Lisha Berry Taylor is my guest blogger today. If you’ve dealt with a brain tumor you will appreciate what Lisha shares in her story. If you know someone who has a brain tumor, maybe her words will help put circumstances in order. God is the Great Physician and Provider. See how he manifests himself through Lisha’s ordeal.
I had been feeling strange for a while and honestly thought I was going crazy. I had just had a hysterectomy a few months earlier so I thought something was wrong with my hormones. At a regular doctor’s visit I mentioned I was not dealing well with stress and wondered about my hormones. He told me I was already on a high dosage. I told friends at church that I thought I was losing my mind. I was so emotional and anything could upset me. One time I cried all the way home from work because a customer had been mean to me and I did not understand.
Life can change in a moment. That’s what happened to my guest blogger, Tracey Clover, a brain tumor survivor—and friend.
Energy, boundless energy. That is what I had before December 2, 2012, the day I had back-to-back grand mal seizures. The seizures set off a journey that led to the diagnosis of a left frontal lobe meningioma the size of the doctor’s fist. I never truly knew tired before that day.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans, accounting for 52% of all functional tissue brain tumor cases and 20% of all intracranial tumors. GBM kills 12,000 people a year. CBS 60 Minutes’ March 29, 2015, episode, Killing Cancer, has been the topic of conversation in many brain tumor survivor circles.
Running up and down steps with ease. That’s the memory from before brain surgery that bothers me the most. I miss that skill. Now I hold on to the rail that offers support. It’s just a bit of support, but I rely on it being there.
Enjoying jigsaw puzzles is another loss I face. When I look at a tabletop covered with 500 pieces of disjointed cardboard and break into a sweat. My mind is filled with chaos and I need to walk literally away from the table.
Survivors of tragedy see the significance of a new day—its beauty and splendor—clearer than others. I say that not to boast, just as an observation. Every morning when I’m in that almost-wake state but not ready to open my eyes, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to welcome another day. I am also cognizant that greeting the day does not guarantee putting it to bed. Years ago a good friend told me of her husband’s passing saying, “You may put your shoes on in the morning, but never know who will take them off at the end of the day.” I thought that was a powerful statement then and it took on even more strength after I was diagnosed with meningioma (tumor on the brain).
I rarely challenge gratitude in my life. I do, however, have times of struggle when it comes to survival’s guilt.
My dog, Oreo, was a master at waiting. But for me, waiting–especially for medical news–is the worst. It’s where you’re stuck in limbo between reality and fantasy. Will test numbers show the tumor’s back or will it still be gone? Will the MRI come back clean or will there be a cloud we need to address? Without a doubt, waiting’s the worst.
How can the sun come up when I have a brain tumor? Why do birds sing even though I’ve been dealt this horrific blow?
I asked these questions and more when I found out about my meningioma. Life wasn’t fair. I had just come to the most wonderful stage in my life. My husband and I were making plans for our future and the kids were grown with the youngest in college.
I read lots of blogs on lots or different subjects. I comment on some and repost others if I think they are pertinent to the audience that reads my blog.
I’m forwarding the latest post on a blog from Novel Rocket and Kellie Coates Gilbert as she offers sage advice about cyber-security. Times have changed and anyone who is on social media needs to aware. While we’re here to support each other, me must remember that there are cyber bad guys watching. It’s not a time to be paranoid, just informed.
April 2011 was the beginning of a new phase—the brain tumor phase—of my life. Since then all life events are measured from that point. Happenings occur BBT (before brain tumor), PBS (in preparation of brain surgery) or ABT (after brain tumor).
During PBS I thought I had a good comprehension of what would be happening and why it needed to happen. Simply stated, I needed to get the fist-sized tumor off my brain, then I needed to recover. But I had no preparation for what non-surgical side effect came with the procedure. Continue reading →