Hanging out in the hospital exam room.

-

I was hoping that brain surgery would teach me a thing or two. That I would wake up from my operation with some sort of hidden knowledge that’s only accessible to those who’ve had their skulls cracked open.

It’s not that I thought I’d wake up speaking French or anything (though I wouldn’t have been against that. I’ve always wanted to learn French). Rather, I imagined I’d groggily rub my eyes and look around with a new appreciation for the world around me. My new perspective would prevent me from getting upset about the small stuff.

I thought that after brain surgery, I could rise above the trivial crap we often find ourselves miring in.

And for a while, that was the case. They say that your true self comes out when you are heavily medicated, and my true self, to everyone’s surprise, was an absolute sweetheart. I loved all my nurses, even the blond that Rand had dubbed “the nasty one” (“You just don’t understand her like I do,” I said, drooling onto my gown). I declared my mother the best mother – NAY, the best HUMAN – in the entire universe. I was even tempted to call a few people that I hated and tell them how I had changed my mind about them, how I was wrong to suggest that if they were a crossword puzzle clue, they’d be “a four-letter word that starts with ‘c’ and rhymes with punt.”

Trust me, no one was more shocked than I about my new-found niceness and goodwill.

Of course, I was hepped on something ten times stronger than morphine, and I suspect that had something to do with it. For when I finally came down from that stratospheric high, many many days later, I found I was back to my old, cranky, ill-tempered self.

And for a while, I moped, because I had gone through all that brain drilling and learned positively nothing.

In hindsight, though, this isn’t entirely true. I did learn a few things. I learned what it’s like to have a brain tumor. What it’s like to get an MRI and a CT scan and what it’s like to be completely and utterly knocked out. I learned what it’s like to have staples in your head and what it’s like to have them removed.

I learned what it was like to have brain surgery.

Hell, not even my doctors, who are experts in the field, have been through that.

Here are some of the things I learned from my experience. I tried putting them in some sort of coherent order, but that kind of failed miserably, so instead, I’ve just plopped them all into one big list.

Call it a brain dump, if you will.

  1. Trying to diagnose yourself over the internet is a terrible idea. The world wide web, once a dear friend, purveyor of porn, and shopping buddy, will turn on you. And, as my friend Chad so brilliantly puts it, you will come away thinking that you have a life expectancy of three or four minutes.
    -
  2. Rather than asking Google all those questions rolling around in your tumor-ridden head, I found it best to write them down and direct them to your doctor. Every. Single. One. (Well, every single one that pertains to brain tumors. Don’t go asking your doctor about where you can find those naked photos of Prince Harry from Vegas. He might know, but it will just get awkward from there.) If you don’t write them down, trust me, you will forget them the second you enter the exam room, and will conveniently remember them again well after you’ve gotten home.
    -
  3. Feel free to run around the house doing your best Arnold Schwarzeneggar impersonation, saying “It is a tumor.” Trust me: it will never get old.
  4. Note that the tumor is not the sole reason behind your tendency to enter a room and forget why you went in there in the first place. If that were the case, everyone on the planet would have a brain tumor. My mother would have 17 of them.
    -
  5. However, the tumor may be the reason behind your headaches, your hormone fluctuations, and why you think that Sorority Boys was a good film.
    -
  6. It’s okay to be scared out of your mind.
    -
  7. If you are claustrophobic, getting an MRI may cause you to freak out. Calm yourself with notion that the process is similar to being inside a big front-loading washing machine. Become the dirty laundry.
    -
  8. You will have to remove all metal on your body. That includes body-piercings. This means that at some point after your MRI you will find yourself staring at three metal hoop earrings, and you will not, for the life of you, be able to figure out which one was in your nose and which two go in your ears.
    -
  9. If your pants have metal on them, you will be given hospital scrubs to wear, which are comfortable, but not really designed for big-hipped gals. I give you Exhibit A:-

    So Cosmo says I’m fat, but I ain’t down with that.

    -

  10. I kept asking the technician a bunch of “What ifs?” (What if he passed out, leaving me inside the machine for hours? What if the building suddenly lost power, and I was stuck inside?) After going through every unlikely scenario with me, he finally said (with a more than passing degree of exasperation) that in an emergency, I could crawl out of the machine. So remember that: if the zombie apocalypse happens while you are getting your juicy brain scanned, you can always crawl out.
    -
  11. MRIs are insanely loud. The noises fall somewhere between those of a garbage disposal, a semi-automatic machine gun, and a semi-automatic machine gun that has been put inside a garbage disposal. Fortunately, you’ll get earplugs and (if you are lucky) headphones, too. So you can listen to NPR and replace some of the dendrites and synapses that you lost to irradiating your head.
    -
  12. You will likely be quite calm for your first MRI, because you have convinced yourself that it’s just a precautionary measure to ensure that nothing is wrong. You will likely freak out for your second MRI, because clearly, something is wrong and THAT IS WHY YOU ARE GETTING A SECOND MRI. Fear not: the technicians are often quite used to hysterical crying (however, when you finally do lie down for the scan, the snot from your crying fit will clog your sinuses something fierce).
    -
  13. Once the scans start, you can’t move at all. Take care to pick any wedgies beforehand.
  14. Compared to an MRI, a CT scan is like a walk in the park. A very short walk.
    - 
  15. Tumors are like meth-cooking tenants in a cheap apartment complex. Even after you give them notice of eviction, they can be hard to get rid of. And they often trash the place before leaving.
    -
  16. Naming your tumor is a great way to show that you are dealing with the situation in a light-hearted manner, or may be a subtle signal to your friends that they should stop asking you when you are going to have a baby, because you have a FRIGGING BRAIN TUMOR and that is occupying most of your time right now.
    -
    If you do chose to name your tumor, DO NOT name it after one of your in-laws. That will not come off as the heartfelt tribute you intended it to be.
    -
  17. You may be tempted to try and figure out why you presently have a brain tumor. This is a waste of time. Brain tumors can be the result of a myriad of things, so it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint one cause.
    -
    Unless, say, you spent your childhood sticking your head inside the microwave and turning it on. Because that’s probably why you have a brain tumor.
    -
  18. There is no shame in eating an entire dish of brownies or half a dozen cupcakes in the span of six hours. If anyone questions your behavior, explain that you are eating for two.

    A small sampling of some of the several dozen cupcakes I was sent.

    -

  19. Suddenly, Rihanna’s half-shaved haircut will seem completely reasonable.
    -
  20. The upside of this experience is that you now have a great excuse for forgetting people’s names. Behold:
    -
    “I’m sorry, I just had brain surgery. What should I call you?”
    -
    “Mom. You should call me mom.”
    -
  21. A bit of life-long retrospection is normal. If you look back upon things, and your biggest regret is that you should have spent less time working out and more time eating cake, then you can’t really complain. If the only mistakes you’ve made involve seeing too many Ben Affleck movies while they were still in the theater, then consider yours a life well lived.
    -
    Even though you’re pretty convinced that you still deserve a refund for Daredevil.
    -
  22. Yelling at those close to you is a completely normal and shitty consequence of being scared.-

    Sorry about that, baby.

    -

  23. Screaming at the TV or internet is perfectly acceptable, too.
    -
  24. While one would hope that learning of a potentially cancerous legion on their brain might make them gain perspective, sadly, often times, the opposite is true. Rather than worry about the bigger issues before you, it is easier to focus on the fact that your tailor totally botched the alterations of your dress.
    -
    Of course, part of the reason you’re so pissed about the dress is that if someone can screw up fabric, just imagine what they can do to your head.
    -
    Then remember that your doctor’s machinery will be slightly more advanced than a Singer sewing machine.
    -
  25. In my experience, most neurosurgeons do not get sarcasm. If you openly ask them what are the odds that your tumor is a rogue Lego that you shoved up your nose at the age of 3, they will likely explain to you in detail the high improbability of that.

    Warning: Do NOT insert in nose.

    -
    They do, however, get a kick out of hearing you say, “Just take a little off the top,” when you are about to go in for surgery.
    -

  26. Odds are, you will not be able to take your tumor home to have it bronzed, because for some reason your doctors say they need it.
    -
  27. The following are unacceptable nicknames for your neurosurgeon: Buddy. Champ. Bubba. The Slicer. The Dicer. Iron Mike Slice-on. The Widow-Maker. Extreme Barber.
    -
  28. Have someone you trust speak with your neurosurgeon. They should ask a long series of questions, and investigate your doctor thoroughly before your surgery. This is to ensure that your surgeon is not, in fact, a zombie, and this entire operation isn’t a ruse to get to your delicious, delicious brain.
    -
  29. Upon revealing that you have a tumor to friends and family, you may find that they react in different ways. Some may express their sadness at learning that you are not the prime physical specimen they always believed you to be. Others may openly show signs of guilt, because honestly, they never expected that Voo Doo doll to work.
    -
  30. You may notice that friends will start to look at you differently. For example, they may stare at you intently for minutes at a time, or peer into your face, seemingly in search of something.
    -
    Fear not: they are probably just concerned about you and are looking for any tangible signs of illness. Either that, or they are trying to figure out by your facial expressions which of your things you will bequeath to them in a will if things go badly.
    -
  31. Understand that your medical condition provides a rare opportunity to serve as a life-lesson for others. Be sure to offer your services to friends or relatives with small children. If the child has a nasty habit, this is a great way of getting them to kick it.
    -
    “Why do I have a brain tumor? Because I picked my nose too much when I was little. You don’t pick your nose, do you, Jimmy? Because that’s basically like ASKING for a brain tumor.”
    -
  32. The look on your loved ones’ faces after you tell them about your tumor will remain etched in your mind and heart until probably the day you die. Considering that, it is probably best to tell your parents what’s going on over the phone.
    -
    Do not lead with “I have a brain tumor.” That sort of tends to freak people out.
    -
  33. You may have a parent who is not inclined to voicing his or her affection towards you. After a phone call with said parent, you may tell them that you love them, and they will reply with, “Yeah.”
    -
    This will be weirdly comforting, because if they had said, “I love you, too,” then you’d really start to worry.
    -
  34. You’ll be amazed by how many people you know have gone through the same thing. There’s nothing more calming than having a friend say, “Your tumor is only a centimeter long? Pssh. Mine was the size of a golf ball.”
    -
  35. You may find that your husband has taken to wandering around the house, playing the ukelele, and singing some of your favorite songs, as a means of coping with the stress of this situation. It is best not to look directly at him when he does this, or there is a good chance that your heart might explode.
    -
  36. Nor should you think about the way his eyes twinkle in the light of day (again, because of risk of heart explosion).

    And holy crap, do they twinkle.

    -

  37. It’s entirely okay to spend the night before your surgery catching up on Mad Men. Be warned, though, that you might wake up demanding Pete Campbell’s testicles on a plate.
    -
  38. The idea of having your head cut open is much more acceptable when you learn that the only other option is to literally pop your eye out and go in through your ocular cavity. (Which I still SWEAR must have been a joke. Right?)
    -
  39. Proper trousers are for those with intact brains. You may feel free to wear pajamas all day for at least a week or three.
    -
  40. Before surgery, make sure to clean your house and pay your bills, because the only thing you’ll want to do after surgery is sleep and eat pudding. Sadly, after extensive research, I can definitively say that sleeping and eating pudding will not result in a clean house or paid bills.
    -
  41. The last part of your body to wake up from anesthesia is your lower intestine. (Translation: You will not be able to poo for days and days. Do you hear me? DAYS AND DAYS.)
    -
  42. Good friends will listen to your post-surgery constipation stories. Great friends will high-five you when you tell them that you are actually able to poo again.
    -
  43. Fruit bouquets are pretty much the best thing you can send anyone recovering from anything.
  44. Drink plenty of water the day before your surgery, since you won’t be able to have any the morning of (and you’ll be so dehydrated, the nurse will have to rub your vein in order to get blood drawn, which is all kinds of unpleasant).
    -
  45. Have a clever one liner prepared for when you come to. Since I had a bunch of metal in my head, I decided to go the Terminator route, and held a photo of Edward Furlong circa the mid-nineties, asking my husband if he had seen this boy, John Connor.
    -
    He didn’t get the joke. Once-in-a-lifetime set up AND HE DIDN’T. GET. THE. JOKE.
    -
  46. Occasionally, surgeons will forgo putting a metal plate in your head and just rely on the bone to fuse on its own (or for scar tissue to develop and protect the hole in your skull). This means that you will be running around with a soft spot in your head for several months. Make friends with babies. They understand how fragile you feel.

    At least you aren’t a jellyfish; their whole bodies are soft spots.

    -

  47. If the surgeons skip the metal plate, they will leave a drainage tube inside your head for a little while after surgery. Depending on where your tumor was, it may extend incredibly deep into your brain. Removing it is akin to picking the biggest wedgie ever. It will be glorious.
    -
  48. Also, the removal of the drainage tube will be gross and horrifying to all spectators. Even those who gave birth to you, and who have presumably seen a lot of disgusting things come out of your body.
    -
  49. Worse still will be when they staple shut the hole the drainage tube left in your head. I’m not gonna lie: that will hurt like hell.
    -
  50. Realize that this experience will make you an unmitigated bad ass. Feel free to bring it up constantly, even when it doesn’t pertain to the conversation at all.
    -
    “Congratulations on your promotion! Did I mention that I had brain surgery? Because I did. Me. Me. Me.”
    -
  51. The total bill for my surgery was around $57,000. We paid about $2,000 out of pocket. Health insurance is a godsend. I wish everyone had it.

    20 minutes in this room was pricier than any hotel I’ve ever been to.

    -

  52. Sometimes going for a short walk can feel like a huge achievement unto itself.-
  53.  Ditto for eating four desserts in one day.
    -
  54. For the first time since 1985, you will find yourself needing your mom’s help to get into the bathtub. And to wash your hair. And to get out of the bathtub. And to dry your hair. That’s okay. That’s what moms are for.
    -
  55. Your surgeon will put a grease in your hair in order to part and hold it in place prior to the surgery. It will take several long washes before it comes out. On the plus side, it smells pretty good.
    -
  56. Depending on your surgery, it will take you any where from several days to several weeks before you start feeling even remotely like yourself. Use this downtime wisely. Take up a new hobby (like seeing if the staples in your head are magnetic) or take some time to appreciate the artistic menagerie that is daytime television.
    -
    (Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t follow the plot. It’s mostly the copious amount of drugs in your system, and not a sign of cognitive damage.)
    -
  57. Despite your proclamations that your bladder is as dry as the Sahara, you will probably have to get a catheter put in for your surgery. You probably won’t remember it being inserted or removed. But afterwards, your bladder will spasm like hell and you’ll have to pee every five minutes.
    -
  58. Having your staples removed doesn’t actually hurt at all. But you can pretend that it does if you need extra sympathy points. Just be sure to get the physician’s assistant to play along.
    -
  59. Unless it says, “take as needed,” your medication is not optional. Your whines about the horse pills you have to swallow will be largely ignored by your caretakers and husband.
    -
  60. Being on the sidelines is scarier than being in the operating room.
    -
  61. Contrary to what movies, TV, and The Simpsons have taught us, you don’t magically “wake up” from surgery the way you would a nap. You don’t really remember coming to. Instead, you’ll be in haze of drugs and anesthesia for several days.
    -
  62. During that time, you will say many embarrassing and inappropriate things. Pray no one has a video camera.
    -
  63. Even under sedation, The Muppets Take Manhattan is entertaining.
    -
  64. Steroids stop your brain from swelling. They are crucial and life-saving in this respect. They will also turn you into a moon-faced teenager. Expect to have mood swings, eat everything in sight, and break out unceremonially.
    -
  65. Random bald spots or facial and neck bruises (from where they clamped down your head) are completely normal. If anyone asks about them, explain that you tried making out with a badger.
  66. When people offer to help, they aren’t just being polite. They want to help. That’s why they offered.
    -
  67. You may not remember very much of what happened during the days and week after the surgery. Try not to write any ill-advised screenplays.
    -
  68. No one is actually expecting thank you notes, but it’s a nice gesture if you send them, anyway. Bonus points if you write the note from the perspective of your tumor.
    -
  69. For the love of all that is holy, go easy on yourself. (I went running three weeks after my surgery. That was stupid. Running when you are healthy is bad idea. Heck, running at any time when you aren’t being actively chased is a BAD IDEA.)
    -
  70. Don’t pick at it.
So that’s it. Everything I learned from brain surgery. Well, mostly everything. There’s one last point that I’ve kept off of here, because it seems strange to put it alongside all those other reasons. But it’s something that hit me, time and time again during surgery.

