By Paula Mallory
I was diagnosed with melanoma on the right upper back in May of 1994. Six months later, after the surgery, I was diagnosed with a meninginoma on the right back of my head. I had the surgery and was not able to even move for 5 days because of vertigo. I had to be released from the hospital that day because my insurance company refused to pay any more. Eleven months later after a check up it was discovered the tumor had grown back to almost its original size. I went thru the surgery again but this time the results were much better than the first. No Virtigo. I was on antivert since the first sugery and still am. Six months later at a checkup there was a tumor on the left side of my head. (meninginoma) I went to Allegeny General Hospital for this surgery and was operated on by Dr. Joseph Maroon. He removed the tumor with no complications. A small part of the original tumor was still there and Dr. Maroon told me he knew of a new surgery that could possibly help me. We went thru all the procedures of insurance forms, etc. Both of my insurance companies refused to pay for the surgery. A few days later Dr. Maroon called and said the hospital and the doctors were willing to do the surgery at no cost to me. Little did I know I was going to be the first patient to have gamma knife surgery done at that hospital. I entered into this with no fear. The surgery was performed and they took a lot of pictures and filmed all the procedures. Well, it has been 19 1/2 years and I was just told the tumor is growing. Initial testing, etc has started and it looks like I will be having the surgery about the middle of March. On January 29, 2009 I was diagnosed with a blood clot and was told I needed a filter put into my vena cava as I had had numerous blood clots in my 20s. During the procedure the Bard filter piereced my vena cava and I began to bleed out. I was given 30 units of blood. After identifying the area of the bleed surgery was performed (two big incisions). The nexy day my nurses tried to get me out of bed and I couldn't move. A cat scan was done on the brain and it was discovered I had a large brain bleed and a hemmoragic stroke. I was rushed to Cleveland Clinic where the brain bleed was stopped. The first time I woke up in Cleveland and the Doctor ask me where I was I told him Hawaii. He laughed and said no Cleveland, Ohio. For the next five days I still thought I was in Hawaii but finally saw a calendar on the wall of my room that said Cleveland Clinic so I could tell him where he wanted me to say I was but not where I was in my illuniations. I returned to my local hospital for 2 weeks in ICU and then 3 weeks in in patient physical rehab. I went home with a weekly nurse visit, aide 4 hours a day, a wheel chair, walker and a cane. These next fews years have been a whirlwind of hospital visits, including having a shunt put in twice, shoulder surgery, an infection requiring 6 weeks of medicine thru a pic line 3 in the hospital and 3 at home. So much has happen to me I keep forgetting parts of it, seems I have white spots on my brain. I am more than ready to go have my 8th brain surgery done, because now I want to spend the time I have left in a bungalow on Maui on the beach with a pool in the back. Ah PARADISE.