A Blip in the Picture

Hello lovely members of the community, I thought I would give you a little more information on what has been happening here. We are so grateful for all the community support, kind words and prayers as we navigate this life changing event.

By definition I had a Meningioma, also known as meningeal tumor, is typically a slow-growing tumor that forms from the meninges, the membranous layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms depend on the location and occur as a result of the tumor pressing on nearby tissue.

Here is how it all played out:

I have been having painful headaches off and on for about 2 years, they were diagnosed as tension headaches which seemed reasonable given some of the stresses we were going through at the time. As time went on I had more frequent headaches and neck stiffness and I just carried on because a Mama makes the household function (you all know how that works!). During this time I turned 40 and my eyes changed, I could no longer read small print or my phone without glasses, I thought this was a normal life progression and did not think to question it. I also had the occasional blurry vision when standing etc which I was attributing to low iron and not taking my supplements (silly me). In the last 6 months to a year my brain became cloudy, I had trouble making decisions and felt very overwhelmed, I knew what needed to be done, but could not follow through in a tangible way. For instance since we have had up the green house I have had rotating crops in there and had quite a good success rate with it, last fall I couldn’t even make a plan and the greenhouse stood fallow for much of the fall, winter, spring and summer with only a few heat loving plants in it this summer. It was so disappointing to know what I should be doing and be unable to follow through. If I had taken all these factors and presented them to a doctor perhaps we would not have had an emergency situation.

By Sunday evening, the 6th of January, 2019, I had had a headache for 36 hours that was causing me to throw up every half hour or so. I compared it to one very long, unending contraction because there was no relief at all. I was drinking as much water as I could to try to stay hydrated, but it wasn’t working. I began to worry about meningitis as my neck was so painful. River and I decided to head to the ER. As we were getting ready to leave, I became unable to stand up and he had to carry/dance me out to the car. It was icy so this was tricky. We brought our youngest with us as he was awake and left our older two home, my brother lives right down the road and he was aware we would be gone and could come if he was needed, we were trying to keep him from getting sick as 3 out of 4 of the boys had had fevers for a few days.

At the ER they started an IV and gave me some drugs for pain – which did NOT work. When the drugs didn’t work they gave me a CT scan which showed a large mass on my brain that they believed to be a meningioma tumor, a benign growth that is on top of the brains membrane and under the skull. I was told they could remove it the next day. I was ELATED by this news as there was a cause for the pain and I was also on morphine at this point. River on the other hand looked terrified. He called my brother and took our youngest home so he could come to Maine Medical Center with me.

They were able to remove a mass that was 6 x 4.7 x 4.5cm from my skull, what they believe to be at least 99% of the tumor with no more noticeable cells, this was excellent news. I awoke from the surgery feeling no pain in my head for possibly the first time in 2 years (the pain had become so constant, it barely registered at this point). I was very happy with the outcome and looking forward to a fuller, pain free life in the future.

I am sure everyone’s reaction would be different in this situation, but looking back, I am glad I didn’t have a long time to prepare, because I didn’t have time to be scared about the possible outcomes and be sad about possibly missing my children’s futures. As I mentioned above I was elated that something could be done and I immediately felt that the outcome would be good and life would move forward in a joyous way. Yeah for being positive! This my be a factor in my healing process, which so far, has been remarkably pain free with just aspirin. I am also on a steroid taper to help with swelling and of my own accord started taking Arnica homeopathic in the hospital, I carry it in my purse for when the children get head bumps or possible bruising and as soon as I started taking it the swelling started to go down. The doctor had mentioned that I could end up with a swollen eye, but that did not happen.

Arnica Montana Homeopathic pellets – I get them in the Natural Food Stores in the area

  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Muscle Pain and Stiffness, Swelling from Injuries, Discoloration from Bruising

I think everyone should carry these in there purse for emergency situations!

Celebrate LIFE people and hug the ones you love!

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