 

It’s this: we are, every single one of us, loved.

 

I’m sorry if that sounds earnest and treacly, but it’s true. Every single one of us, regardless of whether or not we think we deserve it, is loved, far more than we realize. By our family. By our friends. By dark-haired, twinkly-eyed boys in plaid shirts.

 

-

The thing is, even before brain surgery, I kind of suspected that to be true.

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Full list of categories:  Nothing to Do With Travel » Random Musings » Top Ten
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Comments (264)

  1. 11. Sep, 2012 / Casey:

    :-)
    I can empathise with the post op bowel movement story. When they asked me ‘have you had a movement’ after a cesarean, instead of saying- “Sheesh, NO ok?” I should have said (and will if ever in the same position). “Not yet, do you have hardcore drugs for that because I understand that it could become problematic?” Ahh, 20/20 vision. Shudder.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    This past Friday, I had my tenth shunt revision, but still found your post to be enlightening. Especially #70…SO TRUE!!!!

    [Reply]

  2. 11. Sep, 2012 / TheOtherLisa:

    Heh. I shouldn’t have read this today.

    Apparently my blood work shows that there is a possibility of a “growth” on my pituitary gland. My MRI is tomorrow afternoon.

    I’m a little scared.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Lisa! I’m so sorry to hear this. On the plus side, pituitary tumors are very, very common and treatable. Plus, the MRI tech will give you a little buzzer you can squeeze if you want to be taken out of the machine. You will do great!

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Lisa, I know that pituitary tumors are a miserable experience. I was diagnosed in 2007, after 8 years of weight fluctuation, thyroid functions that absolutely could not be regulated, heart dysrhythmias (ended up with a cardiac ablation at age 21…that WASN’T NEEDED)…thinking about it, I’ve had lots of tests that weren’t needed…I kept asking my OB/Gyn when I would stop lactating…I asked a few months after my son weened, a few months later, a few years later, etc…if only I’d mentioned that to any of the other doctors. After 3 months in the hospital, being treated like a drug seeker, wearing a patch over my right eye because the light made the pressure unbearable, horrible headaches, etc, my neurologist asked me if I was experiencing anything else, no matter how innoculous it seemed. I mentioned that I was still lactating. This is that conversation:
    Him: How old is your baby?
    Me: 7
    Him: Months?
    Me: No. Years.
    Him: I think I have the answer.
    So another MRI later (this made 4)…this time with contrast, and the tech given instructions to focus on the pituitary, I got my diagnosis. I remember feeling relief. I FINALLY had an answer. I wasn’t crazy…well, at least not for this reason…
    Now, I’ve elected not to have mine removed and have been able to keep it on the small side with Bromicriptine (sp?)…I’m a paramedic and a nurse and just don’t want anyone sticking things up my nose and fishing around (I know it’s a lot more precise than that, but that’s what I imagine…I mean, what if the doc sneezes?!?!)….but I digress. With medications, I feel 99% human, still deal with a lot of fatigue, but I’ve managed to have another baby (who is currently throwing toy cars at the back of my computer)…he’s 17months and you know what?!….I’m not lactating!!!! :-)
    In all seriousness, I know you’re going through a miserable experience. It’s not just the tumor and it’s effects in the brain, it’s that every single flipping hormone in your body is out of balance and you probably feel like you’re ready to come unglued. It will get better. I remember being told that it was ‘all in my head’…how right he turned out to be…with different meaning.
    If I can be of any support, feel free to email me: Amanda H. ‘hermesfamily4@yahoo.com’

    [Reply]

    Tina Reply:

    I heard for years it was all in my head as well from my ex and a doctor believe it or not . I was diagnosed with an inoperable pituitary adenoma 12 years ago. I had headaches, vision problems, muscle cramps and spasms in my legs and was always falling and hurting myself and had milk in my breasts even after I had a hysterectomy. My doctor kept telling me I was a drug seeker or a hypochondriac until he went on vacation and I fell again when I tried to get up to go to work one morning and my head hurt so bad and my eyes were all blurry and double vision. He never connected any of my symptoms even though something always was coming up he ignored it and treated only what he believed it was. A new partner in their office was covering for him and she looked at my complaints and my hospital complaints and then ordered a MRI and some blood tests and the blood tests were not right so she sent me to nuclear medicine and that is where the found my pituitary tumor. I has been a long hard road I have had terrible times over the years even had to have caregiver for 24 hours a day and bathe me and clean my house and make my meals and I had to learn how to teach myself how to function all over again. Three years ago something changed and I started changing for the better the tumor shrank on its own and now I have almost completed my Bachelors degree in Psychology and would like to try and get a desk job counseling individuals. Good luck to all on your journey and if you need an ear I am here I have been to the point where I already spoke with my children about my bleak future but it is not so bleak anymore and I hope it stays that way. If anyone needs an ear I know that I have had my ups and downs and they can happen in an instant so be patient with yourself don’t give up and throw the towel in just yet. It is a good possibility that things can change.

    [Reply]

  3. 11. Sep, 2012 / Mike:

    Even without any context whatsoever, this single line is brilliantly funny: “Sadly, after extensive research, I can definitively say that sleeping and eating pudding will not result in a clean house or paid bills.”

    [Reply]

  4. 11. Sep, 2012 / Josima Luchsinger:

    I Loved This! Thankyou!

    [Reply]

  5. 11. Sep, 2012 / Andrea:

    I hope if I ever am found in a situation like this, I can find the grace and honesty to handle it like you did. Also, I hope my loved ones have the forethought to send me cupcakes and fruit bouquets should I ever have surgery.

    [Reply]

  6. 11. Sep, 2012 / Mona:

    You are so incredibly brave. I have a friend who is dealing with the same thing, I just referred her to your blog. I think it will bring her some comfort.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, good heavens, bravery has nothing to do with it. Trust me. :)

    [Reply]

  7. 11. Sep, 2012 / Melanie:

    The first poop after surgery was scarier to me than the surgery itself.

    I am still amused that there were many pictures of me posted on Facebook in my hospital gown, that I have no recollection of people taking. There were people that were there that I don’t even remember being there.

    And the MRI machine is not my friend. I had to do several and every time I wanted to squeeze that little ball for them to get me out. I didn’t, but it was really hard not to.

    I’m glad things are going well for you now. I loved this list.

    [Reply]

    Suzanne Reply:

    That first poop was the worst thing I ever went through in my life ( well, after the actual craniotomy itself ) . You cannot do anything but sit calmly and pray for something to ” happen” as you can not strain yourself at all. I felt like my head would explode.

    Humorous to recall now, but awful then……..:-)

    [Reply]

  8. 11. Sep, 2012 / Kristi:

    #44 and #47 – AHHH!

    Your website came in handy two weeks ago when a friend of the family found a cyst/tumor and had to have brain surgery. He appreciated your blog :)

    [Reply]

  9. 11. Sep, 2012 / Carmel:

    I’ve had 2 MRIs and a CT scan. You are right…CT scan feels like a walk in the park now. On my last MRI, I thought I was going to puke from the dye. Thankfully I did not, or I would’ve had to start the whole damn half hour ordeal again.

    [Reply]

  10. 11. Sep, 2012 / CMFT:

    :) Loved the post. Stay healthy !

    “It’s this: we are, every single one of us, loved.
    I’m sorry if that sounds earnest and treacly, but it’s true. Every single one of us, regardless of whether or not we think we deserve it, is loved, far more than we realize. ” – <3 -ed it !

    [Reply]

  11. 11. Sep, 2012 / Caitlin:

    You are inspiring. Because while I’ve been going through my own mini-hell, I’ve been telling myself, “Well, at least I don’t have a brain tumor!” Instead, I’ve got a broken fibula and anywhere from 2 – 8 weeks of bed rest.

    You rock. Really. Thank you for being brutally honest through the journey.

    [Reply]

  12. 11. Sep, 2012 / SirBrenton:

    Powerful and courageous. Thanks for sharing your story!

    [Reply]

  13. 11. Sep, 2012 / Alesia:

    From one brain tumor survivor to another, you “nailed” it!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Yay! Glad you liked it. :)

    [Reply]

    Ellen Reply:

    I second that!

    [Reply]

    Nic Reply:

    I’m 13 and I 3rd that!!

    [Reply]

  14. 11. Sep, 2012 / Sara:

    This list is pretty spot on! I will add a 3rd option for the skull repairing, beyond a metal plate or an open hole. They might pop the CD-sized piece of skull they removed back onto your head and screw it on tight with little titanium screws. It’s like permanent bling (that, sadly, no one can see and enjoy)!

    And as far as the change in perspective? Give it time. I wondered too, and it took at least a good 6 months to notice the differences in how I felt and saw things. So you may still be surprised…! :)

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    A friend of mine actually had this done – his skull is screwed together. He’s screwy. :)

    [Reply]

    Kim Reply:

    That is how mine was done… head X-Rays after look really interesting. The little postage stamp areas where the screws placed look like a kid’s drawing of flower petals. :) I’m a little screwy too! I’m sure that it’s an interesting feeling for any of the massage therapists who have worked on me. There are still some soft spots 8 years later.

    One more thing I learned… it really is okay to shave your head if you want, or at least get a really short hair cut. Dealing with my hair drama was more traumatizing at times than the surgery itself.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    [Reply]

  15. 11. Sep, 2012 / Marie:

    I love your writing and your humor! Thanks for sharing this.

    I do not have a brain tumor, but I have a cholesteatoma in my ear…I had my first head CT and MRI last month and had ear surgery shortly afterward. I will have to have a craniotomy in the next month or two because the bone between my ear and brain has been eaten away, followed by another ear surgery. So I can relate to some of this, even though the tumor was in my ear rather than my brain.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  16. 11. Sep, 2012 / Beth Weese:

    Ah, the ukelule one was the best. I can understand the risk of heart explosion.

    As always, your writing is heartfelt, hilarious, and awesome. You haven’t lost it. ;)

    [Reply]

  17. 11. Sep, 2012 / Ken:

    I share your disappointment about your surgeon not getting the Lego joke.
    If it’s any consolation the surgeon who did my lumpectomy a few years ago (which was somewhere much *ahem* lower) didn’t bat an eyelid at my joke when they were getting ready to inject the local anaesthetic. The anaesthetist however nearly wet herself when I said, “Just a little prick?”

    [Reply]

  18. 11. Sep, 2012 / Dysfunction Junction:

    I love how two people, separated by thousands of miles with only brain surgery in common have the exact same experience. (Though, I ate Dilly Bars instead of pudding.)

    Who would have thought staples are the worst part about the surgery?

    And I still laugh about telling my mother that I’d sell my soul for some chicken soup.

    [Reply]

  19. 11. Sep, 2012 / Jess:

    Just so you know, having been through many, many surgeries and MRIs and as someone with a rare disease that precludes me taking those wonder drugs (opiates like morphine, Demerol, Percoset, etc) that most of you are using when you wake up… it’s the drugs that cause the constipation. Yes, an operation will make you constipated, but only until you’re up and around in the next couple days. It’s the opiates that cause the 5-day, holy heck, what is wrong with my colon? constipation.

    That said, when you consider that I must do all my recoveries with just ibuprofen (mind you, it’s industrial strength, but still) because in 100 years we really haven’t come up with anything better than opiates for pain, you might be glad of the constipation. I have done a c-section recovery, sinus surgery recovery and a hysterectomy recovery all on ibuprofen, as well as the most painful thing I’ve ever had, which was a virus that mimicked meningitis. So not being able to go may not be the worst thing ever. Though since I have tried Demerol and know exactly what that constipation feels like, I’m tempted to claim it’s a toss up.

    And your list, and writing, were as wonderful as always. Glad you’re well again!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Jess – you are amazing! So sorry to hear you can’t take opiates. But glad you are tough enough to handle it without them. Damn.

    [Reply]

    Jess Reply:

    My disease also gives me a much, much higher pain tolerance than most people, so it sort of evens out, in the end! Since it messes with my nerves, they don’t handle pain the same way everyone else’s do. No additional toughness required.

    [Reply]

  20. 11. Sep, 2012 / hopeforheather:

    Ohhhhhh my gosh! This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read! And totally spot on.

    [Reply]

  21. 11. Sep, 2012 / winopants:

    Any descriptions of medical procedures make me *severely* squeamish- MRIs, staples etc. But I couldn’t stop reading this, as many of these points had me laughing out loud.
    This piece is also a sweet reminder of how important love and humor are in getting us through the worst of times.

    [Reply]

  22. 11. Sep, 2012 / Alex @ ifs ands & butts:

    I just have to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. Pretty sure I forward each post to at least one friend. Keep making people smile!

    [Reply]

  23. 11. Sep, 2012 / Mary:

    From one brain tumor survivor to another, this post was awesome! So many giggles reading this! I nicknamed my surgeon the Tumornator so I fully appreciate your terminator jokes even if your husband didn’t. If you’re going to have a brain tumor you might as well be able to have some humor about in between the moments of pure fear. Wishing nothing but clean MRI’s for your brain’s future so you can’t start running around saying “it’s not a tumor!” :)

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    THE TUMORNATOR?

    That is so awesome. I’m jealous I didn’t think of it. :)

    [Reply]

    Todd Reply:

    Completely agree. Tumonator is one awesome name! Wish I had thought of it as well. I’m going to blame Jeoffrey for him getting his GOT inspired name.

    [Reply]

  24. 11. Sep, 2012 / Kristina Cline:

    number 65 is my favorite. Glad you are well.

    [Reply]

  25. 11. Sep, 2012 / Just One Boomer (Suzanne):

    #72: Recovery is not linear. There will be good days and bad days. Good hours and bad hours. If you don’t “get” this, you can become very depressed. Actually, you can become very depressed anyway—which, as you point out, is where the cupcakes come in.

    [Reply]

  26. 11. Sep, 2012 / Dana:

    G you are one hell of a woman who can take this subject, look it in the eye, and laughingly say “Fuck you”. Entertaining yes, but for future subject matter may I suggest a safer, less evasive subject like knitting or boche ball?

    [Reply]

  27. 11. Sep, 2012 / Janet T:

    “You may have a parent who is not inclined to voicing his or her affection towards you. After a phone call with said parent, you may tell them that you love them, and they will reply with, “Yeah.”
    -
    This will be weirdly comforting, because if they had said, “I love you, too,” then you’d really start to worry.”

    While not even close to having a brain tumor- I felt the same way once when after a really bad decision to have a perm, my dad, said “ it doesn’t look too bad” whereas before the perm, my dad would not have commented on my hair if it was on fire. Not comforting at all, Dad!

    And never forget that you are the reason that Rand has that twinkle in his eye.

    [Reply]

  28. 11. Sep, 2012 / Christie:

    YESSS to ALL THE THINGS. But, especially YES to numbers 1, 2, and 71. They literally have to teach medical students how to deal with patients who self-diagnose on the internet (no really, they do, I experienced it). In addition to scaring yourself silly, you are sidetracking the professional brain miner, and that is not the person you want to sidetrack! Two is always lovely, really and truly. And 71? Well, that’s the SparkNotes of life. Thanks for giving realistic insight :) All that medical television is really setting back accurate public knowledge.

    [Reply]

  29. 11. Sep, 2012 / Andi:

    I’ve been lucky and have never had a serious injury/illness or have had to stay in the hospital (knock on wood). But if I ever did I would just read this post and it would make me smile and feel okay. Thanks for that.

