Mom's brain tumor
Saturday, February 02, 2019
Hello. This is my first time back in nearly 3 years. I never intended to be gone that long. Well, you are probably curious about the title. Here goes.
The last three years have been insane. The craziest thing that happened is
that my mom had a brain tumor in April of 2018.
My mom was at Wal Mart. She arrived home. (It was the weekend and everyone was together). She planned to go to Kmart but was hungry and wanted to eat dinner first. She started choking, stood up, fell to the floor, and started seizing. My mom never had a seizure. The firemen and paramedics were at the house ten minutes later. They explained she was okay and that it was in fact a seizure. They took her to the closest hospital. At first, they were refusing to do a CT but my sister told the doctor she never had a seizure before and hit her head on a ceramic tile floor so they agreed a ct was necessary. The resident doctor informed us there was an abnornality and we would have to wait to for the official report. Finally, they told us it was a brain tumor. A what?!?! Then the doctors told us they had to call neurosurgery. My mom did not believe she had a tumor and told the neurosurgeon to prove it. He pulled put his cell and pulled up the images of her CT scan and MRI. She told him she was not going to get the surgery. He was straightforward and told her she would be back in the ER or comatose in a week or two. She agreed to the surgery. She felt some comfort after the hospial pastor visited with her and she felt that because the surgeon was honest, she was in good hands. She had her tumor removed on April 24th. The tumor she had was called a meningioma. They are slow growing. The surgeon said she probably had it for years. 😮 It was not cancerous.
Even though it was not cancerous, mom had to get radiation therapy because there was a section of the tumor that the surgeon could not remove without jeopardizing speech and/or mobility. She finished the radiation in October. She lost some hair and experienced nausea. She still needs another CT to see if the radiation worked.
My mom and I used to watch reruns of Grey's Anatomy and any time she saw Dr. Shepard working on the brain or tumor, she would say that she never wants brain surgery and to have her head cut open. I agreed. The whole time, this tumor was growing and herniating her brain slightly to the right.😮😱😖
Now, I want to talk about symptoms and warnings. If you have symptoms, go to your doctor.
1. My mom had symptoms that mimicked ADHD. Easily distracted, disorganized, could not sit still or stay focused. Now that the tumor is out, she gets less distracted and is more focused most of the time.
2. Saying strange things. If I asked my mom a question at night, she would respond with an outlandish answer. I thought it was because she was tired. Example: "Mom, I have an appt on Thursday." Mom: "The zebras are in the front yard." It seemed funny at the time but the neurosurgein told us that that may have been a particular type of seizure or mini seizures.
3. Sleepy.😴😴😴 My mom was very productive. She always paid the bills, was out getting groceries, doing laundry, always doing something. But she started lying down more. She would do two things csn be wiped out. I honestly thought she was too stressed or maybe depressed. Nope.
4. Frequent headaches. Headaches run in my family. My mom mostly gets sinus headaches. I suffered more from migraines. My mom's sinus headaches started getting more and more frequent. One night, she even told me it felt like something was pressing on her head. I responded by telling her that brain tumors are rare. Oops. When the symptoms are looked at together, it makes sense. But nobody put it together until it happened.
My mom has to take seizure medication and she cannot drive until she goes one year without a seizure. Thank God she arrived home and was not driving when she had the seizure!
She is still exhauated and still gets headaches. The surgeon said ahe would get strange pains in her head for at least a year. He has a picture of her brain on her instagram. Ewwww. Lol.
If a brain tumor was not enough, my mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in October. In November, she developed a blood clot in her leg. She has to use a walker at times and struggles.
What I wish doctors told us is that people are different after brain surgery. They can become unreasonable, irrational and unleash negative emotions on you. This is especially true if the frontal lobe of the brain was impacted. It is not easy learning to not take things personally. The brain is delicate. My mom curses a lot more to deal with her frustration and she does not seem to have too much of a filter.
I am just glad she is okay.