Brain Cancer? Really?!?

Hi there. I'm still confused about how excited I am that I found this website. I've actually been in a weird denial/acceptance mode since all this started. Because, despite all the symptoms, I had no inkling to expect this.

I'd never needed a "normal" doctor before in my life, I've always been amazingly healthy, active, and happy. But my headaches and other symptoms where getting ridiculous by the time the semester started. (Slurring your words in Shakespeare class isn't fun.) When the little symptoms first started in October, then adding up and getting more intense, I started researching. I was convinced that I had MS so I kind of stopped worrying, I mean, it sucked but its not deadly right? Only a few months earlier I had left my main job to go back to school full time. I changed my major to English and added a minor in Liberal Arts for transfer. I had 2 full time semesters left so I knew I could make it with only my little part time job and my savings. But 2 weeks into my second semester, my headaches forced me to go to the doctor. I met my primary care doctor on January 30th.

I was diagnosed on January 31st 2013 with a brain tumor. First thing I thought was..."can this wait til after Super Bowl?". It couldn't. I was admitted to the hospital the morning of the 1st, and had surgery on the 2nd. (My doctor moved me upstairs so I could watch the game on the 3rd.) Turns out, it wasn't over at that. They got the tumor all out, but the cancerous dust remains. I was given a month to recover from getting cut open (my first surgery ever in my life). I started radiation (7 points!) on the 26th and chemo (Temodar) on the 27th (thanks for the day off UPS). So today is my first Friday.

Since the surgery, I've been forced to move in with my mom and stepdad, out of my apartment that I loved, get rid of my cat, take a medical leave from my job, give up my independence of driving, lose all my freedoms of making my own choices, contact all the people I volunteer for to let them down, and, worst of all for me, drop all my classes for the semester. Even now, almost 3 weeks after I dropped, I still tear up when I think about my classes. I've been looking forward to finishing school so much, it really crushes me to put it off again. I did for 10 years to work full time...and I'm over it.

Best thing to happen so far is my buzz cut (courtesy of my surgery for half, and my sister for the other half). I love short hair!! I've had butt-length hair for almost my entire life and oh my gosh I might never going back! ;)

Comments

  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • akellydakellyd Community Member
    I don't think anyone really expects cancer- well maybe if it's genetic and runs in their family. I certainly didn't expect a brain tumor, let alone two separate times!
    I had a similar problem the second time I needed surgery and further treatment, I had to come back to California from Montana for treatment because of my health insurance and stay with my mom. Moving back in with your parents after spending several years on your own is not easy! Because I have intentions of staying in Montana for as long as possible I kept my place out there since this is only temporary. While I have some ties in California still, it's not home! I couldn't take any classes long distance this semester but I did sign up for some on coursera.org (or net... just google it!) They are free classes that are less pressure (no effect on GPA, so no big deal if you stop midway thru) but they can keep you busy. You do get a certification, and it helped me stay a little more busy and explore some other options. I have also found a lot of people are understanding if you did find another volunteer position and needed it to be flexible. If you are having a problem because of driving or need some help finding things to occupy your time you might want to look into talking to a social worker. They can link you to services that could help provide you with transportation and stuff like that. I have some of the information on hand if you are interested but it's probably best to see what's in your local area.
    Sounds like you are staying pretty positive despite the situation, which is great! And way to have a positive attitude about the hair stuff. It has been really hard for me to loose my hair in patches from the radiation. Not because it's hair but because I don't like looking like there is something wrong with me! So kudos to you for taking the plunge and shaving it. I haven't managed to do it yet!
  • I'm so glad that you are just trying to ignore your condition ShyBFly as if nothing is happening to you. Anyway, one good medicine is to just forget that you have sickness. There are many studies that show that when you just ignore or forget that you have a condition, it will disappear by its own. I remembered this information upon reading your thread. I know you will be alright.
  • beinghealthy12;7882 said:
    I'm so glad that you are just trying to ignore your condition ShyBFly as if nothing is happening to you. Anyway, one good medicine is to just forget that you have sickness. There are many studies that show that when you just ignore or forget that you have a condition, it will disappear by its own. I remembered this information upon reading your thread. I know you will be alright.

    Ignoring certain condition can really help us to somehow forget what is currently happening to us. but we need also to take an action, shall we say we should have always a healthy lifestyle. Ignoring in a way that we also do something, not that totally ignoring but still doing the same thing that might worsen the problem.