    [Reply]

  30. 11. Sep, 2012 / Noman Ali:

    If this story is true than i salute you ma’am you gave some reason to live with joy. You are brave woman but i think behind this Rand playing a big role to motivate you.

    [Reply]

  31. 11. Sep, 2012 / Jonathon Colman:

    On a scale from 1-10, how bad is it that you kept me laughing all the way through this? I’m thinking 11.

    [Reply]

    Aaron Friedman Reply:

    To add to that, don’t read this post on a train or in other quiet places around people…. you will get looks :)

    [Reply]

  32. 11. Sep, 2012 / Geepster:

    When I shared your latest post I told my friends that sometimes a travel blog can take you places you don’t ever want to go but you’re sure glad you got to share the experience.
    Glad to hear that you’re back on your feet, even if you’re not running.

    [Reply]

  33. 11. Sep, 2012 / Damon:

    I’d say that twinkly eyed boy in plaid is pretty darn lucky.

    Favoriting this article, just in case I need a reference guide.

    [Reply]

  34. 11. Sep, 2012 / Steve O:

    Amazing. Really, truly amazing. So good to see how strong you guys are together.

    [Reply]

  35. 11. Sep, 2012 / Gina:

    Great summary of what you went through – you made a serious subject super funny. 28 made me laugh out loud (at work…oops). 38 was a very gross mental picture – thanks for that. ;)

    [Reply]

  36. 11. Sep, 2012 / Doc Sheldon:

    I’ve never had brain surgery (although a surprising number of people have mentioned that it might be advisable – I think my Dad was the first), but should the need ever arise, I’ll be better prepared. Not just for the process and side-effects, either – better prepared to handle a scary situation with a sense of humor. You do, indeed, rock, lady!

    I can’t believe Rand didn’t get your Terminator gag!

    [Reply]

  37. 11. Sep, 2012 / Justin Taylor:

    Rand is 110% right, you have an amazing sense of humour…

    “Random bald spots or facial and neck bruises (from where they clamped down your head) are completely normal. If anyone asks about them, explain that you tried making out with a badger.

    I hope ALL people faced with the prospect of brain surgery get to read this, as it demonstrates that a positive attitude and a sense of humour is more powerful than any medication

    [Reply]

  38. 11. Sep, 2012 / Nicole:

    I read this from the perspective of a parent; our (now 8 & Cancer-Free) 5-yr-old son had Medulloblastoma. So many complications have left him disabled and even though he can’t speak he liked the Poop one; it’s a boy thing! During one drain tube removal & a placement of a new one (in the PICU) I explained to his Neurosurgeon he was no longer allowed to be his barber (27)! Tumors SUCK, but Laughter is the best medicine! Thanks for the laughs; us parents need medicine too; preferably during MRI’s (which he’s sedated for; so there’s no crawling in an outage, just snoring)!!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    I am thrilled to hear that your son is cancer free. Despite the fact that he is not being able to speak, it sounds like you guys communicate with one another well! He’s lucky to have you!

    [Reply]

  39. 11. Sep, 2012 / Becky:

    Definitely laughed out loud a few times. Especially at picking wedgies before an MRI, sticking your head in the microwave as a kid, and shoving a Lego up your nose (and the detail the doctors will go into to debunk that myth.) Hahaha!

    Otherwise, I am glad to hear you are still on the road to recovery – and good thoughts are still being sent your way. :)

    [Reply]

  40. 11. Sep, 2012 / Julie:

    71. You no longer need a weather forecast. If it’s going to rain, your brand-new built-in baramoter will tell you.

    (I got a plastic plug.)

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    I just have a good old fashioned hole in my head. But when I get cold, the shivers seem to crawl up my head and go straight for the hole. It’s the weirdest feeling ever.

    [Reply]

  41. 11. Sep, 2012 / Joe Griffin Sr:

    Having suffered a stroke recently, your story was a most welcome and excellent read for me. Thank you very much for sharing it. Best line and so true: #25. “In my experience, most neurosurgeons do not get sarcasm.”

    I once pretended I couldn’t respond to them and started flapping my arms like a bird. They saw no humor in it whatsoever and wrote something down on my chart. *Note to self: Find chart.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Okay, I just audibly snorted at this comment, Joe. “Find chart.” Bwah ha ha ha ha ha.

    [Reply]

  42. 11. Sep, 2012 / Dharmesh Shah:

    Reading this made a (purportedly) grown man tear up. Are you happy now, tumor-girl? ARE YOU?

    #71: Many people are completely clueless about how to react in this kind of situation and as such fail miserably at it.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Please promise me that the nickname “tumor-girl” will stick.

    [Reply]

  43. 11. Sep, 2012 / Christy:

    Sigh.

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Who doesn’t want to read about women who are totally in love with their husbands? And women who can make light of super serious, scary things?

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us :)

    [Reply]

  44. 11. Sep, 2012 / Iain:

    Brilliant.

    And how incredible that you are so soon writing a retrospective piece about this experience. It must be amazing to think that you got through the toughest moments and out the other side in a single summer.

    Can’t say ‘good times’, but relatively speaking it’s not far off.

    [Reply]

  45. 12. Sep, 2012 / Elaine:

    My sister insisted the nursing staff were horrible and smoked, drank and danced all night in the ICU ward, she also continually begged us to get her the pack of cigarettes she’d hid in the ward toilets, despite our frequent, patient attempts to assure her that she’d stopped smoking years before. It was only much later we discovered that she’d been a secret smoker for some time – I still feel her frustration.
    The upshot of her encounter with brain surgery is that we are much closer and she is a much nicer person now – and maybe I am, at times.

    [Reply]

  46. 12. Sep, 2012 / Sally:

    i love your humour and approach to this, definitely laughed a few times – great way to look at life, always ‘find the happy’

    [Reply]

  47. 12. Sep, 2012 / cinnamon:

    you are so freakin funny i have to stop reading your posts at work because my colleagues think i’m demented. so glad you made it through.and thanks for all the laughs!

    [Reply]

  48. 12. Sep, 2012 / Etienne:

    Hey there, I was also diagnosed with a brain tumor last year. I was lucky enough to have only a GammaKnife surgery, they screw something on your skull for the day instead of opening up your skull.. i guess that is lucky in some ways ;)

    When Rand posted something about Brain Tumor, I felt concerned. SEO + Brain tumor = me :)

    That did’nt stop me from starting my own business a couple of month ago. Lotus Marketing.

    Cheers, great post. Wish you best luck.

    [Reply]

  49. 12. Sep, 2012 / Missi Cagle:

    This is a great blog. Too funny! I am due for my brain surgery November 14 and told my husband “I wish I didn’t have to go back to get the staples out afterwards”. He looked at me like I was an alien and said “You are getting your skull cut open and you are worried about the staples!”. Lol, I guess if I just think about the staple I don’t have to think about what caused them. : )

    [Reply]

  50. 12. Sep, 2012 / Kelly DeNardo:

    I applaud your positive outlook. I had a burst brain aneurysm which resulted in 3 brain surgeries and 38 days in ICU. I was just standing on my deck watching my kids swim when suddenly it felt like I had been stabbed with an ice pick right above my ear, and I went to one knee. I guess what I would like to understand is how do you stay motivated? It’s difficult to talk about with anyone because brain surgery isn’t your run of the mill surgeries. I had found a Traumatic Brain Injury group, but they were so depressing. Does blogging help you? I am grateful I found your blog. :-D

    [Reply]

  51. 12. Sep, 2012 / No Time for Tumors (terri):

    Love this list! Especially #25. Lego, snort, snort. You are right they do not get sacasm, neither do nero-oncologist. But, laughter is the best medicine. My husband and I also liked to say “it’s not brain surgery, oh wait, it is”.

    [Reply]

  52. 12. Sep, 2012 / Claire:

    I love your outlook and positive spin on a situation many dispair in. After my MRI & CT scans I had to wait almost ten days for results…that’s the good old British healthcare system at work. The things I decided were wrong with me during that period varied from scary to downright ridiculous, and whilst I was lucky enough not to have a tumour I did find out I had brain damage which needs to be managed to ensure it doesn’t get worse.

    Reading things like this and finding out that other people can handle situations far worse than mine gives me the strength and encouragement to not let things get on top of me, so thanks…and feel better soon!

    [Reply]

  53. 12. Sep, 2012 / Sandi:

    Loved it. I had surgery 4 months ago and this was spot on! Right before my surgery my husband found the purple pens they use to mark on you to know where to cut. We were cracking up thinking he could add some extra marks so I could get a face lift too. But then we figured the NS would not appreciate our humor!!! Thanks for making me laugh!

    [Reply]

  54. 12. Sep, 2012 / Marina:

    Hi,
    I just want to thank you, for sharing your experience. I have a (very loved) brother with a brain tumor. A bad one. He’s 37 years old. It has been a hard time for all of us, that love him, to live through it . Sometimes I just wonder what does he feel about all that he’s living (he doesn’t share with me, his little sister). It is good to read your blog, and understand a little bit about the feelings that someone with a tumor, may have. Even knowing that people are very different. I hope you get well, soon!!
    Thank you for sharing.
    ( And sorry for my english, I’m brazilian, so english it’s not my thing… :) ).
    Thanks!!

    [Reply]

  55. 12. Sep, 2012 / Julie:

    I had a craniotomy 3 weeks ago to remove a meningioma and reading this was totally what I needed today. So many of these I love and I’m getting ready to write thank you notes and may just write them from the perspective of the tumor. Thanks for sharing this.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Hi, Julie! Holy cats – 3 weeks ago? I hope you are feeling better. 3-4 weeks was a big turnaround for me. I really started feeling better after that. I hope it proves the same for you!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Things are definitely getting better… I started work back this week which feels a little soon, but I’m still sneaking afternoon naps. I can’t believe you went running at 3 weeks. I chased some dogs out of my yard a few mornings ago and thought my head was going to explode.

    Anyway, this post was great. My husband and I were laughing about the drainage line. I was all morphined up so I never really understood what was happening until it was out but he was on the verge of puking every time they emptied it. Fun stuff.

    [Reply]

  56. 12. Sep, 2012 / hopeforheather:

    I forgot to tell you on Twitter that I had named mine “Chuck”. As in “Chuck needs to get the F*CK out!” – granted. I don’t drop of the F bomb like I used to … but I named it Chuck in honor of just that phrase.

    [Reply]

  57. 12. Sep, 2012 / christine:

    Absolutely *love* this post. And even tho we’ve never met, absolutely *love* you too, Geraldine. You are one incredible woman with an even more incredible talent for writing. Next time you swing thru Vegas, can we meet for some Lotus of Siam? I’ll treat. And I’ll bring cupcakes for dessert!

    Also, because I am a raving nerd, I have to point out a minor detail in #11. I’ve had a few MRI’s in my lifetime (my spine, not my brain) and everything you said was absolutely correct (tho when I had my first one at the age of 12 in 1991, I was never offered ear plugs or headphones or anything of the sort; i just got a “yeah, it’s loud, deal with it, kid.”)… except for the part where you jokingly referred to having your head irradiated. Although there is, very technically speaking, some radiation created during the procedure it’s actually of the non-ionizing variety. Which means that you aren’t actually having anything irradiated, in the most common way that people understand that. MRi’s use electrical current, radio waves, and magnets to produce their images. CT scans and X rays, on the other hand, irradiate people.
    Anywhoodle, I feel better now. So glad you do too! And thank you so much for sharing your life with us, we are better people just for knowing you. <3

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    You are totally right, Christine! I actually considered changing it, but then someone let me know that CT scans provide radiation, so I figured I’d leave it as it was, and just pretend I was referring to those type of scans and not MRIs. :)

    [Reply]

  58. 13. Sep, 2012 / Bev:

    Number 27 made me laugh out loud ‘the widow maker!’
    Another great blog, incredibly honest & very funny as always. I think you should write a book, you’re a naturally gifted writer, I’d buy it… you could call it tumor girl, or possibly not. Anyway I think you’re great, thank you, as a constant headache sufferer I may need this list one day.

    [Reply]

  59. 13. Sep, 2012 / ANNIE:

    Loved it Geraldine. Been there myself . Had a meningioms removed almost 3 years ago. Its a hard road to walk and life changes but things do get better . Its great when you can see the humour in some of the situations that do happen. I did come round straight away and chat with the theatre staff, after surgery just like the simpsons…LOL… Best wishes for the future x
    ps..you dont have a big bottom even in scrubs……

    [Reply]

  60. 13. Sep, 2012 / AJ:

    Great job.

    My scoopyotomy was uncannilly like yours. I didn’t even realise I had a pipe coming out of my head until the big nurse lady with muscles pulled it out. If I’d known it was there I’d have had a photo taken.

    The worst part for me was having the catheter removed – don’t know if that’s because I’m a feeble male. Even though I was drugged up I managed to hop around the room holding on to my pee pee squealing like a piglet(!)

    Good luck for the future.

    [Reply]

    Katamal Reply:

    “Scoopyotomy”? For real? Is that really a medical term … love it!!!

    [Reply]

    AJ Reply:

    No, not really. I just like to imagine that they went in with a little spoon, just as if they were scooping out a boiled egg or something…

    [Reply]

  61. 13. Sep, 2012 / Judith Thomasberg:

    Thanks for this! I really needed a great laugh today ;) Love your outlook on life!!

    [Reply]

  62. 13. Sep, 2012 / Melissa Dotson:

    Girl, You’ve got it going on! Loved reading your point of view before and after surgery. Humor is just the only way to make it all okay sometimes. Welcome to the world of post-brain surgery. If you had a meningioma be sure and join meningiomamommas.org either the website or on FB. We’re a huge, inclusive club who loves our meningioma mommas and poppas.
    Best wishes
    Melissa Dotson

    [Reply]

  63. 13. Sep, 2012 / Charlie Hills:

    No fair. I just went through lymphoma and I never saw a single box of cupcakes! (Of course, maybe that only comes with surgery. I’ll go back and check the rule book.)

    [Reply]

  64. 13. Sep, 2012 / Kathleen Bond:

    Thank you for sharing. This made my day.

    [Reply]

  65. 13. Sep, 2012 / Steph:

    It’s been two and a half years since I had my meningioma removed and as I was reading I laughed and empathized with you. I especially loved 34…my tumor was the size of a baseball and 49…the PA pulled the drains out, stapled my head and then told the nurse to give me a shot of strong pain medication. The next time he was going to take out my drains, I asked him before he started how he would like it to have someone put staples in his head and then order pain medication. He thought about it for a minute and had the nurse give me the shot beforehand. :-) It was like DUH?!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Ha! Love that you had to point out the obvious to him. :)

    [Reply]

  66. 13. Sep, 2012 / Host to Itsy, Bitsy and DItsy:

    I laughed out loud as I read this! I haven’t been through brain surgery yet, but with Itsy, Bitsy and Ditsy having taken up residence it’s just a question of time before they have to be forcibly evicted. I’m bookmarking this post – I know I’m going to want to re-read it!

    [Reply]

  67. 13. Sep, 2012 / Farnoosh:

    Geraldine, you are funny, courageous and a sweet heart. I read your blog voraciously. I love LOVE your writing style (you must get tired of hearing that ;)) – and I am so happy that you are doing better and hope that you are by now fully healed from your surgery. Sending you much much love, and thank you for sharing your unique stories!

    [Reply]

  68. 13. Sep, 2012 / Paola:

    All the things learned from the moment the doctor tells you your 3 yr old daughter has an inoperable brain tumor.. also feels like my husband and I were diagnosed with her tumor. Might be worst.. because its not even us and we really can’t do anything about it.

    If brain surgery is an option, then is a blessing and I guess more hope.. So it’s good to qualify for a brain surgery and have a neurosurgeon.. even though his first major was english, not really what we expected but turned out to be a top notch neurosurgeon.. Thanks Dr. Boop..

    After 70 + lessons learned from brain tumors and MRI.. the number keep rising after all the MRI needed every 3 months, and so we do all those procedures x 4 times a year.. But yet is far better than not having the option to do them. If we have to go through MRIs and regular check ups and come out good and with hope for the next round, then we’re blessed!

