what do you mean i have a tumor

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March 20, 2017 - Saco, Maine

January 2016 I awoke up with numbness on my right side that last 10-15 minutes. I made an appointment with my primary and he thought it was something to do with how I slept the night before. I continued to see my chiropractor and that alleviated some of these issues that would come and go. Then in April I started getting more symptoms that included the numbness, vision issues like it was gray and difficult to see ( normally on got when I had a migraine this time they were coming without any headache pain), short dizzy spells. So I went back to my primary and saw another doctor in the practice and he referred me to see a neurologist, but he also wanted me to have blood work to check for inflammation. That came back normal. Which I had to wait a month to get into see. When I finally got in May I he was stumped to my symptoms as I was a healthy 34 year old with no other issues and my office exam seemed normal. So he ordered 2 MRI with and without contrast one for the neck and one for the brain. He wanted to rule out Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Finally once my insurance approved this procedure I was able to get it scheduled. I went in on June 3, 2016 to have those MRI’s and within 15 minutes of leaving the neurologist office called to see if I could come in later that day. I did not think anything more than they may have found the cause. Little did I know that my world was about to change. I went into his office at 12:30pm EST and I will never forget what he asked me. How is your day going? And I told him that he was my third doctor visit of the day and he responded with I am going to send you to a fourth. Then you pulled up the MRI images and showed me what was found. I just broke down because I was relieved to finally have some answers after six months with symptoms. I was also scared at the next steps. He told me that he wanted to send me to see a neurosurgeon to determine which course of action would be the best for my case. First would be surgery for complete removal of the meningioma or go in take a biopsy and do radiation treatment. Mind you this a Friday afternoon so I tried to call family members and no one was around expect my sister-in law and I broke down in the car before I went back to work as I couldn’t go home and sit and wonder I had to distract myself. So I went into the office and told my office manager what was going and tried to finish preparing a file for closing. Then I started getting dizzy, vision issue and all of a sudden my phone rings it was the neurosurgeon office that wanted me to come in at 8am Monday, June 6, 2016 and that my surgery was scheduled for Tuesday June 7, 2016. My boyfriend texted me since it was at the apt he couldn’t find one of my cats and I said please I don’t need this right now I have a lot on my plate and we will discuss it when I get home as he has just started a new position I did not try to call him at work. I did tell my employer the situation and that I would be in late on Monday. So all weekend I was stressed beyond believe did not really sleep or eat and went to tell family what was going on. So Monday morning arrives and we both head into the office not sure what to expect. My neurosurgeon finally comes in and I thought he should be playing basketball because he was well over six feet tall. He basically told me that he does this type of surgery all the time, but not someone my age. I would most likely be in the hospital a day or two at the most and that I would be out of work anywhere between 2-6 weeks depending on how my body heals. So that meant no driving until my two week surgery follow up and no work. He gave me copies of the pictures from the MRI showing my meningioma. We went to breakfast before I went into work as I was scared as this was my first major surgery. I finally arrived at work before I got out of my care Maine Medical Center was calling to check me in for my surgery on Tuesday. Once that phone call was completed I went into work and told my office manager and the attorney I work for and she told me not to try to come back to work until I had my after surgery consult. We arrived at the hospital 1.5 hours before surgery to get checked in. Prior to me handing over my phone to my boyfriend who was there with me I set up a group text so that he could let people know how I made out. Surgery was roughly 2-4 hours and scheduled for noon. I remember being the prep room cracking jokes with the nurses to cope with this. They gave me something because the last thing I saw was the operating room doors. Apparently my surgery was only 2 hours as I would spend the next 4 in recovery. I do remember waking up briefly in the operating room with the oxygen mask on and then next time I awoke was in recovery when my neurosurgeon came to check on me. I then awoke to the point I could see people little did I know that my boyfriend entire family was in the waiting room with him to make sure I was okay. I then asked the recovery nurse if I had any food restriction and she said no because I was starving. I was able to order food to the room I was being transferred to. I got my phone back and was cracking jokes with my family. That night in the hospital I need assistance to get in out of bed because I was having right leg and foot issues that I didn’t have very much feeling and I couldn’t wiggle my toes. At about 3 am they took me down for my after surgery MRI and if that came back clear I would be clear to go home after seeing a physical therapist. Sure enough Wednesday June 8, 2016 I was released from the hospital and on my way home. My boyfriend made sure that I had everything I needed before he went back to work. He crushed up my medication bought groceries. I am a very independent person so to have someone else take care of me was hard. A friend of mine took me to a friend to help me wash the remaining glue out of my hair once I could shower. I spent the next 2 weeks bored out of my mind and watching lots of Netflix and sleeping. I had friends bringing me food and setting up a go fund me Page to help with expenses. Which it did for a while. I was able to go back to work the week before 4th of July. My neurosurgeon gave me the all clear to begin slowly easing back into things. He also gave me the results of the type of tumor/meningioma I had. It test as a grade 2 out of 3. Meaning that it is a-typical fast growing and the course of treatment would be to see a radiologist to see if I need to start radiation, thankfully I didn’t need that option. So the next options was to have follow up MRI’s starting at 3 months and then in 6 month intervals until it is determined less frequent is needed. I still was healing but I couldn’t sit at home any longer. I was paying what I could with my medical bills and regular bills as I did not have any short term disability. So any extra money goes to catching up those things. I did get some help from my local salvation army so that my electric bill did not get shut off and York Community Action program helped me pay one of the bills and one month’s back rent. I am trying to stay on top of all my bills but it has been hard. I am still struggling with my recovery and still have issues with post – cranial headaches and pain. My doctor has ordered my six month follow up MRI and I begin the appeals process with my health insurance as they don’t want to pay for any of the costs because I have not met my deductible for this year even though it is medically necessary care.