surviving meningioma!

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February 21, 2014 - washington , District of Columbia

For the past 4 years I had been noticing & growing more aware of odd physical things affecting me. I am 56 & officially went into menopause 2 years ago. I say this because I believed that what I had been long experiencing was due to approaching menopause. About 3 years ago i began to have a problem with my left foot. It hurt me to walk! I do not drive & walking has always been so very important to me. I found a good podiatrist & got insoles for my shoes. I could only wear certain running shoes & could not wear other types of shoes! for a couple of years this seemed ok. however, difficulties seemed to intensify. no increase in pain, but some kind of breaking down of my left leg. It would click & make noises when i walked! I had growing concerns as it also seemed to be weakening up into the hip. then, last july, I noticed that I was losing the energy in my right leg. walking was becoming difficult! I also noticed that I was no longer able to stand on my left leg on its own. I was essentially becoming unstable in my legs & began to be deeply concerned. for the last 15 years or so, i got powerful headaches that were so uncomfortable. they would often last for up to 3 days. they were not migraines. I didn’t take any special drugs to deal with them as I did not had the headaches often. Perhaps once a month, or after a plane flight. Additionally, the other things that had recently begun to happen were for about 4 months, just after dinner I would sit on the couch with my husband & fall asleep or pass out. He would call to me to wake up & it was difficult, but I would do it. For more than a year I was repetitive when I spoke. I had no awareness of that whatsoever. my husband & my friends had been telling me…. it was worsening as time went on. — for nearly 2 years I had not been able to read full articles or books. I spent time scanning information online. scanning info while online seemed normal. I have long worked with computers & online products & thought it seemed normal. However, as someone who loved to read novels, I was unable to. — last July, when i went to bed & laid on my right side, I began to notice a subtle fluttering of twitches on the left side of my body. they were not ongoing, just a slight flutter. additionally, I recall turning on my right side in bed & felt my body “crunch” together, like it was crumbling! that sensation really concerned me. I had recently got a new doctor & I went to see her to figure out what was up. First she did blood tests. Nothing there. Knowing about what was happening with my legs, she asked me to walk in certain ways in the hallway. she noticed that i couldn’t walk on my tiptoes. she advised that i get an MRI. thus, i arranged for an MRI 2 days later, the morning of 14AUG. my husband took me & then drove me home afterwards. Within 1/2 hour my phone rang & it was my dr. she told me that had a very large brain mass (meningioma) & that I should immediatly call an ambulence & head to the emerg. room of the hospital she arranged to have me check into. whoa! that news amazed me & i got a cab & went to the hospital. My husband who had been driving to work post my MRI had also been called to come back to my dr.’s office to pick up the MRI film to bring it over to the hospital where I was. I was checked into the neurological ICU where I had another MRI, etc. the size was enormous & was pressing against my parietal lobe. Not good. that day i met the wonderful young neurosurgeon who advised me & my husband & brother about what needed to happen. i was also told that my tumor had likely been growing for 15 years. i understood how lucky I was to be there. I was also advised that my surgery would be next Tuesday (it was currently wednesday) & I would need to stay in the ICU until my surgery. I was permitted to be outside on the campus of the university hospital as long as I was not alone. I had been advised that given the size & seriousness of my tumor, I was lucky that i had not had a stroke or fallen into a coma, etc. on 20AUG 2013 I had a crainiotomy to remove a baseball-sized parasagittal meningioma from my left parietal lobe. the night before, I had an amazingly high-tech pre-operative embolization which really helped ready me for the surgery the next morning. i can’t tell you how fortunate I feel. Surgery lasted about 7 hours. my neurosurgeon wanted to keep all my hair, which he did. I was advised that the entire tumor had been removed & saw the report a couple weeks later. Everything looked clear. It is now february 2014. I am feeling so much better than I have in years! I have physical strength I thought I had lost. I can read books & am not repetitive. It is like I have a new lease on life. Last week, I had my 6 month follow up MRI. all is clear! My next MRI will be in one year! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or want to know more. cheers