    Best of luck on this journey!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Thanks so much, Paola! I am wishing you and your family the best. Give your little girl a hug for me!

    [Reply]

  69. 14. Sep, 2012 / Steve:

    Great list – had me in stitches (of laughter obviously). I survived cancer from 12 years ago, and it brought back a lot of memories…aaahhh…morphine kicking in…. :)

    Maybe it depends on the type of CT scan you have and the stuff you have to drink for my type of CT scans, but I have to disagree with #14. I’ve had both MRIs and CTs and used to crack the joke with my nurses:

    Q:Whats the difference between cancer diagnosis & the CT scans?
    A: After cancer diagnosis you think the bottom has fallen out of your world; after the CT scan, you think….fill in the rest :)

    Take care and all the best for the future

    S

    :)

    [Reply]

  70. 14. Sep, 2012 / Paul:

    unfortunately I recognize that shot of the Columbia neuro ward all too well….

    [Reply]

  71. 15. Sep, 2012 / Markus Allen:

    #2 on your list made me sad. It’s pure propaganda.

    Yes, some doctors are FANTASTIC. Two doctors helped my two toddlers out when they had crupie cough.

    But most doctors are scary bad. And yes, this is very surprising to me.

    My wife’s best friend is a PA (physician’s assistant). You should hear the stories she tells behind the scenes. It’s not good. Not good at all for patients that is.

    The main doctor (that she works for) was flown out to Boston to see a Red Sox game last night… stayed in a fancy hotel and then flown back the next day – all expenses paid. Sick (pun intended). This goes on ALL of the time.

    Every single prescription results in a cash rebate to doctors. No exception.

    Even schools get bribes. The Department of Human and Health Services sends a $100.00 payment to our child’s school each year for each student who has taken all vaccines…

    … But it gets worse – the same DHHS sends $1,000.00 a year if the child is taking Ritalin!

    This is beyond sick (again, pun intended).

    And the facts and statistics seem to prove the hell these big pharma salespeople (er, I mean doctors) put the masses thru:

    Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health once published a study claiming at least 225,000 deaths per year are directly related to iatrogenic causes…

    … In simple speak, that’s 225,000 deaths per year due to doctor’s mistakes.

    This study hardly sees the light of day because the media is in cahoots with the AMA.

    I tried (and failed) to email Rand about this. Our back and forth email ceased as soon as I told him how I cured my own bout with cancer with Apple Cider Vinegar and baking soda.

    I never understand why people rush to dangerous doctors before they try stuff that nature provides us. Boggles my mind in fact.

    Yes, the Internet gives off lousy advice (when you don’t know how to exploit it). But the stats show taking doctor’s advice can be much worse – deadly even.

    I hope this comment doesn’t get deleted.

    [Reply]

  72. 17. Sep, 2012 / Mike Abendroth:

    “They say that your true self comes out when you are heavily medicated, and my true self, to everyone’s surprise, was an absolute sweetheart.”

    Reminds me of when my wife was in surgery (uterus and bladder) a couple of years ago. Everyone that came into contact with her at the hospital – doctors, nurses, janitors – went on and on about what a darling, sweet woman she was through the whole process. And yes, I high-fived her when she pooped like a good husband/best friend should. lol

    Love the post – very genuine and witty (I’m not witty enough to think of a less condescending-sounding word than “witty”) and had me laughing. Here’s to your continued good health!

    [Reply]

  73. 17. Sep, 2012 / Mike:

    Love the way you write. Godspeed to recovery.

    [Reply]

  74. 17. Sep, 2012 / JOEL DOUGALL:

    Thank you for this post! Your story gave me a laugh, because unfortunately I share a similar one. Its very important to laugh about our experiences because they suck and are scary and no one(very few) understand what its like. This last weekend i went on a Rafting/Kayaking trip with First Descents. It was so fun being around others who have similar fights with cancer. But to cool thing was we hardly talked about our cancer because we didn’t have to. We all understood and we just joked and laughed and laughed. I would laugh so hard that no sound would come out. Have you heard of FD?

    [Reply]

  75. 21. Sep, 2012 / Julia:

    Had a meningioma removed about two months ago and laughed out loud when I read this post! I can concur with so much of it –particularly #’s 11 (hmmm, earplugs inconsistently offered, note to self – always bring your own) , 14, 22 (brilliant thought – give earplugs to your significant other), 41 (’nuff said) ,43 (oh so very true), 46 (yep I have a hole and I think I can feel it),50 (my husband keeps telling me to stop showing my scar to everybody; I am not listening – it’s proof!) ,51 (my first hospital stay with the surgery was $99,000 including the ED/diagnosis part and we’ll pay $2,500), 54 (substitute husband for Mom), 55 (and it’s disgusting and mine didn’t smell good and took four days to get out of my hair completely, baby shampoo just didn’t’ have what it takes), 60, 64 (and rant at your sweet husband for the most ridiculous things, sleep only two hours per night, and behave like what must closely mimic a crack addict during the withdrawal period).

    [Reply]

  76. 22. Sep, 2012 / Kathy:

    I love no. 26: “Odds are, you will not be able to take your tumor home to have it bronzed, because for some reason your doctors say they need it.”

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who asked for their bits! I had my colon out and they wouldn’t let me keep it either because they had to biopsy it. I was…mostly…joking, but I could see it in a large formaldehyde jar. My husband was horrified.

    Of course, my doctor, after he realized I was joking, said that he had all of his patient’s colons on his mantlepiece as trophies. I love my doctor.

    [Reply]

  77. 28. Sep, 2012 / Francesca:

    Very cute post and so real, thanks a lot for sharing… It can happen to anyone and it was awesone you shared. 1 Hug From Barcelona!!!

    [Reply]

  78. 02. Oct, 2012 / Michelle:

    Absolutely hilarious and honest. It’s funny that you think the CT scan was easy compared to the MRI – it’s actually the CT that’s irradiating and potentially dangerous (if you have lots of them). The MRI is totally safe (it’s basically a large magnet). And on #11, don’t worry – the MRI didn’t destroy any of your brain cells. I can’t say the same for your ear drums!

    [Reply]

  79. 04. Oct, 2012 / Megan:

    I do not have a brain tumor, but I found out I am having brain surgery next week. I was looking for people with similar experiences and I found you. Love your blog!!

    [Reply]

  80. 04. Oct, 2012 / Molly:

    I stumbled upon this blog article and just wanted to say THANK YOU for a great little chuckle. Aside from the comment about the staples coming out (because mine- every one of the darn near 30 hurt like hell coming out), you’re spot on. You have a wonderful sense of humor about it all! I had two brain surgeries in February 2012, first a biopsy, the second a craniotomy (ha I still can’t spell it). Life is frustrating these days, most days, at best… but your blog really helped me to have some peace with some things. Good to know I’m not alone in this world! I hope you are doing well and recovering nicely! God Bless. :)

    [Reply]

  81. 15. Oct, 2012 / John:

    What a great list! I wish I’d read it just after my surgery…or maybe before my surgery.

    John

    [Reply]

  82. 21. Oct, 2012 / Cindy:

    THANK YOU!!! I randomly found this site while looking up a question about brain tumors. I’m having brain surgery to remove a tumor in three days and really needed a laugh. I haven’t laughed this hard in months! You are just hilarious. One of my favorites was your description of the MRI machine (the machine gun in the garbage disposal). I laughed so hard I almost woke up my husband and kids. I’m going to share your post with my brain tumor support group. I was sort of dreading the metal plate with screws that is going to hold my skull bone back in place, but compared to your description of the jelly fish spot and drainage tube, I think I’m OK with the plate now. At least I’ll get to mess with airport screeners now when the detectors go off and they can’t figure out where the metal is :)

    I had an interesting realization the other day when I was looking up something on the internet (trying to figure out if my tumor was causing vertigo). I came across a site where a petrified woman was asking whether her vertigo could be caused by A BRAIN TUMOR! Her comment made me realize that once you know you have a brain tumor there is not much left that really scares you! That really cheered me up. And in four days my squatter will be gone and I will have a great excuse to eat pudding all day :)

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Aw, Cindy, I’m so glad that my ramblings made you feel better! :) The anticipation of the surgery was really the worst part for me. You will do awesomely, I have no doubts.

    And remember: this will make you an unmitigated bad ass! :)

    [Reply]

    CindyB Reply:

    I really do feel like a bad ass now! I have this HUGE scar that thankfully you can’t see unless I lift my hair but before I got my 33 staples out it looked like something from a horror movie. I think I freaked out a few people when they saw it. You are right – the anticipation was really hard. So glad its over. Had my surgery one month ago today. I still feel like crap (surgery went well other than the serious blood loss, mild stroke and then the meningitis I got afterwards) but I’m still alive and kicking as much as possible. After all that the only major problem right now is fatigue. Not too bad for what I’ve been through.

    I thought of you one day in the hospital when I had pudding. I need to get more!

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  83. 26. Oct, 2012 / Kristal:

    My mom just had a tumor removed 2.5 days ago and is already discharged from the hospital. I will refer her to your post. I know she will be able to relate to many points. Thank you for posting it.

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  84. 29. Nov, 2012 / Sara Wilson:

    Thanks for posting this- my son has had 40 brain and spinal tumours over 12 years. He is always in recovery mode but still managed to party the other night (even though he wasn’t sure where he was)He got home safely but is facing another major surgery next week-his 12th.

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  85. 04. Dec, 2012 / Will:

    Hey! Reading this was hilarious. It made me laugh aloud and cry too. I have been diagnosed with a 3cm benign tumor and am waiting for a biopsy etc etc and removal. I have so many questions for my neurologist and it’s so relieving to hear someone talk so light hearted about it all when you are feeling so shit scared. Thanks

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  86. 17. Dec, 2012 / Kelly:

    I really enjoyed this!! I had two brain surgeries this past summer. One in July and my second one in August! It crazy when you really think about what you have been through. It’s easier to just tell yourself you are strong and you will get through anything. Are you on a follow up schedule? I have to go back every 6 months for a MRI next one is February.. Good luck to everyone that has been through this!

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  87. 28. Dec, 2012 / Delilah:

    I loved this post. I laughed at the part of being a bad-ass. Your right if you have a brain tumor nothing can really scare me. Well I don’t have a brain tumor but I’m pretty sure I do. I have at least over half of the symptoms and these headaches hurt like heck. The last one felt like an ice pick just hitting at my skull and I know the pain is getting worse. I can’t stand lights, like within five minutes (in the light) I get a severe headache and the only way to stop them is some pain killers that knock me out for like six hours. I haven’t been to school since the beginning of November. By the way I’m 15 so that explains school and all. I’m so scared but yet I don’t feel like its the end of the world. I have to wear these big black sunglasses everywhere I go, but on the upside I just tell everyone I’m a vampire. It’s awesome, it reminds me when vampires were cool, like in the 80′s. Jim Carey in Once Bitten is Awesome! I just need fangs. Nervous my appointment is January 2nd at Cook’s Children Hospital. Another upside I can got to the mall there and buy some clothes with my Chirstmas money and some belated Christmas gifts. Also eat Baker’s ribs in Weatherford. Every go there I highly recommend, it a million times better than famous Dave’s. I think I will eat and eat an entire dish of brownies as victory celebration. Scratch that,and ice cream cake with butter cream frosting, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. Yup that’s what I’m getting. P. S. I’m going to name my tumors (if I have one) Ganondorf so when they removed I can be Link the hero and prevail. ( Well girl version of Link or some second hero that fights beside him. Legend of Zelda reference.) I really love this article and it has made brain tumor expierienced seem more uplifting. I will come back to this list in case and pointed if I do have one. This has made my day! Kudos to you on this article. Hiss, someone just turned on my light. I really need to get some fangs.

    [Reply]

  88. 06. Jan, 2013 / cathy:

    I sure needed to find this today! I have a 2nd brain surgery in a couple weeks and was having one of those days. Reading this made me laugh and cry and was a great emotional outlet! Thanks for sharing.. totally can relate!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Aww, I’m so glad this post helped! I hope your surgery goes well! Sending lots of hugs and good vibes to you. :)

    [Reply]

  89. 09. Jan, 2013 / Sean:

    Thank you for this! My girlfriend and the mother of our 6 month old son is going in for an MRI tomorrow (the wait for the MRI and results is truly testing). We haven’t been diagnosed yet, but our usually under-concerned doctor seems fairly concerned that it is a brain tumor due to the sheer amount of specific symptoms. We are still hoping for the best! I will definitely be sharing this post with my girlfriend if it does end up being what we fear. It’s great to know there are others out there who have dealt with this and still managed to find humor in their situation!

    [Reply]

  90. 09. Jan, 2013 / Kellie:

    Hey. Wishing you all the best!

    I had an MRI after a car accident. My tip: get the valium. There is NO WAY I could have survived that coffin tube without it. With valium, it was a piece of cake.

    (20% of everyone who takes an unmedicated MRI hits the panic button for an early exit.)

    (Turns out my 80-yr-old father, who took me in for the MRI, secretly thought I was a big chicken … until he read about baseball player who had to get out early because he was terrified. He called me up and said, “Well if it’s too touch for a major league catcher than I guess I can understand now why you were so scared.” Hah!)

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  91. 18. Jan, 2013 / Robin:

    Funny – a lot of your list is as if you read my mind. I’m coming up on 11 months post diagnosis and remember it like yesterday. There is nothing worse than hearing “we found a masse” over the phone while still at work on a Friday afternnon. I was a complete basket case until I could get to a neurosurgion the following Tuesday. I especially like your post of try not to self-diagnose over the internet. I might add to watch what you read as well. Technology has come a long way, even in the last 4 years. I did have my first MRI only to satisfy my doctor to “rule out” her crazy ideas. My first post-op MRI was a lot of praying and telling myself the noise is really something to meditate to. and can almost fall asleep to it now. Fortunately, I didn’t have surgery but opted for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and am glad to say my tumor has stopped growing. I’m hoping it has started to shrink by my next MRI in March.

    I feel like my foregetfulness and tired tongue is a badge of honor because I survived a brain tumor. I don’t care that I may not always pronounce words right or that sounds are garbled sometimes. I’m here another day to raise my daughter and life is so much more liberating now that I don’t sweat the small stuff.

    I wish you good health.

    Robin

    [Reply]

  92. 19. Jan, 2013 / john:

    Hi I would just like to say thanks for the list.
    I have just found out that I have a brain tumor, yet to have the second mri with the dye to see if its a bad one, its nice to see other people out in the world who can look at things and laugh.
    thank you everyhereist
    john

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  93. 24. Jan, 2013 / Faybian:

    Thanks for this, gave me a good giggle. I’ve had two craniotomies to remove my orange sized meningioma. The first debulked it and was open. I felt like crap for 3 months. Slept and watched bad daytime tv. I ranted a lot over the informercials. My mother and husband helped wash me and I slept. The 2nd was laparoscopic and he sucked that sucker out. I felt good a few weeks later. I said the “it is a tumour” line a lot too. I was hilarious. I’ve also been known to tell people “I need that like I need a hole in the head….oh wait, I’ve already got one”. I’m now a veteran of the MRI and often doze off during them. I just had my 1 yr post surgery one done and of course am paranoid about the results. Wish me luck.

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  94. 01. Feb, 2013 / Choo:

    Stumble by your blog – enjoy reading: very witty and clever! Hope you are recovering well and all the best wishes. The link may be of interest to you and everyone.

    http://www.peterjuster.com

    [Reply]

  95. 03. Feb, 2013 / Sarah:

    I only just found your blog today and alot of it has made me laugh, as a 24 year old who has gone through alot of health crap when I was 10, 15 and 19 I totally get alot of what you said however with some exceptions, my first mri’s where when I was 10 so I fell asleep in them both, ct scans are boring compaired to mri’s. Also drains are absolutely disghusting, especially when you realise how far in they are, as someone who has had 2 chest tubs and stupidly looked after they pulled them out I can tell you, you almost freak when you see how long the tube is that was in your body!!! It’s good to hear that you are well though, nothing makes you love life just a little bit more when you’ve been dealt a bad hand :)

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  96. 08. Feb, 2013 / Rob:

    Wow, this is deep. What a great list. I don’t have cancer, and I hope I never get it, but I’ve had two friends and a partner develop cancer. Good on Rand, looks like you couldn’t have done it without him.

