Friday, February 12, 2016

Update --9 months--In November they took me off of Keppra to see how I would do.....(I didn't like taking it , I felt very groggy and fatigued). I knew the risk of going off was to risk having another partial seizure. I was an optimist thinking it wouldn't happen to me. Well today I found out the risk, took an ambulance ride and figured how to miss a half day of work. For anybody worried about me, I'm fine. It was an adventure. I will visit with my neurosurgeon Wednesday and life goes on. ~Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. ~Thanks so much to the Volunteer Fire & Rescue, the office staff, and all my friends at Deerfield that I give heart attacks to. Empathy is a killer sometimes. ~Business as usually people. What time is this snow gonna start?

I did get that tattoo though! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Game Changer!!

7 month update, GAME CHANGER! No more Keppra (anti-seizure med)!! What an evil, evil drug. Many of you know that I have been complaining about fatigue and when it was getting worse, not better I worried and it messed with my mind. Am I sick? What is going on? Why can't I shake this?? I also was not able to contribute to cooking, cleaning and laundry after work. What a burden for Ryan. It was a horrible feeling so I consulted my neurosurgeon and he gave me permission to wean off Keppra. That was good news that I was doing well and I had nothing to lose in doing so. Very good news since I swear my MRI scans are written in Greek and I feel like they are talking behind my back about my brain, meaning I have no idea what is going on in my head other than my tumor is gone. So, today I went to the Y and pushed it a little bit, even ran (which I never thought I would do again!). 45 minutes later I could've kept going. On my journey I have been constantly adjusting to my new normal, thinking this is it. Today gives me new hope. I have not accepted my new normal yet. My best is yet to come! ‪#‎slowandsteadywinstherace‬‪#‎byebyeKeppra‬

P.S. My hair keeps getting shorter and shorter. Next up, a tattoo!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Thank God for neuroplasticity. It is no accident that I'm doing so well. I logged many hours, reprogramming my brain with speech therapy, reading (including reading aloud), lumosity, brain baseline, and playing memory with my girls. Candy crush and conversations on facebook didn't hurt either.wink emoticon And due to my job I have to read aloud, speak, speak clearly, and force my brain to explain. You may not notice but I have to concentrate on this Disclaimer: When you do come across my typos, please ignore. I'm still a work in progress.

Find out more about neuroplasticity here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dear Andrea and Taylor Swift. Day made.

Dear Andrea, 

From one Warrior Mama to another. I do not know what kind of cancer you are fighting or what your treatment plan is but you are amazing!!  Your energy! I'm jealous of.  You made my 13 year old's birthday amazing and I will never forget.  All 13 year old Swifties should get this chance but let me tell you why an angel spoke to my Morgan, through you, in Omaha on Oct. 9.  

And Taylor, 

I know what is like to have your mom, your rock, diagnosed with cancer.  I was 22 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought, she won, she remained cancer free for 15 years. Then in Nov. 2014 she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  It was NOT related to the breast cancer it was a new tumor.  She has been fighting ever since, just finished chemo and we are waiting for the results of her PET scan. I remember Morgan telling me about your Tumbler announcement about your mom, we thought of Grandma (mom), we cried, we comforted each other and commented on how tough your family is, we did not know at that time what an inspiration you would be.  Then April 15, 2015 came. When Morgan came home from school, I wasn't there.  I was in the hospital with a brain tumor.  I had surgery the next day. I know your music comforted her this day and days after.  I know she related to your family and that you inspired her, somehow, through your music, letting her know I would be OK. She become strong for me, my rock, she cooked and cleaned for me.  She grew up fast under my tired eyes. On September 23, 2015 I got the word that my tumor was gone and that I am OK. 

So Andrea, 

Somehow, someway, someone spoke to you on October 9, 2015.  You picked us out of the crowd to join you at the B-stage.  You have no idea how much you made our day, my hard working, Swiftie's day.  She has dealt with more than any 13 year old should ever have.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart. SHE needed this, DESERVED this. She is still on cloud nine. (and she started guitar lessons last week)


(Your newest Swiftie) 
Now excuse me while a take a nap.  I'm still exhausted. Any tips, secrets?? HOW do you do it? 

