Month by month

I have a feeling that in the next few months Cowden Syndrome is going to show me how much of a witch she really is.

Possible nodal metastasis. Are you freaking kidding me right now?

Help

I really don’t think I have had any problems in asking for help.

Before diagnosis, that is.

I distinctly remember a moment in time December 2011. This was just 5 months after having 2 brain surgeries and also getting diagnosed with Cowden Syndrome. I wasn’t in therapy at that time either.

I was in my mom’s bedroom, and we were discussing something, that which I can’t remember. But I do remember this: Experiencing the most intense panic and fear and anxiety where I felt I was going to die. Literally die. Now, I had that terror right before being wheeled in to the OR on July 27, 2011. That I would not wake up.

But back to that day in December.

I knew I needed help.

And, I asked for help and received it.

#gratitude

Stop it

I thankfully just avoided a panic attack. I’ve been through this for so many years but the anxiety just doesn’t stop.

At times my head (skull) itches. I’m sure the nerves healed after both brain surgeries in a weird way which causes the odd itchy places.

I was rubbing my usual itchy spots (right near the incision) just now and I swear I heard (felt) a type of crunchy sound. That’s new. That’s weird. Then it hit me. Hard.

I’m grateful I was home with my mom. I started the 5,4,3 thing (which I don’t know if I did it correctly) but it helped ease me down.

Nine years after brain surgeries and I’m still no better at accepting and coping with Lhermitte-duclos Disease.

Almost a month’s time

I can’t believe it was about a month ago that I passed out and hit my head. It seems like it happened yesterday morning. I haven’t slept in my bed for the past several weeks because sadly I get pretty moderate anxiety at night thinking it’s going to happen again.

Trying to get the EEG scheduled; frustrating as hell. Last week I also spent 35 minutes on the phone (on hold) trying to schedule an appointment for podiatry and to see a hand specialist: and after the 35 minutes I wasted I still didn’t have an appointment scheduled for either!

Positive note: I found 2 Christmas CD’s at a thrift store and am in the process of trying to get the music on my phone. One CD synced OK but the other one will not. Going to try again in the morning.
PPS don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Insta!

Post 1001 or what I remember from my black-out

You know, never in a million zillion years did I ever think I’d have brain tumors, let alone blacking out, hitting my head, and taking a ride in an ambulance! Yet here we are.

This incident was just a few days ago but it seems like yesterday. (A little back story: I have something wrong with my left thumb joint. For the last few months I have been feeling a lot of pain, and I mean a LOT of pain, and a “double-jointedness” on the joint right below my thumbnail. In other words, arthritis. – SIDE NOTE: I am reminded of a story of one of my little nephews. When he was a kid he called his Big Toe his “Thumb Toe”. Isn’t that the sweetest? ❤

Anyway, back to my story: It was around 4 am and I woke up to use the restroom and I always take my thyroid pill around this time. I remember opening the lid with my left hand and I got a shooting pain (I used the word excruciating) in my thumb and the next thing I remember I’m laying flat on my back on my bedroom floor. And I didn’t crumple like a little flower mind you; I hit the floor like a lead brick. I remember somehow getting to my bed and thinking to myself, “I should yell for Mom to come help me.”

The next thing I remember I am in the restroom trying to finish my business and I remember toilet tissue in my hand. Then, I am again crumpled on the floor, the back of my head is killing me, and my Mom is in my face screaming, “Heather! Are you OK? Heather! What happened?”

She said I stood in her bedroom doorway and told her, “Mom, I need your help” and I crumpled onto the floor and she heard the thud of my head against the wall. I’m not going to lie, I’m getting a good amount of anxiety as I am writing this. I want to share this with you and also to document my life today. When I am gone I want others to know how hard I tried, especially my nephews. I want to them to know how much I love them with a love that fills a thousand oceans to infinity. How they give me more joy and the strength to carry on. How hard I tried to be positive and never give up. How hard I tried not to be bitter about my lot in life.

 

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Thank you in advance my friends, dear readers, and family!

As I write this early this morning, I have my next FNA on my thyroid. This issue has been going on for 12 months and we still do not have any answer on whether this (spot) is a lymph node, thyroid tissues, cancer regrowth, or what. My hunch is that it’s my thyroid growing back as I had my gigantic tonsils removed in the early 90’s and they are also growing back.

I have a driver. I will be sedated. This isn’t my first rodeo so I thankfully have some tips to help myself during this.

I’m not going to lie. It’s an ordeal. It’s more than just “shoving a needle in my haystack neck hoping to find the damn needle.” 🙂 The procedure isn’t for another 3 hours and I’ve been awake since 4 AM trying to mentally prepare for it.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. I should go clean my room. Happy Friday!

 

Over-freaking-whelmed

I’m feeling very overwhelmed. My anxiety is getting out of control and I even took an Ativan last night. That wasn’t the best decision as I’ve been awake since 2:15 AM. #fail

I’m not over the resentment and bitter anger I have towards the Disability “Judge” who denied my claim for disability.  I wish I could remember what he looked like and I wish I could run into him on the street.  I would give him a piece of my mind.