    I wish you all the best, and I wish all the best to everyone struggling with cancer.

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  97. 11. Feb, 2013 / Mommy Magill:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this. I found out about 5 months ago now that I have two cysts in my head. One is over taking the whole left side of my face and the other is deep in the brain behind my right eye where there is already bone missing. I was glad to read the tone and stride you took this in because I have also been using humor to deal with this all. I have had a great doc. for the past 5 months and he has taken my humor in great strides laughing at what I say and telling me Im one of his fav. patents. He hasnt seen anyone take th news quit like I have. I have others who dont like the way I am handling it. They do not think I should make such jokes of such a serious situation but to me, there is no other way to handle it. I cant change what is going on and so I will handle it in any way that I can. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and they with my husband are my life so no sence in crying Id rather enjoy everythingaround me. Thank you so much for giving me a piture to put in my mind on how things might go as well, that always helps. I am being transfured by my surgen because the cyst behind my eye is growing and its just to dangerouse of a surgery for him to do but he did say the one he is sending me to is the best with not ery good bed side mannors so I will keep the things to ‘NOT SAY” in mind. Thank you again for sharing your story! You are an amazing woman!! Sorry for all of the miss spelling, my brain is like mashed potatoes right now and I cant seem to remember much of anything lately. :-[ P.S. I have named my tummer but due to the fact that we met not too long ago and the mashed potato state…I seemed to have forgotten his name. lol

    [Reply]

    Mommy Magill Reply:

    And with the ear rings having to come out…I cried when I had to take my nose ring out and they said I needed to leave it out. :-(

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, man – you had to take your nose ring out permanently? That sucks! Though I bet it makes MRIs a lot easier!

    [Reply]

    Mommy Magill Reply:

    I am only on CT scans now because they are the only thing that can also keep track of the bones in my head as well. Since one of the bones are missing I have to have a CT that can keep track of making sure theres no spider webing on any other bones and measure it all. They said there was no ring aloud at all to get it done and I have to get it done. It was probably the thing that saddend me the most. I felt like for now I was missing most of what made me, me. It will all work out though and I will get it re-pierced as soon as I get the green light. Thanks again for sharing this, it was truely great!

    Everywhereist Reply:

    I’m so glad you liked the post – and no worries about the spelling, I totally understand. I had scrambled brain for MONTHS. :)

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  98. 13. Feb, 2013 / Hanna:

    The day before my brain surgery, my uncle told me about a drunk man in a hospital he saw. He said “He was in a motorcycle accident, and had gravel all up his leg. Every time the nurse pulled a piece out, he was so drunk that he forgot where he was and would gasp in surprise ‘Oww!’ in a deep southern accent.”

    My ma told me in ICU post-op, everytime the nurses checked my IV, I would go “Owwuh!” and they would panic. Then, high on dexamethasone and morphine, I would laugh.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, man. That’s delightful. :)

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  99. 14. Feb, 2013 / Gayle:

    Thank you so much for your light hearted story. I am heading down the highway now, on my way to my pre-op appointment, scared as hell, and your blog was just what I needed.
    Hope you are still doing well.
    Gayle

    [Reply]

  100. 14. Feb, 2013 / Jack:

    You can pick at a brain tumor? Gross. Use your nose like a proper lady…

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Well, you can pick at the scabs incurred while operating on your tumor. Which sounds really gross, huh?

    [Reply]

  101. 16. Feb, 2013 / Sarah Howard:

    I loved reading this… I just had a biopsy in Dec 2012 but I wish it was removed. I guess they only want to do radiation and not remove it because of where it is located but I am having things happen that scare me very much. I am not sure if they are small seizures or not but I am trying to find what it may be and cannot even describe it good enough… I am so ready to just feel good again… I miss it so so so much. Thanks for giving me a great read….

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Sarah – I am bummed to hear about the seizures – I hope your docs figure out what’s going on. My tumor was just cut down – not entirely removed.

    Fingers crossed you feel better, and soon. Sending lots of hugs your way.

    [Reply]

  102. 19. Feb, 2013 / Michael:

    Thankyou this was so good to here, I know you will realise how comforting this is to me who I s about to start my treatment. Thank you again :-)

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    I’m 18 and now feel like I have the strength to get through this.

    [Reply]

  103. 21. Feb, 2013 / Brent:

    Thank you. I agree with your note on the MRI machine. I lost all smell and taste from that machine and now have to prove it in court. So loud and dangerous for anyone who has lived through a head trauma then a month later to have an MRI and be injured word than the trama is devastating for me. Than you for your post and I wishh you all wellness.

    [Reply]

  104. 25. Feb, 2013 / Amanda:

    Of all the thngs I have read to this point, this is the most informative. And pleasurable. Had an MRI for nueralgia issues, a different nightmare, but was “so excited” to learn it was “only a tumor” pinching my trigeminal nerve. I thought, “This thing in my head can be fixed! I have 6 kids so I’ve had hospital stays and even liked them.” I was incredably optomistic and certainly relieved for several days. But, now I am starting to see the reality sink in. Especially the part of how hard it will be for the ones I Iove. Thanks for showing some humor and life to what I have seen as a depressing subject online. I want to stay optomistic.

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  105. 27. Feb, 2013 / Jonathan:

    I’d just like to thank you for this list. It really made my day. I’m 20 and just started college and was recently diagnosed with having a benign brain tumour. I’ll undergo surgery within a month and my doctors seem very optimistic about the outcome as it is located close to the skull and in the non-dominant half of my brain. I have a question for you though – do you think it will be possible, speaking from your own experience, for me to continue college after my surgery or will I be too dizzy for the next few months? Do you feel like you’ve made a full recovery by now? Thank you once again for sharing your lovely and entertaining thoughts with us.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Hi Jonathan!

    It’s really tough to say, since everyone is different. My surgeon told me that some people are up and walking around just a few days later. Some folks don’t have trouble at all. That was NOT my case. I was out of it for several weeks (I heard that this was more because of the medication than anything else). I couldn’t really concentrate on anything, needed to sleep A LOT, and had the attention span of a gnat. It got better after a few weeks. I was back to blogging after about two weeks, and back to feeling exactly like myself after about two months.

    It will really depend on how you react to the meds and your surgery. Odds are, though, that you can probably bounce back pretty quickly, since you are much younger than I am!

    Good luck!

    [Reply]

  106. 27. Feb, 2013 / Jonathan:

    Okay, I see. Thank you for your quick reply, and thank you so much for sharing this with me. It’s so good to find out about this from someone who’s been through it already.

    All the best,
    Jonathan

    [Reply]

  107. 02. Mar, 2013 / Gina:

    I love this post. It’s so spot on with my life, too. I had a tumor diagnosed & removed in March 2012, it was in my cerebellum and I had to go to physical therapy for two months to regain my balance. Can I add a #? If you have to go to PT to relearn to walk, bring high heels toward the end and get some help in those puppies! I’m trying to teach myself NOW and it’s hard! You may also need training wheels on your bike!

    [Reply]

  108. 02. Mar, 2013 / Kim579:

    I am laying in the hospital for the last night, being released tomorrow post tumor removal. I have been bugging out, wondering if I’m going to be different at all now. So happy I stumbled onto your blog, it was just what I needed right now. All the best, kim

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Hi Kim! You will be fine. Seriously. I thought for weeks that I would be (and was) a different person, but honestly, after all the drugs are out of your system (which takes a few weeks or months), you will feel a lot better. And a lot more like yourself again. Be patient with yourself.

    [Reply]

  109. 06. Mar, 2013 / Nishikawa carolina:

    Hi, thnks for sharing your story. I will be having a surgery by next month and ill tell you I’m really scared as hell. Just the thought of it makes me cry. By reading your stories I feel like I can be as brave as you. Thnk you.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Awww, I’m sending lots of hugs your way! It’s easier than it looks. I promise. :)

    [Reply]

  110. 06. Mar, 2013 / Solur:

    Laughed my guts off reading your blog.. I had a brain surgery last year and here is my peek-a-boo after my time in the ICU.. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=321829414508391&id=321824961175503

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  111. 06. Mar, 2013 / Rich:

    My screws are titanium and the doc said if they set off airport security, then they were killing everybody who walked through.

    Seveeral things to add….

    You may need to be half awake (twilight) during part of it so they can poke wires In and watch your arm twitch or whatever. Double bad-ass.

    You don’t sing any better in twighlight state. And it distracts a guy who really needs to focus. Refrain from the refrain.

    The post-op drugs may include things that might not alllow you to eat all those goodies. Even the ones your loved ones sent.

    NOTE: the gifts are still much appreciated, but checking diet restrictions before is better. Probably not practical tho.

    Just think of the MRI as an industrial music nightclub disco and you will be fine.

    I only had to stay overnight for my (two) craniaotomies. Seems odd, but with no muscle tisssue just skin and bone cut and sealed it’s a lot less taxing than you think… Course I hate staying in hospital. You get zero rest.

    First time construction on floor above jackhammer by day and screamer at night… Doc walked in and said he wanted to keep me another night for observation. I told him no, and why, and needed rest and wasn’t going to stay.

    You can be all cranky at the staff because of the situation or nice to them. Guess which one lets you bend the rules your way.

    Some people just won’t be able to deal with your condition and will disappear from your life. It’s not you, it’s not them, it is what it is.

    There is valuable info online. You have to have some commmon sense to filter the 99% of everything is crap out. You also have to be ready for FACTS you don’t really want to find out to be there in black and white.

    Focus on your exact condition. GBM or whatever has nothing to do with each other.

    The brain is complex and sub-divided. Where your tumor is could be more important than what it is. Or not.

    You don’t sing any better under tw

    [Reply]

  112. 08. Mar, 2013 / Cindy Ruthven:

    I’m going for my second tumour removal tomorrow, the info in your blog is spot-on, I had a good laugh.

    I do walk around talking in cartoon style my dog and cat, I do eat 7 slices of freshely baked rye bread, the steroids turn me into a hungry wolf. I am short tempered at times and then laugh about it seconds later.

    I am anxious but also happy, the motto is: You only live once – so why not, eat chocolate, watch series, sleep for three days in a row, lounge in bed, let friends and family spoil you, don’t be all hardheaded.

    Stay in pajamas for three weeks or three months, when things get this serious, it is time to relax, do what you want and laugh a lot.

    Do ask for sleeping tabs, or valium and anti- depressant, it helps, I promise, this is your a time to go with the flow.

    regards and best of wishes

    [Reply]

  113. 09. Mar, 2013 / Richard:

    Hi , I am another one that had a tumour removed 4 weeks ago, I never gave it a name but referred to it as my visitor . reading your post is just so very well put together , you have made me smile lol x.
    I can relate to do much of what you have written ,the one that stood out the most was the lack of movement In the Bowels god I can tell you the day I eventually got things moving again was one hell of a relief .
    My tumour Gould not be taken away completely as its near the brain stem ,but 4 weeks after my opp I am now the best I’ve been in over 2 years :)
    The surgeon Mr Eldridge at the Walton centre in Liverpool has given me my life back and to me he is my Hero .
    Thank you for a superb post and hope all goes ok in the future xx

    [Reply]

  114. 14. Mar, 2013 / Roger:

    I’m not a blog reader, but your posting is one of the funniest things I have ever read, anywhere, while at the same time being one the most heartfelt. Thank-you for sharing !

    [Reply]

  115. 29. Mar, 2013 / chrissy:

    3 days ago i was told they had found a brain tumor i have 4 kids and 4 step kids ranging in age from 3-16.. i found ya blog today to find what i might be in for and i want to thank u for your blog.. i was scared to start with but after reading this im less scared i havent named my tumor yet have been thinking about naming it at moment its just a mass that latched on and weighs me down and cant get rid… ive had a few laughs though a few arent happy how well im coping… i have a better understanding of what could be comming up and i dnt feel scared from the not knowing.. so once again thank you from a not so scared young mum in new zealand… and hope your recovery is going really well xxx

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Chrissy –

    I think it’s wonderful that you are handling it with grace and humor (don’t let other people get you down – you are coping the way you need to cope). I’ll be thinking about you and your kids! Glad to know that you have so many little ones around who love and care for you.

    Hugs,
    G

    [Reply]

  116. 06. Apr, 2013 / Mizsuzyq:

    I was half laughing half crying reading this as I’ve all this to “look forward to” having just been told yesterday that I’ve a brain tumour. if I can handle it with half the grace, humility & humour that you did I’ll consider myself lucky. good luck on the rest of your life journey (PS if you’re allowed give cycling a try rather than running, its just as good for fitness but easier on the body – I think anyway!)

    [Reply]

  117. 21. Apr, 2013 / Kimmie:

    Love your story!
    I fought the Big Brain battle in 1989. I was 17 at the time.
    Now 41, going threw the MRI process again. It looks like I will have to get my battle boots on again.
    Keep up the great work
    Thanks
    Kim

    [Reply]

  118. 26. Apr, 2013 / Cheryl T.:

    I absolutely loved this! Had surgery to remove a four inch meningioma October 2011 and all 71 were SO TRUE !! for the record….I named mine LUMPY. I had two VERY handsome physical therapist and I called one of them CHIP and the other one DALE. OMG. this didn’t speed up my recovery. I had TWO reasons to stay put for a while. LOVED the attention. They finally moved me out of ICU because after having fits of laughter they felt I was we’ll enough to move to a regular room. Three weeks without Chip and Dale. all jokes aside…the best recovery method is to laugh at yourself. thank you for the story.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    So glad to hear that you are doing well, Cheryl. It sounds like your recovery was pretty damn terrific. :)

    [Reply]

  119. 29. Apr, 2013 / angi.preston:

    you’ve said it all…..a lot what I felt and did….especially the picking at the scar bit!

    [Reply]

  120. 29. Apr, 2013 / Stephanie:

    I am now 10 days after surgery to remove my tumour. I am also pregnant with our first baby. I laughed at this wonderful link. I don’t think I could have read it before my surgery but now I can and yes it’s sooo true

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    I hope you are doing well, Stephanie! Congrats on your surgery and your recovery (and the pregnancy!) So many congratulations are in order. :)

    [Reply]

  121. 01. May, 2013 / Jo:

    So on the money on every point, and love your style!