Morgan when she was 7. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

5 month MRI looked good! I don't need another for 6 months!!!! Today I feel very thankful. I'm thankful for my family for putting up for me, my friends for feeding me and making me laugh, the prayers, the doctor who cut my tumor out and very thankful for the nurse who got my contrast IV painlessly into my little vein (using the accuevein (‪#‎thestruggleisreal‬‪#‎nursesrock‬). Today was the most painless MRI ever. All restrictions are lifted and can workout and jazzercise again! Does that mean I have to start doing cooking, cleaning and laundry again?‪#‎goodnewsbadnews‬ ‪#‎lifeisgood‬

Be your own health advocate!

19 week Update- Be your own advocate. So I referred myself to an ENT to resolve my ear infection/dizziness symptoms. As a result I have answers and a plan! The ear infection looks cleared up but I still have ear fluid which can take months to clear up. Sooo, since I can't keep infection free they are putting me on Bactrim and Flonase. In three weeks I get my hearing checked just for checks and balances. This will lead right into my 6 month MRI. The ENT wants to do everything we can to take care of this ear fluid so that they can have a clear picture of whether or not my brain is still leaking fluid. I still feel really good but I am now convinced that I have forgotten what normal felt like. 
wink emoticon
Sept. 8-
Milestone day. I made it 10 weeks past second surgery and 20 weeks past the first surgery. Next week I'll know what 11 weeks past brain surgery feels like.
11 week growth
Sept. 17-
"Your ears look beautiful." These are my good news words today! Fluid is gone!! Hearing is excellent! 11.5 weeks post brain surgery feels wonderful! Even when fighting a cold. I also got good advice about flying. Apparently my eustachian tubes are sensitive, so things like colds, allergies, plane rides and brain surgery can send them in a tizzy. I've probably had this my whole life. So Flonase and Afrin are my friends. Brain surgery and meningioma friends....when dizzy, see an ENT! Brain problems and ear problems are soooo similar it is hard to differ. Next up 5 month MRI!— feeling wonderful.

Sept. 19 -
#100healthydays 3 weeks, post 15. I tracked my food 5 days. Very little sugar. Ear infection is gone! Feeling amazing #12weekspostbrainsurgery #braintumor#blessed #believe

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Happy Tears!

17.5 week update. The day I was diagnosed with a meningioma I knew that I would still always be a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend but I wasn't positive I would ever be a teacher again however I believed that I would. The next day when I woke up in ICU not able to speak I believed. Three days later when I took my first wobbly steps after brain surgery I believed. I continued to believe and when anyone asked me if I was going back in the fall my answer was YES! My eyes were always on that prize because that means I was back. Back to normal or as close I could possibly get.

10 weeks later I took giant steps backwards with my second brain surgery. I asked the doctor, "Can I teach in the fall?" He answered, "Yes." I asked, "How long is recovery this time?" He answered, "Six weeks." There were exactly 6 weeks until my next contract started. Aug. 11. Thank God for that and the slightly later start date.

14 weeks later I was packing for a vacation. I was dizzy, I was nauseous and very very fatigued. My girls were so anxious to leave town that they packed and cleaned the house while I doubted what I could and could not do and if I should really travel 6.5 hours away. So I headed to the UNMC ER.

Labs showed them that I had an infection but they didn't know where. However they were not so worried that they were willing to cut me open to find it. 7 hrs. later I spoke words out loud for the first time. "I can not work like this." (I was pretty sick.) 8 hrs. later a doctor was able to finally get my ear clean and see that I had a pretty bad ear infection. 3 days later and amoxicillin later I finally felt better.

This brings me back to last week. Short week, 3 days of work. Felt fine Tues., Wed. Thurs. was a challenging day beginning at 7am with a painful, complicated CT scan at UNMC, followed by labs, a visit with Dr. Surdell, time in my classroom and open house. Later that day I learned that I still had signs of infection. Was this the end of the last one, beginning of a new one or just a lingering ear infection? Saturday I went on more amoxicillan.

This brings to this week. 40 hours of work ready or not! Was I ready? No idea, but THIS I want to say loudly. I DID IT, I ROCKED IT AND I'M GOING BACK NEXT WEEK! I came home, crawled back into my recliner with my blankie and cried happy tears. I did it. smile emoticon
  feeling proud.