Managing a Rare Disease life is a full time job, obvi.  It’s quite difficult for me to keep my head above water, to remember when appointment/scan is coming up next, etc. etc.  Now, add to THAT stress the pressure of a full-time job, too.  Yes, I know how incredibly blessed I am to have been hired.  Yes, I know how incredibly lucky and grateful I am to have a place to go earn money.  Yes, I know all of this. Regardless of my knowledge it’s still very difficult for me. I try to put on a brave face, but I’m on the verge of a breakdown most days.

I try to make the conscious decision each day NOT to think of the brain tumors.  I think about my cats, my family, my car maintenance, finding a good book to read, etc.

But, I won’t lie and say I do it or that it’s easy.  These damn tumors have taken my confidence, (what little I had anyway.)

Walking into the job each day I feel like a fraud.  I feel like people are looking at me and judging me accordingly.  Granted, I haven’t told anyone (besides a select few) about my medical status because I know, I just know, that it would be used against me and I’d lose this job.

Now that I’ve come this far – lost other insurance, procedures got denied, had to get a new doctor, my other doctors weren’t covered for me to see, blah blah blah. I have to see this through ’til I’m dead.

Watched some news.  Going to exercise. Need to make a plan besides writing and reading blog posts all day.  Happy Labor Day!

Guest post – Meet “C”

Thank you Social Media for connecting me with other warriors who are living and thriving with Cowden Syndrome.  I am pleased to introduce you to “C”

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First I wanted to say thank you so much to Heather for being so passionate about making sure that awareness is spread about genetic rare syndromes and diseases and such. It is such an amazing thing that she is doing and helps so many people!

So hi! My name is “C” and I am a medical weirdo (my own term for myself) I have Cowden Syndrome, an AVM in my left forearm, and as an offshoot of my Cowden Syndrome I have recently started a journey with Thyroid Cancer, and I have Generalized Anxiety.

I was diagnosed with my AVM when I was in fourth grade after going to a friends birthday party, playing dodgeball with soccer balls which is never a good idea. I near the end of the game I was hit on my left forearm with a soccer ball, my left arm swole up and I ended up going to the ER that night. Needless to say none of the doctors I went to that first year had any idea what was going on with my arm, one thought it was a type of fracture that would’ve shown up in a couple days, another thought it was some overexertion of a swelling thing (I don’t exactly remember what it was called), and another one thought it was some cancer like thing. And it wasn’t. I eventually was diagnosed with an AVM and then a few years later after growing a thing in my foot I was finally diagnosed with Cowden Syndrome.

And as a result of all of this, I deal with Anxiety on a day to day basses, which I eventually got on meds to help me with.

A couple of months ago my doctors wanted to do a baseline scan of my thyroid because people with Cowden are at higher risk for Thyroid Cancer. Soo they did the scan and found two nodules on my Thyroid (one for each lobe/side). They did a Thyroid Biopsy (which ends up feeling like a huge bruise for a couple days afterword), and a couple days ago we got the results back. Turns out I have cancer, but it is undetermined how much cancer there is or what to do with it. A small part is definitely cancer, another part definitely not cancer, then the majority of it is something they can’t tell whether or not it is Cancer because of the fact that my P10 is the only thing they are picking up.

Sooo, now that I’ve told my story I wanted to just say that if you are one of the really cool people who have a genetic rarity you are not broken. Just because you are different from everyone else and can’t do some stuff that others can doesn’t mean that you are less than or unworthy of being a human being. And I know some of you probably wanted to punch me for the first sentence of this paragraph but you are really cool! You have this unique point of view that could maybe help someone else, and you have this way of thinking that helps you be empathetic to others who are struggling. So you really are a cool person!

If you would like to connect with “C” – her Instagram account can be found here.  ❤

Financial status 2019

Hi there.  It’s been a while; I’m still here.

I think I have written many times about my toxic financial situation post diagnosis of Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease.  For the sake of time, I’ll try to snapshot it here:

  • I’m in debt over $20,000 on my credit cards as I have been forced to live on them, since I can no longer do what I once did for employment.
  • I have kicked around this idea for months, the bankruptcy idea.  I have prolonged it as long as I could because my ego and credit score. 🙂
  • I also owe over $35,000 in student loans (you know, the whole career thing I had planned before having 2 brain surgeries, et al.)

I called one of my creditors this morning to find out about any hardship programs they offered.  Currently, my monthly payment is $395.  Guess what program I qualify for with them?  A 5 year program with a monthly payment of $370.

Huh?

Am I missing something here?

So, bankruptcy is next.  I have an appointment the end of February to see an attorney to just get this done and over with.  (NOTE:  The filing fee for bankruptcy is $1875.)

So, if you happen to see or hear from me and I am riddled with anxiety, or so depressed I cannot get out of my bed, or I’m distant or just seem off – please know it’s because life is a lot right now.  It is literally costing me money to live – and I am going deeper in the hole every moment of every day.

Pretty grim right now for me, tbh.

If you happen to see me on Twitter and see my posting about my GoFundMe or my Teespring store, would you do me a solid and share then for me please?

Thank you.  Until next time.

July 4 2018 AKA My Movie Night

Hello.  I am home watching one of the best movies, ever along with this show.  I am forever #TeamShane!

And, I’m wearing ear plugs.

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I wonder if any other people living with brain tumors have increased hearing sensitivity.

My anxiety is through the roof as I’m already anticipating the gun shots fireworks in a few hours. Taking an Ativan and calling it an early night!