    [Reply]

  122. 01. May, 2013 / Suzanne Wagg:

    This is awesome and SOOOOO true! Incredibly well written! I have shared it on the Meningioma Uk Facebook page and it has made lots of us smile so thank you xx

    [Reply]

  123. 02. May, 2013 / Katy:

    So good – 3 months out of surgery myself… glad others can be as crass and carefree as I am about this. No, not fun, but really, not all that bad — getting waited on hand and foot. :)

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Congrats, Katy, on your surgery and recovery. It sounds like you are doing well! :)

    [Reply]

  124. 07. May, 2013 / jon:

    hi all, hope you dont mind me writing…..reading the above was both amazing, funny and very familar to me….my wife was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor last summer….its inoperable, but so far apart from causing night time epilepsey seizures, all is kind of ok……personality changes in my wife are pretty all over the place….its kind of got to a point now where she has asked me to move out….how long for i dont yet know…. i love her to bits and really have been doing everything I can to help her through the scans and biopsey…..( she says her feelings have changed about me since the epilepsey first started, although when we found out about the tumor we couldnt have been any closer as a couple whilst it all was being uncovered ) its been a helish year and i want to keep my wife happy, even if it means i have to leave her for good, but if by chance anyone can offer advice on the best way to manage personality changes, how i may best support my wife even if im away from her….or if there are any treatments to help alleviate the mood swings/personality changes……..i think im grasping at straws here but im losing my wife and im open to any help/advice I can get…..all the best, jon

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Hey Jon,

    I am so incredibly heart broken to hear about your situation. I’ve heard that a lot of the epilepsy meds can cause some fairly serious mood changes, and that tumors on certain parts of the brain can impact emotions and personality as well. I’m so sorry to hear what you and your wife are going through. I don’t know what help I can offer, but there are some good support groups online for the families of people with brain tumors. I hope that they might be of use to you:

    http://www.braintumor.org/patients-family-friends/find-support/

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Hugs,
    G

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    Thank you will take a look….. Feelin a but low at moment, met up with her to go for a second opinion, not much better news apart from hearing mor details about the tumor and why it can’t be removed… Next day she asked me to go again..,…. Just have to try and respect her wishes and leave her be for now
    Thanks again

    Jon

    [Reply]

    suzanne Reply:

    Jon, I had the same with my husband, if he didn’t get what he wanted he would behave like a spoilt child, and then we would get the abuse, it was always the same thing, I shan’t bore you with the swear words but it was he was going to sell the house share the money and he would find somewhere on his own and me and the kids could find somewhere and there would be an awful lot of f words in that! he was normally a happy go lucky chap till he got the tumour, heartbreaking but hang on in there as it might just be fear and frustration on your wife’s behalf that is making her lash out at you! As the song says, you always hurt the one’s you love! Is she’s on meds would she remember to take them if your not there cos my hubby wouldn’t have done?
    Good luck Jon xx

    [Reply]

    jon Reply:

    thank you suzanne……hope your doing ok now…..its still really hard here….my wife is talking divorce now and its hard because i think she has shut down all emotions and stuck her head into work as her way of coping….my dilema is do i give up on her and agree/leave for good….or do i believe that this is just her freaking out/depression and that i should stick with it and hope with time she comes round again…it may cause her more anxaity in short term but i dont want to believe that deep down she wants this…its just so hard

  125. 09. May, 2013 / Stefanie:

    Hi, I just read through all of these and just wanted to comment on a few that I could really strongly relate to. It sounds like you were in a similar situation to me. I don’t know if yours was cancerous but mine was benign but still the scariest experience of my life. It’s nice to hear your positivity and humor. Whenever I tell people I had a brain tumor 6 years ago they are shocked and get uncomfortable. But I think it couldnt be explained better than everything you wrote.

    17: I did this unfortunately. I went to college to study neuroscience and devoted my life to studying the brain. Don;t get me wrong I really enjoy the field I’m studying but it lurks at me to realize that I still don’t know why it happened to me. I’ve now expected giving up trying to understand.

    26: I worked at the research lab where I donated my tumor and years later tried so hard to find it. again a failure

    54: this is so true beyond belief. I dont know what I would have done without my mother. I could not do anything on my own for at least a month after. I was afraid to be alone and she comforted me so much.

    57: dont say you don’t remember them putting it in and out. When I awoke from surgery in the ICU I opened my eyes to 4 people surrounding me removing my catheter (or fixing it- i was a little groggy). It was very nerve wrecking to see all of these people surrounding me while i was exposed.

    Other than that thank you for sharing this. it was so nice to read

    [Reply]

  126. 12. May, 2013 / Mandy:

    Hi I just found out a week and a half ago I have a brain tumor. I am married, have three children and I was and still am scared to death. I have my consultation with a neurosurgeon tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you before I read your blog I was so upset and out of it. I then found your blog and it gave me the okay to laugh. I laughed and laughed. I was afraid my husband would think I was crazy and losing it. “She just found out she had a brain tumor and she is laughing???” From the bottom of my heart thank you so much for this. It gave me the strength to not be as scared and forge on and realize that this is just another battle that I will have to get through and it will help me to try and have a sense of humor about it, or “sense of tumor”. I have saved this so I can read it again and again, should the need arise.

    [Reply]

  127. 12. May, 2013 / Lisa:

    Thank you for giving me some insight from a patient perspective.
    My 3 1/2 year old daughter has an inoperable tumor on
    her pituitary gland. She’s going thru chemotherapy and her last two routine
    MRI’s show that all is stable. It’s slow-growing and benign but still considered
    brain cancer. Hard to wrap my mind (pun definitely intended) about it- she was diagnosed November 2011. Different situation than what you went thru but thank you for sharing your open, honest, raw, funny and trying experiences. What you have gone thru is hard and I appreciate your candor and love your sense of humor. Without laughter and love life is just not as much fun. Anytime I hear of anyone with a brain tumor it clearly resonates with me and I immediately feel a bond. Thank you and I am glad to hear you are doing so well and surrounded by love.

    [Reply]

  128. 14. May, 2013 / suzanne:

    Just read this and it made me both laugh and cry, I could relate to a lot on the list! Sadly it was my husband who had the tumour and his only aim in life after the op was to get back to work, even though his prognosis was shit, expectancy 18 months we had 6, and like you he was on a roll, but sleeping quite a lot! He was also a cake and chocolate person, and I would take him out for lunch and would let him eat whatever he wanted, his tumour he named, before surgery it was Tommy, and then with what he had left because they couldn’t take it all, he called that Mungo, and Mungo got blamed for an awful lot of things, lol! I didn’t see on your list about family members that think they know better than the doctors, they have got it wrong, it’s not a tumour and there not going to die, I had that from both my sister in laws, they knew someone who had had a similar thing and they had made a “remarkable” recovery, lucky them, they obviously didn’t have the same aggressive tumour as Keith! I’ts a shame he’s not still with us as this list would have helped him, as he always asked how he got the tumour, and honestly, I have no idea if he spent his youth with his head permantly in a microwave, lol! Thanks for giving me an insight into how he felt and probably thought, hope your ok and enjoy your life, good luck, and thanks again for the laughs and tears! xx

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Suzanne –

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your husband was very lucky to have someone as caring and understanding as you in his life.

    Sending you lots of hugs,
    G

    [Reply]

  129. 24. May, 2013 / Sarah:

    I was told in Feb this year that I have what they think is a low grade tumor. I have my third MRI next month, if there is no change they aren’t gonna operate. I thought the same thing what if the zombie apocalypse happened when I was in the machine?!

    [Reply]

  130. 26. May, 2013 / Nicole:

    I think that this was amazing i just had surgery for a brain tumor on may 22nd and this made me feel better. thank you

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    I’m so glad! Feel better, lady. It gets easier.

    [Reply]

  131. 26. May, 2013 / Angie:

    4 days out from surgery and just read this. All I can say is awesome. Thank you thank you so much for writing this – I laughed…I laughed and laughed some more. Perfect – way to go. Stitches or staples or whatever they’ve put in my head will be out next week. What a journey.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    So glad to hear that you are doing well, Angie!

    [Reply]

  132. 03. Jun, 2013 / greg mcgarvey:

    thank you :)

    [Reply]

  133. 04. Jun, 2013 / Joyce:

    I loved this! I stumbled upon it while trying to search the internet to see if it was safe to have a neck massage… violated #1 on the list right there….

    My first brain surgery was 15 years ago – never supposed to reoccur, but it did. Second surgery 14 months ago. Bigger tumor (tennis ball size), still benign…. now regular MRI’s for the rest of my life, I guess….. I call it the clanger/banger.

    I trust none of you will have to go round two – but if you do, you will recover – not gonna lie, though – the older you are the more challenging recovery is.

    Blessings on all in this club none of us wanted to join….

    [Reply]

  134. 08. Jun, 2013 / Shannan:

    I ran across this masterpiece that you wrote while I was looking up “clicking noises after brain surgery”. I had my second brain surgery 7 weeks ago (first one back in 2003) and I found your blog highly entertaining and strangely soothing. It’s nice to know that other people have undergone exactly the same fears and after-effects of surgery. Love your sense of humor; strangely enough, I’ve kept a sense of humor throughout my tumor/surgery situation as well and it’s amazing how people seem to think you should be all depressed and down in the mouth. Humor is the key to recovery, in my book.

    I hope you remain tumor-free and keep on writing!

    Shannan

    [Reply]

  135. 18. Jun, 2013 / Andrea:

    Damn, I wish I’d read this before my surgery. I feel like SUCH a wimp. I just snapped my wrist and hand to get a little metal plate put on it – and I came out of surgery with PTSD and an anxiety disorder that took a year and some good, solid medication to get rid of. You had brain surgery and clearly are still amazing.

    But this article retroactively made me feel better about my surgery, and hopefully if I ever need another one, some of the things you said will come to mind and it won’t go so poorly.

    Thank you for sharing~

    [Reply]

  136. 21. Jun, 2013 / Maria (Tomko):

    O I came across this site and it’s great! I had two surgeries for brain tumor ten years ago and this brought it all back to me. Hard to believe we can look back on it with some humor because it wasn’t real funny at the time. (The terror might have had something to do with that!) My sister was with me when my surgeon came in to take my tube out. I was watching her face, she was trying to look nonchalant but her eyes got so big. She told me later “it just coming and coming and coming”! Now my family kids me sometimes with “You better go see that doctor- I think you have a screw loose”. I had the clicking sounds for about 6 months, but didn’t bother me near as much as the feeling that my hair was being pulled from the inside out while my scar was healing.
    It took me over a year to really feel better. Just so tired and weak. Everyone’s recovery is different I guess. To those people who have just been diagnosed or are early in the process, my heart goes out to you and I hope your treatment goes well. Try to be patient with yourself. It turned my life upside down for a while, but now ten years out, it’s sort of just something that happened to me once upon a time.
    Thank you for your honest and humorous account!

    [Reply]

  137. 30. Jun, 2013 / Elizabeth rooks:

    Your are a brave person I go July 1 2013 I am scared not knowing what to expect guess I’m bout to find out Monday if I remember I will be back on here your words helped me a little less scared thanks

    [Reply]

  138. 01. Jul, 2013 / Ella:

    Silly me. I’ve been procrastinating in getting a follow-up MRI and CAT scan. last one a year ago diagnosed: My Brain is asleep. I’m not sure what it means . . I have bit of forgetfulness and headaches. Bottom line- ALL of you have given me hope. Thank all of you for sharing.

    [Reply]

  139. 03. Jul, 2013 / janice:

    Tomorrow my sister will undergo brain surgery thousands of miles away in Australia.

    I just felt I had to say thank you to you. You are a lovely person.

    [Reply]

  140. 06. Jul, 2013 / Zoe:

    I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how did you find out you had a brain tumor? What were your symptoms? I’ve had constant head pressure and occasional headaches for the past 3 weeks, and taking ibuprofen rarely helps. Of course, I’m freaking myself out by reading all about brain tumor symptoms, but I really am scared. I’m only 16. I have no other symptoms. I was thinking it could be my sinuses? I just need some reassurance- you clearly are great at dealing with hard situations, but I’m not, and don’t think I could handle something like a brain tumor. Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    It sounds like you have blocked sinuses, Zoe. Stop googling your symptoms, or you will freak yourself out. 3 weeks of headaches does mean you have a brain tumor.

    [Reply]

  141. 06. Jul, 2013 / Cleo:

    I just wanted to say how much your blog helped me through my surgery process! I wish I had found it before the actual operation though. I left college one day because i had a headache, almost passed out several times on the way home, and ended up at the hospital… found the tumor 2 days later pushing my brain stem and vital nerves to the side. Had to take incomplete’s in all my classes (a week away from finals and summer break!) and fly across the country back home to get ready for my surgery. I was 19. I felt so bad for my family the whole time and forgot to think of how I was feeling having to have a golf ball sized tumor removed from my head! I refused to talk about any of it (even though I have the most supportive family ever!) because I didn’t want to scare the people around me. I was so confused and just kinda in a daze and had a lot of things to sort out afterward and thats when I found your blog. Apparently brain stems move slowly and take their sweet time getting resituated! But you blog has been one of the most helpful tools throughout my extremely long healing processes.

    THANK YOU!

    [Reply]

  142. 08. Jul, 2013 / Alexis:

    Oh my gosh, this is amazing. I have a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma, and this is sooo true. sooo freaking true. Some of this actually made me cry because it brought back a lot repressed memories that I forgot. Thank you for posting this!

    [Reply]

    Bruce Reply:

    Small world, I had a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor, removed on July 3rd! I used a lot of humor to try and keep it together. I took a picture of myself in ICU and sent it to my friends and coworkers….My son said that I looked like a Telitubbie. One of my coworkers even knew which one (He has a 3 yr. old). Prayer has been important. I literally have friends around the world praying for me.

    I will be starting radiation on 8/6 and am a little concerned, but I know that I have a lot of support. The number of people praying for me is absolutely amazing (I thought that people were just tolerating me, I didn’t have a clue that so many people really cared)! My greatest concern is that if it doesn’t go well, I am concerned for my wife.

    [Reply]

  143. 10. Jul, 2013 / Catherine:

    A friend just sent me the link to your page.
    I told her to knock it off: I had already done this list, TWICE. You nailed it…..the fear. The sadness. The stupid things people might say..the “what about my hair?”….I could go on and on.

    I never thought I would have to revisit the list. My first tumor was removed successfully 19 years ago. Hooray, total success.
    Fast forward to 4 years ago “hmmm, it looks like you’ve got a spot of brain trouble again. Unrelated to last time. No worries, lets go in again.”

    So I have TWO holes in the back of my head. One with a soft squishy centre (doctor didn’t caution me about snowboarding: he said, “be careful not to fall onto the top of a picket fence because you have a hole in your skull” WTF?????
    Second hole has the bone plug + titanium bling.

    All was good till this past year. Had almost forgot about the “LIST”….then kaboom. More wonky things going on in my brain.
    They have found a tumor and investigation continues because of the 2 previous surgeries.

    Doctors in Emerg give me a wide berth:”whoa, this one’s complicated”

    I would like to vent and scream sometimes but instead, I read your list and laugh and cry. The lessons are all good ones. I learned them well (especially #71) but that doesn’t make the 3rd time any less fecking scary, yanno?

    Thank you for posting this. I am sure you have helped a lot of people.

    [Reply]

  144. 10. Jul, 2013 / Kris:

    Thank you SO much for writing and posting this!! I’m having a pineal tumor removed on Monday and I think I’m just starting to freak out a little. I’ve been largely ignoring the situation for the last month and it’s finally hitting me. This helped me alot! I’ll probably read it a couple more times before surgery – great advice and it made me laugh. Thanks again so much!!

    [Reply]

  145. 17. Jul, 2013 / Amanda:

    Thank you for this blog! Your bravery, grace, humanity and humor are refreshing.

    [Reply]

  146. 22. Jul, 2013 / Liza Gimbel:

    I happened on your list after finding out that a very old friend had a tumor removed about 5 months ago. But I wanted to understand what he’s been going thru post surgery. So, thank you for that and yes, a twisted sense of humor helps when you are very, very ill. I have various autoimmune “thingies” and know the MRI and CT scans well. I had 24/7 migraines at the time but they were from other sources. I slso badesions o. My brain which I was never told about. I have amazing doctors who saved my life after 12 years of misdiagnosis and they were on it. Just forgot yo let me know … Oopsie. My memory is so much better now. I can follow conversations and no longer pick random moments to interrupt other people speaking. And I no longer sound like a moron which was a problem during certain holidays when certain extended family mrmbers and inlaws would talk right over me because I couldn’t keep up. When I found out about the lesions, i said that come the next holiday, I was going to say to a certain individual, “I had lesions and you were mean to me.” Of course she and her hubby were no shows. The lessions magically disappeared after a decade. Meanwhile, my writing partner and I are finishing up rockabilly ditty starring this one particular symptom which has now been anthropomorphized and taken on a life of its own…typical.
    As for my friend who I came on here for, your column helped me to no end. Thank you, thank you. thank you. As far as uour being fat and ugly…ha! I’ll pass on my favorite, somewhat grumpy compliment from an ex whose idea of reassuring me one night was to say somewhat disgustedly, “Jeez…you know you’re pretty.” So, yet again-thanks.

