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

10 thoughts on “Update Fifty-Three

  1. Psalm 103 is one of my favorites as well.  Forget not all His benefits.  Truth.  I love your updates.  When is the book coming out?  :)

  2. Wow..i am the second person to comment on here. And two updates in a row I am commenting. Since I know you enjoy reading everyone’s comments I thought I would start doing it more. For you :) And plus I made it in the update! Yeah baby! And I think it is set….tradition…night before you stay the night with me and we make pancakes in the morning. Okay thats settle. So glad your MRI was clear once again. And so glad I get to be part of that every 3 month trip. You are amazing and I love your sense of humor. You always make me laugh. Love you so much!

    p.s. I am surprise a hot young cowboy in his white t-shirt and tight jeans and cowboy boots didn’t come to take your blood pressure! He must have been on his break then.

    love,
    Mandy

  3. I’m rejoicing with you!! I’ve given your website to some customers at work who are facing cancer treatment. You are being a light and a witness to people you may never meet! Isn’t our God amazing?

  4. oh wow. i just laughed and laughed and laughed. it’s late, so i probably shouldn’t be attempting this now…but YOU crack me up Christina. oh…and it’s sooo good to laugh at the craziness. and you know that i know a bit of where you’re at. just ask kelsey. one day, sometime back, i was standing in my kitchen trying to do something (i think it was fixing myself food) and kelsey was probably folding clothes (there’s a lot of those in our house) and i was trying to talk and be "normal"…whatever that is…and i got the whole overwhelming, i’m not listening to my body screaming at me to stop and go lay down and shut up, so my brain decides to get my attention by dissolving me into a puddle of tears. it’s actually rather effective. and kelsey, bless her heart,  just took it in stride…love you kels…and i went to bed where she brought me some food. well there. now you know more than you really wanted to. i love all your details. it’s rather empowering, i think…seriously! be open, be honest, be vulnerable. real. i love you! and am so thrilled that Jesus invited me to your party. it’s rockin’!
    ps: and you know it’s a given…i’m prayin’ for YOU :)

  5. Surprise, Christina. I’m actually on Facebook!  very rare for me:)  Mandy keeps me informed of course, and I’m always annxious to get her txt’s. I was thrilled to hear your good news last Friday! and so glad you could spend the night at her house Thursday!  
      I love the picture. Where is it? and Who Is it? etc.
    And you didn’t share more than I wanted to know! I loved you sharing details and from your heart Christina. I love your heart for God and other people. You are an amazing young woman!  And you are not lazy!!!!
    Love, Nancy

  6. Christina,
    We always have a pillow and blanky standing by at our house any time you need to crash…..but be sure and get good and rested up for sky diving in the spring!

    Dave

  7. Hey Christina,
    Rejoicing at the Mason’s house since we got your mom’s text.  Praising God for His blessing in and through your life!
    Hey, on another note….would you mind if I used the photo on this update for a background for the next women’s night of worship?  It is such a powerful image!  Thanks!

  8. Nancy,
    So the picture is one taken back in Santa Barbara my with several close college friends. We took a morning hike up to a scenic outlook in the hills behind campus to catch the sunrise. This is the result:) For setting the timer, putting it on a rock and sprinting to position… we were all pretty excited how it turned out:) An all time favorite for sure…)

    Jamie… it’s all yours. Use it however you’d like:)

    Thanks for your kind words everyone! You bless me and make me laugh:) The best combination:)

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