May 4, 2020

Day 4 of Brain Tumor Awareness month and today I decided to share a little bit of data (that I could find) about the type of brain tumor I have: Gangliocytoma.  My understanding is that this is a very rare, but benign, brain tumor that makes up about 1% of all brain tumors.

Sadly, a few of the “main” brain tumor org’s I have found do not carry much, if any, data about Gangliocytoma.  Yes, they are rare.  Yes, they are benign.  But, it is still a type of brain tumor and the data that *is there should be included.  I think that is one of my biggest frustrations since diagnosis:  inclusion of *all types of brain tumors.

Anyway.  Below is one of the (few) links I have found in my research.  I pray that more data will be collected!

+Lhermitte-duclos Disease

 

May 3, 2020 a bit graphic

Day 3 of Brain Tumor Awareness month and I chose to share a picture from my v long recovery.

This photo was taken August 2011, about a week after my 2nd craniotomy. Not a pleasant sight.

May 2, 2020

Day 2 of Brain Tumor Awareness Month and I am 2 for 2!

I was thinking earlier about what I wanted to share today. I decided I would share a bit about where this blog began.

I began this blog the day after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I knew nothing; nothing about what was ahead for me. Oh, man. I was so naive! I miss that Heather, to be honest. That Heather knew pain, sure. But she was so little then! ❤ I wish I could go back and tell that Heather I will never forget her. I wish I would have hugged her a bit longer. 😦

If you click here you can read my very first post. I am very thankful that I have those early days that I can look back on.

Have a good evening. Thank you for being here.

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Please don’t forget to visit my Bonfire store – click here! and consider buying your custom t-shirt today! Thanks! 🙂

May is #BrainTumorAwarenessMonth

Hi everyone! So today marks the beginning of brain tumor awareness month and I am planning on doing something different over here on the blog. My plan goal is to write a blog post every day this month with facts about brain tumors, or what my life is like today 9 years post brain surgeries.

Now, I may take advantage of using either Twitter or Instagram to post, but that all depends on how I am feeling each day. (I haven’t yet written about my thyroid ultrasound this week and what that involved.)

So be sure to check out my social media accounts and let’s have a great Brain Tumor Awareness Month! You can follow #btsm, #btam, or #GoGrayInMay to get involved and/or read about other brain tumor advocates.

Good night and be in touch! 🙂

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Check out my social media accounts here and here, and also click here to check out my Bonfire store. Will you be able to purchase a shirt to support me (during Covid19) and my brain tumor and rare disease life? ❤ ❤ ❤ Thank you so much!

Bookz

I traded these at a Little Free Library today! Although reading is pretty hard for me post-op, I’ve had a deep love for books and reading since grade school.

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.

Rare Disease Days of Yore

LOL, I don’t know. 🙂

So, what was it about this RDD that was different? Why didn’t I feel as empowered as years past? Why didn’t I find something to do? Like in 2015 when I organized a fundraiser at a local gym? Gosh, I wish I knew. I don’t want to lose any steam ever on being a voice for Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease. But what gives? I really need to try to figure that out.

I have a hunch but will do some deeper pondering about it.

Yesterday I spent a very lazy day at home. My family was here, and we were watching old VHS movies from my high school days (very surreal!). I found myself just doing what I could to stay present. Remembering what I could from high school. Seeing and hearing my Dad on a video was such a shock and joyful moment at once. (He’s passed away)…

Even as I am writing this, I realize (finally?) that any day can be Rare Disease Day and I have the control! I suppose one of the things I am grateful for oddly enough post-diagnosis is that I have found my voice to advocate for myself. I never knew I needed it; but here we are and I CAN DO IT.

I didn’t think about anything health-related yesterday which is pretty damn awesome in my book. No brain surgery or hysterectomy memories, no “day-dreaming” of what my life will never be.

I just was.

With my family.

Safe.

And, I guess I couldn’t hope for much more than that.

Happy Sunday to you and yours.

Hope

I just finished my EEG and had one of the most spectacular technicians ever! She was awesome. Period. She is 100000000% in the right career field. She gave me hope that not all medical people suck!

While the test was rough (the flashing lights part was no good) she made it “less rough” (90’s R & B can make anything a whole lot better!) PLUS she listened to me.

Thank you Ms. P!

Tuck and roll

Since being diagnosed with Lhermitte-duclos Disease and Cowden Syndrome I have met so many doctors. (It’s now par for the course.)

There have been 2 doctors that have changed me for the better. They have helped me find my voice I never knew I had! I’ll tell you what, 8 years later – since diagnosis – if I don’t care for XY or Z, I will tell you and your entire office staff. Managers too! 🤗

Anyway, I worked with both doctors for 8 years, which is so interesting to me. Just the timing of it all. Dr. F I saw until 2011 and Dr. B ended today.

I could go on and on about today’s doctor, which I may do in another post, but tonight I’ll just say that I had to say goodbye to her today. She’s moving on; and to be honest the future of healthcare, MY healthcare, scares that hell out of me. If I think things are rough for me to manage and navigate now – imagine 20 years from now? Gah.

But moving on to my point of this blog post, she thanked ME. For allowing her into my life. Huh?!

Blergh I tried to be strong but she killed me there. I feel like such a burden to most people I know: and for HER to thank ME just has me stunned. 😳

There are people who should and SHOULD NOT be in the medical field: and she is one of the few people who are in the right career. Her future patients will be beyond blessed to have her! 💕

I feel sad and kinda like a part of me is now missing. Just gotta be. Sad. Tuck and roll baby. Tuck and roll!

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.