Tuesday, April 28, 2015

One year later

I'm in an anniversary period. One year ago 4/18 I had the episode on the street in New Orleans and an ambulance trip to the emergency room.  I was released with a "nothing to see here, crazy lady" dismissal. I returned home, saw my primary physician and considered I was dealing with a leg injury of some type.  The next week I'm in the ER with a very patient and persistent Dr. David M. Sanchez, MD, at Presence Mercy, and several x-rays, tests, CT, and an MRI the possible cause was identified. I spent the night in the hospital awaiting transfer to a place with the expertise to complete the diagnosis and treatment.  I have a brain tumor.

At Rush-Copley I was further evaluated and seen by Dr. Munoz.  Full diagonosis is made only from live tissue he said... surgery was scheduled because tumor or cancer it had to come out.  The growth and swelling were the cause of my leg malfunction.  It had been overloaded with the wrong messages or by brain couldn't decipher what it was saying as logical.  Major communication malfunction.  Or as the neurologist, Dr. Brian O'Shaughnessy, eventual explained it I was having localized seizures. I still experience the muscle movements during times of extreme tiredness, distress, stress, anxiety, or on a whim.

The surgery and the treatment with radiation are in the past.  I am still in contact with the surgeons office as they review each MRI.  I have 6 month follow -up visits with the radiation oncologist, Dr. Sea Chen, allowing him to record the over time effects I display as a result of the radiation exposure.  I love that I've remained alive long enough for the cure to show damage!  Talk about collateral damage from the war on the "intruder."  I love that image.... my brain cancer, the intruder, is under constant attack.  I have Battle Buddies and we fight for my continued good health and the death of the cancer!

I take my chemo for 5 days each month.  I keep the bottles in a bag that admonishes the pills to get out there and "KILL CANCER."  I raise a toast to their success as I swallow them down.  I've kept the labels from their predecessors in that bag.  They have faced the enemy and kept us at stable status for coming up on ten cycles.  My process of visualization takes them through my body to the battlefield.  Staying calm, focused, and alive.  This is my mission.  My goal my life.  I still have a lot of sunsets and sunrises for collect and memories to imprint on the lives around me.  A year later the possibilities seem better than ever.