and disgusting things (about) one or all the girls behind the plate glass window.

I watched this all unfold as the manager came over to the window I was at and asked the receptionist to call security.  I walked back near the elevators and restroom, and was wracking my brain of what I should do.  Hide in the restroom?  Get back in the elevator?  I didn’t know where the stairs were off hand.  I saw a young man with 2 little toddler girls by the restroom. I told him to get the kids away from the area because a guy was making a scene.

So, all this is playing out in slow motion for me.  I’m getting anxious now as I write this.

What seems like a second later, I see the security guard come off the elevator.  I told him, “Go that way!” and no sooner do I say that the irate man and I are face to face.  I leaned towards the right and bee-lined around him.  I heard the security guard say, “I need someone to tell me what’s going on here.”  And the nice man with the 2 toddler girls said something (helpful) as well, but I was already gone.

I walked over to the window (where I normally would have checked-in) and I said to one of the girls, “I don’t want to be out here.”  She buzzed me inside the doors and I waited there for a minute or 2 before she took me back to the exam room.

I couldn’t speak as I got to the exam room. I told them they probably didn’t want to take my blood pressure as it’d be through the roof.  I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my entire life.

 

Updates

I think I have posted some crowd funding links here in the past.  But, there have been a few changes to the links so I wanted to do a new post.

I created a storefront on Teespring a while ago.  I created custom t-shirts that have a two-fold purpose.  They can be conversation starters:  “What does ‘Ganglio What’ mean?  What does CHAMP signify?”

Maybe you don’t know the answers to those questions technically, but since you read my blog (hopefully continue to do so, hehe) you could say, “Oh.  A friend of mine has a brain tumor called Gangliocytoma.”  OR, “I follow a girl on Twitter who’s username is @ZHeatherChamp and I think she’s a champ too!” (insert smiley face here.)

If you bought one of those shirts you are helping bring awareness to my blog.  Which in turn brings a conversation about Rare Diseases.  Or brain tumors.  Or hereditary cancer syndromes.  Any of that!  Or all of that!  Win, win right? (Reason #1)

Reason #2, which is kind of a big deal, too.  I receive part of the purchase price to help me navigate my medical bills.  I won’t rehash the trauma.  It’s real and it’s bad.  😦

Thank you thank you thank you!  I’m forever grateful.

 

February 1, 2017 Daily Prompt: Resist

I have tried to do these things in the past, but since I’m not a writer I don’t do them all that often.  I wish I was a writer, and could write eloquently and express the things in my heart.  I usually just mush everything and end up writing the way I speak. #fail

Anyway, I saw the prompt for today and it resonated with me.  Time to pick it up and be the Blogger I only dream about!  🙂

Resist

For years after diagnosis, I resisted everything.  I don’t have brain tumors.  I don’t have a rare hereditary cancer syndrome.  I don’t have to go to the doctor all the time.  I’m not high-risk for breast cancer.  These brain tumors will not grow.  Resist.  Resist.  Resist.  

Only today, almost 6 years after diagnosis, am I starting to get a glimpse of acceptance.  Resistance is futile.  Especially when you have a sketchy medical status.  I can no longer resist what is.

I have 2 brain tumors.  I have Cowden Syndrome.  Resisting the reality of that is a recipe for disaster.  My life has been a disaster and continues so.

Today, I tell you I will try harder.  I will do better.  I will stop resisting.

Today.

I’m just plain sad

Years ago, I started to accumulate items for my Hope Chest.  Now, granted, I didn’t have one (nor have I ever had one),  but I sure wanted one.  And, I sure wanted the items that you’d store inside it.  Slow and steady, I started gathering items I was sure I’d need one day: baby clothes.

Well, today I stumbled across said items in a bag shoved under my bed.  Onesies, Christmas baby socks, newborn Halloween clothes.

And my heart broke a bit.

I realized that pretty much the only dream I ever had will not come true.  Cowden Syndrome robbed that opportunity from me.  Even if I just had the brain tumors, maybe I could have been a mother.  But, since Cowden Syndrome is a hereditary cancer syndrome, (Note:  Cowden Syndrome isn’t listed on that link.  #FAIL) there were outstanding odds I would pass this condition to my child.  (Even if I had had prospects for marriage, but that’s another thing entirely.)

But, I guess my point is:  I thought I had pretty much resigned myself to this fact.  The chance for motherhood will never be mine.  (The Chance).  No guarantees, I get it.  No way to know the future, sure.  But, even as I eked out my late 30’s, I still had a tiny bit of hope that I could be a mother one day.

So, in pondering about this tonight…I guess I am OK.  I thought I had done well with this whole thing, but seeing those baby clothes this morning brought up some angst that I had hoped was well hidden.

It wasn’t.

I’m sad.  I’m lonely.  I’m alone.  I’m just plain sad.  Sad that I know what Cowden Syndrome is.  Sad that I know what Lhermitte-duclos Disease is.  Sad that this is my life.

I’m only acknowledging this here.  I try to put the hard, nitty-gritty stuff here.  And, then get up and take care of business.  Volunteering, continuing strengthening my spiritual self, living my life the best way I can.

Sleep will be good for me.  Tomorrow is a new day.

I will work hard on leaving the sad here.

Goodnight.

 

 

For the record

Once you get diagnosed with a chronic medical condition – you see who your true friends really are.

(Or aren’t, as the case may be.)

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EDIT:  This post in no way reflects my feelings towards those special few people who have donated to my GoFundMe account these last few days.  I am very grateful to you all.  Thank you. ❤