FYI: Background info is long....
I am a homeschool mama of one intense DD with anxiety. I have had multiple health problems in the past but in the last year I have been making huge strides in my health, both mental and physical. I turned 40 in December and I feel like I've been having a personal renaissance. Things were going very well until I had a bad headache on one side for 7 days straight.
My ND is very cautious and ordered a CT scan of my head. Good news, no aneurisms or clots or stroke, etc. Bad news, seems to be a tumor behind my left eye. Had an MRI. Not conclusive - sent to a neurosurgeon for a biopsy. Over the next few weeks, I endured a lot of ambiguity (which was very hard due to my anxiety/panic, depression and OCD stuff) but I feel like I have been enduring everything with much strength and grace - even surprising myself.
I had trouble with the health system a bit but I stood up for myself and straightened things out, taking control where I needed to do so. The neurosurgeon I ended up with was good and took a team approach to everything which I was impressed with. They decided it was too risky to do a CT-guided biopsy due to the location of the tumor - within the sphenoid bone between my left eye and the temporal lobe of my brain. So technically, it wasn't exactly a brain tumor, but rather a bone tumor in a very odd place.
I ended up having it removed last Friday (well, mostly removed - she couldn't get every cell due to the bone being structurally supportive of my eye). But she got most of it and the initial pathology suggests non-malignant (really hope it is) and may not be aggressive. There were reportedly not too many blood vessels feeding it so not much blood loss. A more complete report will be coming out soon and I will find out if they need to zap it with radiation or something to kill any remaining tumor cells. I just got released from the hospital on Monday. I am on a ton of meds and still off my naturopathic meds (including supplements in place of an SSRI) but I am doing mostly OK. I suspect I may break down a bit in the next week or two which I think would be normal for this abnormal situation I am in.
My DD is almost 8 and is in recovery from terrible anxiety and depression from 6 months ago. She's been doing so well; I've really been impressed. My mom is out here from out of state to help me and DD though she has trouble driving in the big city. DH has been able to use a lot of flexibility in his schedule and has attending the doctor appts with me with the surgeon to support me. I've done many scan appointments on my own. My homeschool friends have been taking DD and leaving me free to attend to my needs.
I was astranged from my Unitarian Universalist church but I have recently reconnected with them. I have general community support there. I have found it good to be scientific about dealing with this health issues rather than philosophical. I find science comforting and am an atheist who appreciates paganism. Though I have religious people in my life and I do really appreciate their energy and prayers even though their beliefs are very different from my own. It's interesting to observe how different people react to my situation. I like trying to view things as an observer, partially because otherwise I get overwhelmed with emotions. I am an INFP on the Meyers-Briggs.
So in addition to my general stuff, I am worried about my parents. My brother has multiple chronic pain and disability issues infused with a hefty amount of bipolar I and schitzophrenia. He was hospitalized 3 times around the holidays for suicidal behaviors. My dad has his own health issues right now and he feels like he can't even leave the house because they moved my brother back in to their place (he is 37). They have so much on their plate right now dealing with all that and my stuff now and my mom's parents whose health is failing. Maybe I'll start a different thread sometime about my brother's issues.
I guess I am mostly just wanting some support. I feel good about my medical options out here. I am not sure what to do for my parents. At this point, I am rather uninvolved, which is good. I like psychology so I like to be there for them and I really appreciate all the support I have been getting.
But I have trouble receiving compassion from people. I'm getting better about it, but it's hard to be OK with being sorry for myself. Not that I want to get in a rut that way, but I do need to grieve a bit for my own things sometimes, you know? And some days, it's just so surreal that I had a tumor in my head. Who the hell gets a tumor like that? It's one of those obscure things that happens to a friend of a friend at work or something, but in this case, it happened to me. It's just so weird.
My hair has been shaved a bit. I won't be belly dancing for awhile but now I have time to work on my new costume. I like to stay positive yet realistic whenever possible - I find it helps me to avoid unnecessary drama.
The doctor made a bit deal about cutting me hair early on. I had just gotten my hair grown out long but I will have to decide how to let it be after I get the staples out of my head. Right now DD says I look like Frankenstein's bride and it scares her. But hair will grow and I can buy a scarf or two. Maybe I'll do a punk color just for fun for awhile after I am cleared to dye my hair. We'll see. The doctor said to wait until the surgery healed to determine what to do with my hair. Frankly, I'd be OK with being bald and using a wig if means I am here on this planet for DD.
I am so grateful and happy that my mom is here; it's so helpful. We've had some issues on and off since I've had DD, but when we talk about her childhood, it helps me find more of who she is. (She lost her mom at age 4 when her brother was born.) My mom still has that little scared, lost child inside her. And she has body issues which I feel like I am actually helping her a bit with. Mom puts herself down constantly; it is so sad. But I am helping her see it and trying to stop the pattern a bit. We are all trying to break out of a cycle of abuse which stems from long ago. Anyway, I am really glad she's here for DD and me. And I'm a bit scared for when she leaves but she'll be here until at least the 7th. I should improve a lot by then. Maybe even be able to drive though right now that seems so far away. And then I'll need to activate my other more general support system.
Anyway, I know this is long. I may post a blog link in my siggy or however they do that here. Thanks for reading.