    [Reply]

  147. 23. Jul, 2013 / Krista:

    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. I have Cushing’s Disease and had pituitary surgery last October. While our surgeries are a little different, there were so many things on your list that I completely agreed with and laughed at.

    I discovered a few things during the process. One was that I found out who my true friends were. The other was I learned that you can’t control everything in your life and you sometimes have to just let go.

    -Krista

    [Reply]

  148. 25. Jul, 2013 / Julie Gereda:

    Thanks for the honest and light hearted post. I loved reading your list and am scheduling my brain tumor surgery for the coming months. I hope my outlook is as great as yours! PS I found you silly looking for what am I going to do to hide the bald spots and shaved parts of my head only to find beautiful pictures of your silky locks!

    [Reply]

  149. 25. Jul, 2013 / amne:

    Hi & thank you for this blog! It was helpful in so many ways! I just found out last night that I have a menigioma brain tumor & I was hysterical, the Dr held my hand when he told me but also was acting as though it may likely be cancer! Which really freaked me out! Taking 1 step at a time that’s my biggest worry right now! I pray that’s not the case, I haven’t told my family yet & don’t know how to tell my kids even though they are 25, 20 & 15 its gonna be hard! I’m divorced & really have no one to talk to about my real fears. i will have to put on the brave face for my kids. Again thank you for the blog of your experience & I appreciate your humor lol..its helped me alot right now!

    [Reply]

  150. 28. Jul, 2013 / Brooke Harries:

    I loved your blog! I had a grade 2 meningioma removed in 2009 at the age of 28, it was the scariest experience of my life, but you are so right. You do realise how much you are loved. My mum was a godsend throughout the whole thing!

    Unfortunately, I am now on my third day of a constant headache and as it’s a Sunday I am literally dreading calling my surgeon tomorrow as I think it’s going to start the whole process off again. After my op and radiotherapy, he did say that there was a high chance it would come back, but he gave me ten years. During which time I desperately want to have a baby. :-( I’m not religious, but I really do pray to God that’s it’s not back, although I suspect differently.

    I’m so pleased I’ve read your blog, I hate bringing this up with family cos they’re just as scared as I am, plus if I’m relaxed about it then maybe they don’t realise how serious I actually think it is this time. I need a hug! Xx

    [Reply]

  151. 28. Jul, 2013 / shmarieb:

    Thank you very much for this. Very.

    I had to stop No. 3 because the hubs didn’t like it. I think it scared him a little. I never thought to name my tumor. Going to do that right now…any suggestions? Spot a la Macbeth? “Out! Out! Damn spot!”

    [Reply]

  152. 30. Jul, 2013 / Nikole:

    Thanks the the hilarious out look. I found out I have a brain tumor 7 months ago, exactly one month after my son was born. I’ve been scared out of my mind since then. I’ve come to realize that living with the stress is much worst, and now after 5 scans to monitor the growth later, I’ve decided to go forth with my sugery in September. Your blog has made the situation a whole lot easier. I’ve cried my eyes out after every appointment with the surgeon. Now another hurdle, telling my older daughters 12 & 9 and the rest of the family…with dry eyes. Also, thanks Rihanna for making the half shaved head so fashionable.

    [Reply]

  153. 03. Aug, 2013 / Peggy Orr:

    You’re a wonderful writer and I concur with everything you said. I’ve had two brain surgeries (cranis) and I still have two more tumors I’ve dubbed Ted and Tina Tumor. My 2nd surgery was 3 wks ago and I’m wearing a very cool turquoise eye patch because I have 6th nerve palsy and double vision. Yikes! The two remaining tumors, Tina in the cavernous sinus and Ted in the foramen magnum, next to brain stem are too risky for surgery so I’m heading to Seattle for radiation via the Gamma Knife. Not looking forward to that. I’d rather just take in a Mariners game and call it good. You take care and best wishes. Peg

    [Reply]

  154. 06. Aug, 2013 / Laurie:

    I had my brain tumor removed one year ago today! I LOVE #50……I have always wanted to be a bad ass!!!!

    [Reply]

  155. 07. Aug, 2013 / Tanya:

    You are funny, as well as brave, you made me smile. My son has a brain tumour diagnosed around January and we’ve done surgery (I say we, he’s 5 so we are all in it together) and he’s doing really well on chemo, 14 weeks in out of 80! Who would have thought it, but yes he is so so loved as are we by kind friends and randoms! So from a random Brit the othersie of the world, stay funny and good luck and sending you love, Tanya

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Tanya – thank you so much for the kind words. I’m thrilled to hear that your son is doing so well, and you have such an awesome support group. A friend of mine had brain surgery when she 9 or 10 (crazy how common this sort of thing is) and she said she barely remembers it – but that it was way, way harder for her parents. Hope that you are taking care of yourself, too, during all of this!

    [Reply]

  156. 09. Aug, 2013 / Rebecka, Sweden:

    Omg! I laughed so much xD
    I recognized quite much of your list, and it gave me a great time during mine recovery.
    I had an egg-sized tumor in the middle of the brain (and still have a small bit of him). But my surgeon took out most of it last year and after chemo and radiation therapy it started to shrink. But right now, I don’t know, but my doctor (and surgeon) thinks that is an rare sort and if it’s not gone now, they believe that it is a slow growing tumor.

    [Reply]

  157. 11. Aug, 2013 / Tim:

    Thanks soooo much. I haven’t laughed so hard in months. Earlier this year my dad was diagnosed with leukemia and almost died. He just had a bone marrow transplant and can’t leave the hospital due to infection. Then, 3 days ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I know my doc said a bunch of things but, honestly, the only thing I heard was ‘tumor’ I have to wait 2 more weeks till I see my own personal (hopefully) ‘tumornator’. I am anxious beyond belief and have no one in my life I can talk to. (dad is completely out of it, mom is a total wreak so I don’t want to burden them…at least not until dad is resting comfortably at home, and I have no friends). It was very good to be able to see the humour in the situation even though I’m freaking out. I think I’ll call my tumor ‘work’ as I can’t wait to be done with it and go on a cruise.(that and its the only 4-letter word I can think of right now that’s appropriate for the public domain :D)
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  158. 14. Aug, 2013 / Christopher M:

    I just had brain surgery on June 25 and I’m abiut to see the surgeon tomorrow to schedule my next surgery, he is going to remove the second tumor through my nose. Your blog just made me smile cause its all true. I have been researching and research puts me in a down mood, but this was the best thing I’ve found so far! Sadly I’m having to deal with having one eye right now. The location of my tumor cause the surgeon to remove the front left half of my face and now my left eye is shut and the muscles are finally coming back under my control but my eyeball hasn’t moved to its proper location and that worries me. But I’m staying positive and I hope everything will heal properly! I still have radiation treatment to go through after my next surgery. Wish me luck!!

    -Chris M

    [Reply]

  159. 16. Aug, 2013 / Laura:

    Wow. Okay, so I sat and read through this both laughing and with tears in my eyes.

    I’m writing this almost for months post brain surgery with my four year old daughter. She did really well, and recovered pretty beautifully from surgery. I’m actually writing this as we’re admitted in the hospital for chemo. She asked if I’d sleep with her. Well there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to help her be comfortable. Everything was going alright till well, till it wasn’t. This particular med isn’t playing well with her. She’s sleeping again, so I may try to soon.

    You mention naming the tumor. Funny actually. We may get to – literally. Well, I take that back. Not WE, but it may get named. you see, we seemed to have hit the cancer lottery. Her cancer is currently thought to be one of a kind. Not another one like it in the world.

    This is a whole new world. We’re now part of some massively huge extended family we never wanted to be a part of, but have also found gratitude for as well. This is not a journey anyone wants to walk, but we’re grateful to not do it alone.

    Thank you so SO very much for your absolutely fantastic accounting of all this. I appreciate it… and I sincerely hope you are well.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, man. Laura, I’m so, so sorry you guys have to go through all of this. It sounds like you have an amazing support system, too. I’ll be thinking about you guys, and hope that all of you get some rest. Be well!

    [Reply]

    Ted Reply:

    May you be blessed. So it has been 5 months now. Are you having a better prognososis? I know through Faith and Prayer God’s will be done. I hope your little girl is getting better. I wish there was more I could do, but I have been as an adult, not as a child, so all I can do is offer Payer to our Father in Heaven for His belessings upon your wonderful daughter, and your family. Ted

    [Reply]

  160. 17. Aug, 2013 / Anniez:

    Amen sister, Amen! So true, especially the fatigue factor. After the first week, it was such a struggle to walk from my bedroom to the bathroom(mind you I skied for eight hours straight the weekend before the surgery). I also yelled at my neurosurgeon before the procedure because we were told we had to be there at 6:30am but my surgery didn’t take place until 2:00pm. I was applauded at my follow up by the staff and the neurosurgeon because I finally showed some emotion. I laugh and try to make jokes about everything. I’ ve lived past my expiration date! All of you brain tumor survivors hang in there! It’s just so frustrating!

    [Reply]

  161. 21. Aug, 2013 / Jessica:

    As someone who is one week post-op for a meningioma this article was spot on, thank you. I can relate to so many things you stated. Here I was thinking it was my sole experience, it is nice to know it is not. I have been put on steroids that are worse than the tumor itself. Knowing others have experienced similar things makes me feel much better. Thank you for writing this and sharing it.

    [Reply]

  162. 25. Aug, 2013 / Caroline:

    Thank you for writing this its made me laugh and cry. My mum is right now, this very minute, in on an operating table having a 7cm x 4cm brain tumour removed. I’m scared out of my mind. Thanks again, you’ve made me feel a little bit better :)

    [Reply]

  163. 26. Aug, 2013 / Aaron Lai:

    Very good web-site, I am a 48 years old father of 2 girls did a brain tumor surgery in ICU on Tuesday morning, thank you for the medical team at Toronto Western Hospital to saved my life. Now need to learn a new life!

    [Reply]

    Ted Reply:

    You can, I am older at 50, but 22 years ago I survived and became a teacher. You are older than I was, but you can do it. You are still recovering, but this experience proves you can survive anything. Welcome to the Survivors Club. And remember, You have a second chance at life now, and you will get to see your Grandchildren grow up. That is what my motivation is. I can now retire and watch the grand kids grow up. Bless you.

    [Reply]

  164. 27. Aug, 2013 / Karen:

    I can so relate to so many of the points you made. I’m almost a year out of surgery for a mixed oligoastrocytoma in my left frontal lobe. I ran around singing the tumor song from Family Guy when I first got diagnosed. Lots of my family didn’t find it funny. I am glad to say that my neurosurgeon did have a great sense of humor and made me feel incredibly calm. Thank you for bringing a little humor to my day.

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  165. 10. Sep, 2013 / Sara:

    Thank you and thank you again. I have learned in the less than a week post-procedure, that it is perfectly acceptable to be void of a mouth-filter, feel insatiably tired AND horny at the same time, and crave citrus fruits like nobody’s business! I needed this read. :)

    [Reply]

  166. 12. Sep, 2013 / Sharon S:

    Sort of glad ii read this and sort of wish i didn’t …………found out i had a brain tumor(suzie) in July 2013…………..waited all summer for a operation date ………….finally going into surgery 24th September 2013………………bitter sweet feeling …………..it can’t stay in there and i don’t want surgery to take it out………………..so i’m now filling my days with happy thoughts,crying and scaring the shit out of myself……….

    [Reply]

  167. 12. Sep, 2013 / Heather:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story in such a lovely, touching, funny, and beautiful way. While my suspected tumor has turned out to be an interesting creature called an encephalocele I can appreciate so much of the humor you have shared. Again, thank you. I hope that you have found good health, happiness, and many moments of joy with your twinkly-eyed boy.

    [Reply]

  168. 13. Sep, 2013 / Garrett:

    Thank you so much for this. I am 30 years old and very healthy, but just found out I have a brain tumor and I am having surgery to get it removed. I just became a father and my wife and I have been freaking out! I needed a laugh so bad, and this really made me feel better. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  169. 15. Sep, 2013 / anne:

    What? They gave you scrub pants to wear in the MRI? When I go in with metal in my pants, they just give me a gown and no pants. But, I like most of the noises. The MRI makes different noises for my brain than when it does my chest or abdomen. The CT scan is a breeze, but I hate the injected contrast dye. Here is a cool view of what goes on inside the CT scan when you are in it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CWpZKuy-NE.

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  170. 19. Sep, 2013 / Leisel:

    Thank You!!
    I go in for my MRI Monday morning.
    The first day of the docs not having any answers other than the conclusion of needing an MRI I went home laid in bed and just Cryed, today has been more of a realization 1) lay in bed and feel sorry for myself or 2) get up keep positive and Fight!
    Of corse it’s number 2 but your post has made it so much easier to stay positive and see the humor! I will be book marking this post and probably end up reading it everyday as a reminder that there can be humor if not for me than for my family. Thank You!
    FYI so stealing the “it’s a Tumor” in Arnald voice!! Lmao when I read that!

    [Reply]

  171. 03. Oct, 2013 / Alma Pimentel:

    THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! It’s the first positive thing I’ve read about having brain surgery.
    I do have a meningioma, and my doctors told me a few weeks ago I need to have either surgery or radiation and to be honest I’m more inclined to have the surgery but I’m also SCARED to death. Seeing that you’re ok after that makes me feel more optimistic. I have to decide and I’ve been like frozen. Thank you!

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  172. 04. Oct, 2013 / carrie:

    i just found this on pinterest today. #25 – YES! like when i asked my doctor if my tumor was full of baby spiders like the urban legend about the girl who fell asleep while sun bathing and the spider crawled up into her sinuses and laid eggs. he didn’t think that was funny at all. and #26 no kidding – i had to sign a form before surgery acknowleding that i wasn’t allowed to take it with me. BUT i did take the staples and my mom made a fab necklace out of them for me, and i now have the metal plates they use and wound up taking out. those are going to be ear rings at some point. and #52 i didn’t realize you were in seattle at the same hospital where i had my surgery. i had a different doctor from the pituitary center, but i recognized that nurses station and those halls. thanks for the laugh

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  173. 05. Oct, 2013 / Shanelle:

    Just stumbled upon this, and I’m so glad I did. I was diagnosed with a 1cm brain tumor on my right temporal lobe in March of this year. My reaction was exactly as you described it. We’re still in the “hey-let’s-figure-out-what-to-do” phase of seeing how quickly it’s growing (which I hate…because…I just want it evicted). Anyway, thanks for the inspiring/hilarious/fantastic post.

    [Reply]

  174. 14. Oct, 2013 / Kimberley:

    I just found out a week ago today my brain tumor has re-emerged for the third time! I’m looking at a third brain tumor surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy in my near future! I loved reading this today! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  175. 15. Oct, 2013 / McKenzie:

    Hi ,
    I just had a meningioma tumor removed and had to let you know how much this article helped me get the courage to go through with the surgery. I was at a week prior to the surgery having that freak out moment of I can not do this. So of course I starting goggling to see what others in similar situation have gone through. Thankfully I stumbled upon your hilarious story I just laughed and felt at ease all at the same time. You are so insightful with what its like and I just was so prepared. I then shared this with friends and family prior to surgery and they also learned a lot along with many laughs. It was awesome when one of my friends ended up bringing a heart shaped lego to my hospital room of course referring back to your joke that a lego up your nose was to blame for the tumor. Oh yea and spot on that my neurosurgeon didn’t exactly share that same sense of sarcastic humor when he asked about that lego. But the Dr. and team did an amazing job as I am happy to say I am another success story. I am tumor free and cross my fingers in 6 months will still be when the next MRI will be done. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful article and take care.

    [Reply]

  176. 17. Oct, 2013 / Stephen:

    This is a witty and wonderful article. Thank you for writing it.

