The Other Side of the Mirror


My story actually started several years ago, but let’s start with the title. The best way I can describe how I felt when the words “Brain Tumor” were said to me. It was all in slow motion, like I was watching through a mirror at someone else. Over the last four plus years I have had health issues come up but nothing alarming enough to really go to the doctor with. I started falling, so much that my friends and family started calling me Grace. I was never one to have a headache, but almost daily at some point, I started having them. Sinus issues, vision issues, and numbing of my face. About two years ago my husband woke up to find me staring off into space, I would not respond in any way, this lasted just a minute or so. I told him how strange I felt that morning, confused and needing to just sit down. I called the doctor and went in to see her, she ordered test for the heart, we talked about everything that had been going on for some time now, end result, I was healthy, maybe suffering from some mild form of depression, oh, and my age, I had just turned 51. Now it’s April 2018, my day started off crazy, I locked myself out of my house before leaving for work, spilt my coffee and was in general, confused. As I sat at my desk working one of my coworkers said she walked by my office and noticed I looked strange (I remember none of this), I would not respond, they called 911, I was taken to the ER. I remember my head hurt so bad, they did a CT scan and informed me they thought I had had a seizure and that the CT showed a blurb on it and I would need to stay overnight for a MRI the next morning. The seizures continued throughout the night, getting worse each time. MRI was done, around 11a.m., with my family in the room with me, this Neurologist walked in, looked at me and said, “YOU HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR, its nothing to worry about, none of the things happening to you now are related”. My thoughts were, how could the not be. They had a my primary come to see me and she explained her thoughts, the tumor had grown just enough to put pressure in the wrong places, therefore causing what was going on. Over the next seven days I remained in the hospital having seizure after seizure, one of which required the crash cart to be called in, I had coded. I was finally stabilized and released to be sent to another surgeon, and another, and another. In July, 2018 I meet the most amazing surgeon, he listened to me, he actually did an exam, he when all the way back the that morning my husband found me, which he said was a classic seizure. My tumor although smaller, was definitely causing my problems. My craniotomy was in August, and boy was I scared, my tumor was left frontal lobe against the superior sagittal sinus, the odds of removing it all was very rare. I woke from the surgery feeling great, no headache, it was gone, the pressure was gone, of course my incision did hurt, lol. Recovery was not to long for me, but I was so tired. At my three month MRI I was told they were not able to remove it all, a small amount remained, left alone it would start to grow again, but I have chosen to do radiation to prevent that from happening. Next month we will finish evicting Earle (my tumor’s name), I have learned so much over the last year, be your own advocate, don’t just take what the doctors tell you when you know in your heart its not right, love yourself, and treat yourself.

Carla Sims | Patient | Meningioma