Tuesday, 18th of May 2010
It's my beautiful nieces birthday today, she's turning four and having a big girl party at the park. She was on my mind most of the day. I knew she was getting a bike this year and I yearned to be there to see her open it. I called my sister to see how the preparations were going after a quick run down she immediately asked had I heard anything yet. I told her that had to be good news, I mean my gosh the last time I received a call in less that 24hrs about the brain tumor. I assured her that I would just run up to the hospital and get the images and report myself just to put us all at ease. I have to wonder now are these decisions ever thought out? Evidently I just act.
A few minutes later I picked up Bray and headed over to the hospital to get all the info that I knew would give me a clean bill of health (at least as far as the spine goes) Robert works at the hospital and was on break so he sat with the kids while I ran in. In retrospect this was not a good idea. It's like they say hind sight is 20/20. I got the discs and the report and was walking back out to the car, I glanced down at the papers and saw words that were way too familiar. FINDINGS. Written across the very top, detailing how they had immediately forwarded to my doctor for immediate attention. Right there in the hallway I felt my knees weaken. I couldn't breathe. I was taking in air but it simply didn't feel as though my lungs were filling up. The tears were, once again, immediate. Luckily it was a ball cap kind of day and that shielded a lot of my panic and terror from public view. I had to stop once I got around the corner from the vehicle, moments after receiving a huge blow I had to suck it up. My kids were in the car (with my husband) waiting for my return. They could not see me like this. I picked up my cell and called Roberts and explained that I needed a few minutes that it wasn't good. I once again heard that audible gasp for air and a choked down sob. He then had to suck it up. He was stuck with the kids. His coworkers found me weak and pale they went and got Robert and stood with the kids so we could have a few minutes.
It was worse than we could have ever thought. Worse case scenario we thought we were looking a spinal meningioma, which would have been terrible in it's own right. But I know meningiomas, I am well researched, prepared, I know the course of treatment and I could be ready to battle that. I couldn't have been more wrong. This tumor is outside the spinal cord and inside the vertebrae of T3. That's right it's in the bone pressing on the spinal cord.
The radiologist diagnosises it as the rarest type of bone tumors. Upon further research I found that when it does occur it's usually in long bones such as legs, feet, and ribs. The few cases that have been found in vertebrae are so rare and have a significant increased chance to be malignant or cancerous.
I cannot even begin to describe the devastation I felt on this day, it surpasses all. It may even surpass D-Day #1. May 18th 2010 my second D-Day. I have yet to ask why but I'd be lying if I said I didn't ask how. How in the world do I have another seemly different tumor already. There are so many unanswered questions. I did by the way double check with my parents to make sure they didn't drop me in a vat of radiological goo or perhaps adopt me from a country where I had been dropped of at a nuclear waste dump but they quickly assured me that neither was true :) So it really is just 'What the hell'. How could this happen.
It feels different. I can't explain or justify that statement but to just say it feels different and not in a good way. I have NOT lost my optimism, it is still intact but I am not as strong as I was pre-brain surgery. I was just really getting into successful recovery. That concerns me. I was physically prepared for Egore. I was training prior to diagnosis, running, biking, kayaking and hiking. Things that I have only begun to be able to resume.
There's no other way to explain this day but as simple one of the saddest I have ever experienced. I'm 31yrs and 4days old. 31yrs old. How does this happen? Somehow my world managed to slip out from under me...again, but more harsh, so much more cruel. There are no words, there simply are none that could ever express the pain I felt on this day.
Robert obviously once again left work. There was no way I could possibly drive my children and myself home. I had wiped away as many tears as possible to hopefully shield the kids but my mind was shot. I was in auto pilot mode. It felt impossible to think or make rational decisions. I texted my 'essentials' this time. I know, I know that's harsh but I truly couldn't do it. I couldn't even begin the utter the words. Another mass...another battle.
Sometime on the way home Bray stated simply, "There's another one, isn't there". I couldn't help but die a little inside for my child and his unfortunate insight into a world I wish he didn't know. He reached out and held my hand without trying to get comfort from me but trying to give me comfort. How I got so lucky and blessed to have this child I have no idea, but in SO many ways he rocks! I tell him that there is and try to reassure him that we will battle this one just like the other. His only question is "Will this one be as bad". I wanted to tell him that this one was going to be a piece of cake. Not for myself, but for him. But I am no longer naive. I know too much, I know that this tumor world SUCKS!
The rest of the evening was spent in disbelief. Homework, dinner, showers and bed. The tasks seemed so mundane compared to the news we'd just been handed but at the very least kept me doing something. I couldn't even bring myself to call the Mayo yet. That would make it a little too real for that night. Complete reality could wait for the next day.
Could this be reality? This Brain Tumor Chick has yet another tumor!