I have a vague recollection of wanting to write something brain tumor-ish these last few days. Of how I feel so silly most of the time because I nod along with people as if I have a clue what they are talking about. When in reality, I have no idea. When will I be found out? When will others know I am full of crap? When I get clarity on a situation when I had no idea I didn’t understand it from the start: FRUSTRATION times infinity.
Sometimes, I feel like Joey in that Friends episode with the encyclopedias.
At some point in my life I believe I carried a song in my heart.
It’s not there anymore. 😦
My diagnosis of Lhermitte-duclos Disease and then Cowden Syndrome disrupted my life so completely that even 7 years later I am still reeling. Trying to find my balance and inner strength.
I am so very thankful to have gotten through these last few months relatively unscathed. 🙂 The EGD and colonoscopy was rough, but completed. And then breast MRI was “easier” than I remembered! The only negative thing I immediately noticed is my shoulders were very sore (you lay on your stomach with your arms stretched overhead). Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Also, I haven’t received a telephone call from my oncologist. I breathe a huge sigh of relief from that as I know from experience I would have gotten an immediate call had there been an issue or concern.
Today I have errands to run, appointments to complete, and blood to be drawn from my arm. I best get going and I hope you all have a great day today!
Since my diagnosis in 2011 of Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease, I seem to have fine-tuned my toxic meter for people in my life.
Either people who were in my life and no longer are, or those in my life that I literally run from.
I know what to do now.
There are about 18 different directions I could take this prompt. However, since this is a Rare Disease Awareness and Advocacy blog, why don’t I write about how my life suddenly changed on July 18, 2011?
If we go back to the beginning, see this post about what led me here. (Boy, I just took a few minutes and re-read those posts from the
early dark days. My anxiety is full-bore right now…I am so thankful that time of my life is over.)
Sometimes I wish I only had the brain tumors, and not Cowden Syndrome also. It seems like my energy could be put to better use if I was focusing on healing and recovering from just one condition, not two. HAHA.
Yet, life doesn’t roll like that for me. I do have this thing called Cowden Syndrome and sometimes it’s a beast to carry. This month I have a lot of medical procedures and I am already nervous about them. I have tried to focus my energy on other things (reading, volunteering, etc.) but I know I will be slapped upside the head come next week. I feel this need at times to “be prepared” but some days I want to put my head in the sand and not come back to reality for like 2 months.
Next week I have the colonoscopy and EGD scheduled; really really really really not looking forward to that again. I tell the doctors every time that I need to be sedated before going in. Not one doctor has listened to me and I have such huge PTSD for anything related to surgery/procedures that I have a full blown anxiety attack right before I go under. And that sucks eggs. Bad. I pray this time is different because I met the doctor at my pre-op who will be the one doing the procedure, and I begged him for something before going in. He got it! Please keep your fingers crossed that it will be smooth sailing. 🙂
I am not even going to discuss the EGD right now. Denial is a wondrous thing at times.
The last week of March I have the breast MRI. I don’t want to write about that either as I want to enjoy a bit longer my trip on the River Denial.
My hope is that if I can reach just one person who might say to themselves, “What’s a Rare Disease? What’s Cowden Syndrome? What’s Lhermitte-duclos Disease?” then all I’ve endured so far will be worth it. I wish someone (friend or medical personnel) would have told me in 2011 that I am not alone, and that I will be OK.
How appropriate today’s daily prompt is! As I am pondering this early Saturday morning a few things keep going over in my mind:
Life is messy. It just is.
What matters is what do you do with it, right? I know I say that often, but I want to keep reminding myself that although my (medical) life is out of control, and that directly affects all other areas of my life, I am still here! I can and should still exert control (my choices, rather) on what I do and do not want to do with my life. My bedroom is a hot mess. My closet is a hot mess. My hair is a hot mess. My car is a hot mess. I guess I just have embraced the messy because I feel that’s a representation of my life. (!!!!!!!!)
Gosh, who knew that blogging could be such great therapy, LOL. That’s exactly it. I’ve been absorbed into the mess that is my life and cannot find a way out of it.
YET, I do have a choice!
Even if it’s as simple as reading a good book. Or listening to music I enjoy. Or cleaning out the trunk of my car.
Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease robbed me of the life I hoped and dreamed to have: Mother, wife, blah blah blah. When you have no dreams or hopes and feel your life is a mess…ew that’s just too much for any one person to handle.
I am reminded I only have to “handle” today. I will finish this blog post and and start on my laundry. Then, I will make sure I make time to pick up this book that I have been trying to finish for years!
Thank you for being here! ❤
What are you doing today?
No one should live in constant fear of a brain tumor growing or one day getting diagnosed with cancer.
No one should. Ever.
However, I do.
My task is now managing fear of the unknown while trying to enjoy the life I’ve been given.
During my recovery from the brain surgeries someone told me, “Oh Heather. You’re so brave. I couldn’t do what you’re doing.”
Ugh, that comment still makes my blood boil, even years later. I get that she was trying to be supportive or caring, but believe me that isn’t the way to go about it.
I am not brave. I am not courageous. I wasn’t climbing a mountain or swimming with sharks for Pete’s sake.
I was trying to not die.
As I have written many times before, this blog is my safe space, literally, to get pissed about what is going on in my life now, usually my struggles and heartaches as I work to process brain tumors and Rare Disease. I will always be honest here and to myself. I owe myself at least that much. It’s not pretty most days; thank you to those who are with me on this!
But, changing gears just a bit, I am really excited for this year’s Rare Disease Day.
Each year since my diagnosis I’ve hoped and always wanted to plan something “big”. A few years ago I was able to hold a fundraiser and the money raised was donated to Global Genes and the PTEN Foundation.
That event was so incredible and I was able to have Jaana, my awesomely talented friend take photos of the event. It was such a great time!
Unfortunately, this year I wasn’t able to plan anything.
BUT, I do have something else going on to bring awareness for Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease and I can’t wait to show it to you all!