    I had my 4.2 cm (1.65 in) removed from my right parietal lobe about eight months ago, on February 26, 2013. I can relate to most of your points. Here is what really stood out:

    42: Being able to poop again. For some reason, this one made me choke up. Possibly because I remember the feeling of inserting laxative suppositories into my anus.
    54: Needing Mom’s (and Dad’s) help. This also made me choke up. Possibly because my dad saw me completely naked for 20 minutes for the first time in a couple of decades. I’m not sure why he was also naked.
    51: Cost of surgery. I am Canadian and my surgery cost me only $0.00 CDN. Actually, I upgraded my room so I did receive a bill for $24. I wrote an angry letter to the CBC over it.
    57: The catheter. I was awake when my catheter was removed. It was not pleasant and the claim that it hurts “for only a second” is inaccurate. I was also awake when one of the nurses stepped on my catheter tube while transferring me to my bed in ICU. That erased any sexy nurse fantasy I may have had.

    Wishing you all the best in health and life.

    Stephen

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  177. 23. Oct, 2013 / Monica:

    One week after my surgery, and oh boy, you’re right about these steroids. Just reading #64 made me burst into tears. And first post-op poop was the worst! Thanks for the laughs. Glad I found your site.

    [Reply]

    Everywhereist Reply:

    Oh, Monica, I hear you! I hope you are feeling okay. The first few weeks are the toughest. Glad to see you are up and using the computer. That’s awesome. Hugs to you and best wishes for a super speedy recovery.

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  178. 28. Oct, 2013 / Karen:

    Thanks so much for writing this blog post. I just found you while doing a search (I know, get off the internet!). I am 4 months post surgery for a non-malignant pituitary macroadenoma and am starting to experience post-surgical depression. Had a horrible day today and your post made me laugh. A tough feat.

    I’m happy to know you are doing well now just over a year post surgery. I’m looking forward to feeling better again, too.

    BTW, I named my tumour Sally. I was in the lunchroom at work and in a rare moment of good humour post diagnosis, I was quoting something from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding (or something like that, I can’t remember shit these days). It was when Andrea Martin was talking about having a ‘bibopsy’ for a tumour, ‘and what do you think they found…that’s right it was my twin!’ OF course I was told I needed to name the twin and ‘Sally’ flew out my mouth. Don’t know why, but from then on people asked how Sally was. I told them she was wearing out her welcome and I was getting ready to evict her. Maybe a good nickname for my neurosurgeon would be The Sheriff, or The Evictor, or something like that.

    Keep well and thanks for your wit and insight. Loved everyone of the 70 things you learned.

    [Reply]

  179. 02. Nov, 2013 / mark:

    I really appreciate your tale from the heart. I had a large pitutary adenoma removed 9/11/13 and can relate totaly. Loved the humor. Thankyou

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  180. 06. Nov, 2013 / Donny D:

    Hi ya peeps. I have just had a left temporal lobe brain tumor removed and i wish i read the 20 facts written by Everywhereist. You made me laugh and i experienced most of your points.

    When i punish and go hard on myself regardin my weaknesses my nurses tell me to stop talking and acknowledge the fact that i have just had ‘brain surgery’.

    What happens in life happens and totally think differently now. Every morning i wake up and look at my scar, take a deep breath and smile because things could have been worst.

    My advice peeps is keep your chin up, be positive, talk to friends and family and make time to think about your past, present and future because you will have one.

    Takecare all :)

    [Reply]

    Ted Reply:

    Me too. I have found that since my surgery 22 yeaqrs ago that I make better decisions now. Before Surgery I knew right from wrong but would think the right thing and do the wrong. Is this similiar tou your experience?
    I had a High School diploma and some college before the surgery, but after, I finished my associates degree and then earned my Bachelors degree and teaching certificate and have been teaching for 16 years.

    [Reply]

  181. 10. Nov, 2013 / Mcoffee:

    I loved reading your post! I am just over two weeks post-op from a craniotomy to get rid of “Hank”. Your post made me giggle and wish that I had read it pre-op. Thanks for writing this!

    [Reply]

  182. 15. Dec, 2013 / Diane Gautreau:

    The one that resonated the most with me was the one about asking the tech about the emergency when you get an MRI. Every time I get an MRI I’m compelled to ask the tech what they would do if there was a fire. I’m not obsessed with fires, yet I can’t stop myself from asking this question. I try to refrain yet the question just pops out as they are rolling me into the machine. They always assured me that they could get me out even the electricity was off. My concern is not that they could get me out but would they get me out. I picture them running out of the room and out of the hospital at the first sound of the fire alarm. I was glad to hear that I could crawl out but now my question is how would I get that thing off my head.

    [Reply]

  183. 10. Jan, 2014 / Shannon:

    Thanks for this. I read it before surgery and after several MRIs and CTs (and before some others). I had my surgery in November. Surgery went well (I’m still alive!), but it wasn’t effective. So now the option remains to go back in there. I just re-read the list with more experience and it made me feel better about the whole thing. I really thank you. It’s nice to know you’re not alone in this shit-show. (By the way, the first go-round my tumor was named Beyonce–unique, nothing to be afraid of…I think I may go for someone I hate next time.)

    [Reply]

  184. 14. Jan, 2014 / Ted:

    I am a Brain Tumor Survivor, I had a grade 2 Astrocytoma and upon recovery I went back to school and became a teacher. Sixteen years now. Do you find yourself saying to youself, “Man, that person really needs brain surgery, to fix that problem. They removed 1/3 third of my brain and when someone smarts off to me I can reply, “I have 2/3 of a brain and I’m still smarter than you!” Or how about, “No brainer? Hey Buddy, I have pictures to prove I have one! How about you? No? Then get one, and then get a life.”
    Waking up from the surgery was great for me. I was at Medical City in Dallas, the only hospital that ever offered Steak and Lobster to me, anyway…. they loaded me up with Darvocet before the surgery so I guess my blood pressure went up. As I was coming out of the fog of Anthethesia in ICU I could hear my wife and Aunt taliking. Aunt: “He looks like he is Glowing.” Even in my foggy state my brain told me, “Glowing/ Pregnancy” so I said, “So, when is the baby due?” Then I had to spend the next 15 minutes explaining what the Joke was.
    Oh, and the whole water thing. I was in the Sahara it was so bad. I begeed the nurse and finally she had enough and called the doctor at 11pm. He said I could have one little sponge toohtbrush and hour.
    And then FOOD! I started soon after that for food, and by 6am I had a full breakfast then lunch. I was out of ICU by 5pm . The nurse said I was too healthy to be in ICU.
    Do you remember the brain tests they gave you? Spike on the bottom of your foot, tell the nurse who you are, where you are, what time it is, what day it was. I got that nurse though. She wasn’t ready for me though. You see, my bed was right in front of a clock, and she came in at 11:45on Thursday night and started all of this testing. we went through the whole routine and whan asked the time I said 11:59 and I watched the second hand as wrote down her observations, and by the time she asked me the day I said it was Friday. She started scribbling maddly when I stopped her and explained that the second hand had crossed the 12 and at 12:00:02 it was officially Friday, not Thusday so the day had changed from Thursday to Friday and there was not anthing wrong with the little bit of brain I had left.

    [Reply]

  185. 18. Jan, 2014 / Amie B:

    What an awesome blog! last year I was diagnosed and treated for a central neurocytoma. I had six brain surgeries, endless MRI’s and a 5 month recovery period. I can relate to so many of your points its actually funny. I especially like the naming of your tumor. I named my drain charlie and I now have two shunts which I have named Martin and Shirley. it’s good to know I am not the only crazy person naming things in this experience. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and had a bit of a laugh.

    [Reply]

  186. 16. Feb, 2014 / Ruthy:

    Wow, I’m so glad I read this…its currently 2.41am and I’m lying awake terrified. I have an mri tomorrow to scan both my head and then my orbits (its gonna be a loooong one) I know what they’re looking for as I’m not stupid, I’m actually rather smart which is actually a hinderence in my current situation as I have a keen understanding of science and human biology which only makes me worry more (and I really didn’t mean that to sound arrogant). I’m not so much worried about the diagnosis and treatmeant as I am about the possible reactions of my friends, family and co-workers. I’ll admit, the world of sociology baffles me and I find it hard to fathom the way other people think and feel…I hate thinking that I have caused anyone distress. Your post really gelped me to see that its okay to be human and to need and expect people to hug you and tell you its going to be okay – to cry with you.

    I’m not gonna let whatever the outcome may be beat me, my mind is my stongest (if not only) asset, I don’t do the things people my age do, instead I sit at home reading about quantum physics and knitting. Im not gonna let that go and you have made me see I don’t have to.

    Thankyou for reminding me we are more than flesh and bone.

    You are a beautiful person (even if sometimes you do get grumpy and cynical…which I find hard to believe)

    Take care lovely xx

    [Reply]

  187. 21. Feb, 2014 / Carol:

    Hi,
    I enjoyed reading about your story, I also had a brain tumour. It was a Central Neurocytoma which was benign though. During surgery to remove it my neurosurgeon cut into my motor skills which left me paralysed on my left side. I spent 2 months in a wheelchair until they moved me to the rehabilitation ward in hospital. I am now walking with a walking stick, I’m hoping to throw away the stick soon!! I’m 27years old and i’m still attending physic twice a week as an outpatient. I just want my life back!! All the best in the future! :) Stay Positive and you will get there!
    Carolxox

    [Reply]

  188. 21. Feb, 2014 / Carol:

    I forgot to mention that when I found out I had a brain Tumour all I could say was ‘Its not a tumour!”I was walking around the emergency room in hospital looking at people (boyfriend, family, strangers ) Speaking like Arnold in Kindergarten Cop. ‘IT’S NOT A TUMOUR!’ lol
    take care
    Carol

    [Reply]

  189. 08. Mar, 2014 / Michelle:

    So happy I came across this post! Since having my own brain surgery I have avoided all internet, and reading material regarding my diagnosis. Makes it easier…but it was comforting to read this similar experience and be able to smile and even chuckle a bit.
    In December I gave birth to a sweet little girl and two days later found out I had a large, malignant brain tumor. I underwent surgery and am currently having treatment.
    My baby and husband were able to room with me the entire stay and although it has been difficult having her has made this more bearable.
    Did you lose any hair from surgery due to shaving or radiation?
    I am currently looking into options for some bangs or something as I have a large bald spot in the front.
    Something about looking healthy makes me feel healthy.
    I loved that you went running 3 weeks later…I have tried to get back to running but have had to cut myself some slack and find some other ways to not be huge from steroids and my sudden obsession with food.
    Anyway, thank you for posting this and keeping it real and positive!

    [Reply]

    Caroline Reply:

    I had surgery apr 2012…. Think I’ve to have another this summer. Go easy on yourself, any time I exercise I encourage more seizures, jus b happy with walking, give yourself a break… That’s what I’m trying to do for myself, last run gave me a full seizure!! We gotta listen to our bodies!!
    I’ve been avoiding having kids… But listening to you, maybe I shouldn’t!?
    Best of luck!

    [Reply]

  190. 13. Mar, 2014 / Karen:

    I am recently diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, will have surgery on this bad boy if it decides to grow any after my next MRI. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Loved the making out with a badger one, partly because I looked that way after a jaw surgery I had when my lips looked like sausages. I have had to keep my sense of humor about all of this, so your post was fabulous! Thanks, and hope you are doing well.

    [Reply]

  191. 24. Mar, 2014 / Dawn:

    Thank you.
    For the heads up…as my partner was just diagnosed with a BT.
    And for making me both smile and tear up.

    Hope today finds you well.

    [Reply]

  192. 08. Apr, 2014 / Evie:

    Loved your post, your experience has been pretty much like my own. I’m 23, Brain surgery in December, just before Christmas. i learned that the holidays are just the same, all the attention went to the kids, no talking about how i feel or tumour talk :) So, if you are having BS have it in December ;) thanks for making me remember the weird funny silver linning this whole experience had :)

    [Reply]

  193. 08. May, 2014 / Wendy:

    Dear Everywhereist,

    Thank you so much for this. It confirms about a million things I suspected and am in the process of experiencing and it gave me loads of very pertinent things to begin considering and putting to use within seconds. For example, I had not yet named my tumor. This is something I will give focused energy to today. Two weeks ago, I fell down, had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital and learned I had a brain tumor. I will likely have surgery within the next 3-4 weeks. I have since been on a high, rushing around trying to accomplish things before my surgery. But every so often, I come down off my high and reality tries to bring me back…In any case, I know we need to focus on what we can control and try to stay positive and surround ourselves by those who are.

    As you likely know, May is Brain Tumor Awareness Monday. So, rather than sit back and just wait, I am trying to motivate my artist friends and creative types to join me in raising awareness. I launched a Facebook community (two days ago – built in a day, which is even less time than Rome) and I am asking people to post cool photos and things that inspire them (and I am hoping to find some cool bands to join in). I would be very honored if you might visit my site and share some of your words of wisdom and/or some cool stuff and invite anyone you think might want to do the same to join in. Here is the link:

    https://www.facebook.com/braininthegame

    I wish you all the best. And if you ever come to Paris, please let me know. I would love to show you around. :)

    Wendy

    [Reply]

    Wendy Reply:

    Woops, it is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, not Monday (fun with spellcheck). Have a great day!

    [Reply]

  194. 10. May, 2014 / Carrie:

    I loved your post , my 14 year old is getting ready in a week to have her second brain surgery for part of the tumor they leftvthe last time so , I am reading around and getting put right back into the scariest feelings I have ever had in my life a year ago . Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the very best.

    [Reply]

  195. 13. May, 2014 / Caroline:

    Omg, I laughed out loud at soo much of this! So tru, jus found out today I’ve to have a second surgery… Bt grew back! Lil fecker! But ur blog made me laugh…. I’m glad I’m not d only one that lives in pjs and gets through waaay too many box sets!
    Insistently, I like to think of the MRI as a big plastic slide! Doesn’t phase me… Wouldn’t wanna, I’m well into double digits of scans!!!!

    [Reply]

  196. 21. May, 2014 / Brenda:

    This is simply amazing. My 16 yr. old son was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor last month and will have surgery in July. I found your blog while doing online research and couldn’t wait to share it with him. You have given us the most realistic, helpful, and humorous insight as to what we can expect in the near future. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and advice. : )

    [Reply]

  197. 09. Jun, 2014 / Kathy Gunnarson-Lackey:

    Loved your story. I recently 6 weeks ago had a brain cyst removed and it was a very life changing ordeal to go through. I love the way you brought humor to your story in dealing with the fears that anyone facing a craniotomy procedure has. Hope all is well with you now and I wish you the best. Thanks for making my day.

    [Reply]

  198. 10. Jun, 2014 / Arthur Story:

    I completely empathize with this heart felt article/story. I had 2 surgeries, 1st in ’99, second in 2013. For me personally, #’s that really hit home were 4,6,11,14,15,17,18,20,21,24,25, #26 I was relentless in my pursuit of this and they finally gave me some slides ( they refused in ’99), 28,29,30 32, #38 was an actual procedure in 1949, #44 is great advice I wish I’d followed,#47 they did on me in ’99 not 2013, 50-56 all true, #57 I talked my doctor into taking it out before I woke up as it was the most horrifying part I remember about ’99,. I completely agree and feel the same way about the rest of the #’s. You did a GREAT JOB writing this! Feel proud!!Thank you! I wish nothing but the best for you!! Thanks again :)

    [Reply]

  199. 24. Jun, 2014 / Chris Dennis:

    Thank you profoundly. I have surgery in 36 hours and this really helped. Thought of some funny/bad pranks for when I woke as well. This helped me and many friends and family members.

    [Reply]

  200. 12. Aug, 2014 / Kat:

    Wow! After trolling the internet for the last six days this is the first thing that has made me smile. I was diagnosed with a 10mm astrocytoma and am anxiously waiting on my insurance to approve a visit with a neurosurgeon. I have a tentative appt next Monday and I will have to fly there (12 hr road trips ain’t for me!) so my nerves have shifted to this one sheet of paper with a very important authorization #. But reading this has given me so much strength and taken away a lot of the unknown. I don’t know if I will have to have surgery but if I do I will be practicing my best Schwarzenegger impressions

    [Reply]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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