Update Fifty-Three

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”                         Psalm 103:1-5

Hey everyone! All clear once again… whooo hoooooooo!!!!!!!! This Psalm by the way is just as true, no matter what the results might have been:) It’s one of my favorite… full of praisin’ and full of the Lord’s goodness. It says it just right:)

So the weekend went really well. I was able to head to Seattle Thursday night and stay the night with my friend of 20+ years, Mandy. I got up early with her before work and we made delicious blueberry pancakes to start off the day of right. Mmmmm:) I think you may be right Mandy-poo, we just might have to make this a new 3 monthly tradition:). From there I took off for the clinic to meet up with my amazing appointment crew – this time Mom, Dave & Tammy, and Linsey, (along with some “virtual” support from afar;). In the elevator on the way up, I was surprised to see a cowgirl pushing a wheelchair… hmmm. I asked her about the outfit, and the whereabouts of her horse or something – she gave me an amused look and said “ummm Halloween tomorrow??”  Ahhh of course! That’s why I saw Donald Duck waddling around downstairs! And I thought he was there visiting kids. Ha! Being at my doc’s other office for the first time… I was pretty sure I had walked into the coolest clinic ever. I was just waiting for a cowboy in chaps to come in and take my blood pressure … no such luck:)

The appointment went well. There was no change from my scan 3 months ago to this one – always what we like to see! The two issues I wanted to discuss were my dizzy spells as well as lasting general fatigue issues. The “dizzies” as I like to call them are, as it turns out most likely tiny seizures. Sounds scary I know… I don’t like it either. But as it turns out, these are much more common than I thought. Apparently 1 in 4 brain tumor patients (with my type of tumor) will suffer from these, as a result from the damage caused by the tumor, surgery, radiation/chemo, or all of the above. The funny part is… get ready…. I hear voices. Ahhhh okay, so this is the deal. Whenever a “dizzy” is coming on, I get a brief uneasy feeling in my stomach followed by a déjà vu sensation where I “hear” something. It’s usually part of a conversation I had recently, a particular phrase someone had said, and then of course… I get a bit dizzy, like my mind suddenly scrambles and I have to put the puzzle back together. The whole process is usually only 10-30 seconds. So the ironic thing is, as I was explaining this to the doctor, I actually started to have one! Amazing timing, because they’re not all that frequent. But it was nice to have him observe it and not be concerned. My big fear was wondering if they were dangerous or perhaps signs of bigger things coming. My doctor put me at ease telling me they are very normal and since I’ve been having them for a while now and they haven’t changed at all, he has no reason to believe they will. As far as the “voices” go, they are a result of a small electrical charge (seizure) happening near my auditory area – causing some auditory sensory memory to be released. Crazy. So because I can still function normally (never losing body control or consciousness), and they don’t seem to be getting worse, we have no reason for being concerned. Unless I start talking back to the voices… then we’re in a whole new ballgame:)

Fatigue is something else I’ve had to work through. The hardest part is not getting impatient with myself when I can’t do things the way I used to OR when I feel like people won’t understand my lack of energy and expect more of me than I have to offer. My energy is most definitely NOT what it was. I do okay, but I tend to run out of steam pretty quickly and when I ignore the warning signs and decide to push through… I totally crash – physically and emotionally, not good. There are a few poor souls who have had to be witness to this:) Thanks to all of you for your understanding, and sopping up my buckets of tears:)

Discussing this with my doctor was very helpful because once again he assured me this was VERY normal. For many, this is something patients (of other cancers as well) deal with their whole lives… long past treatment. Our bodies (my brain) has been through a lot of trauma and one of the areas most affected is our energy level. It’s my “new normal” that I need to get used to and learn to embrace. It was encouraging to hear all this because 1) I could now believe I wasn’t crazy or lazy 2) I could now work on figuring out how to best make my life fit this “new normal” without being so frustrated at myself. Resisting the urge to just push through and “make it work” especially when I feel like it affects others/lets them down, will be an ongoing struggle for me. But I believe it will come with practice, lessons learned, and further understanding where/Who my approval needs to come from:). This way less of you will have to endure my embarrassing and perhaps slightly entertaining meltdowns.

SO that may have been MUCH more than you ever wanted to know… but there ya go. It’s me working on being open with my story and joyfully including all you who feel like joining my party. Also if you continue to pray for me, you have some specifics to work with:) Thank you so much for your love, support and amazing prayers. You prayer-surfed me right through this appointment… I couldn’t ask for anything more valuable.

Love to you all. Big Blessings. Perfect Peace. Tears of all kinds.
A Jesus-filled, thrilling in every moment, scary, amazing, beautiful beautiful life.

Hope to hug you soon,
Christina