August 10, 2010, was a Tuesday. I got confirmation that what my mind and body had been telling me for months, was true. I had a brain tumor. It was a gift that I got the care I needed, and am here today. I got involved with the National Brain Tumor Society to connect with others in the brain tumor community. It’s a comfort to share things with other patients and survivors, when you think, “there’s no way anyone gets this.”
A few months prior to my diagnosis, I had been undergoing fertility treatments. I began to experience strange reactions to smells, and had out of body sensations, that I had never had before. I attributed these symptoms to hormones, and pregnancy. The more treatments I did, the worse the symptoms became. While taking a break from fertility drugs, my husband and I vacationed in Aruba. While lying on the beach, I began to have one of these odd, ” I’m leaving my body”, episodes. I saw the letters C, N, S, floating in my head. I knew that CNS stood for Central Nervous System. That was it. I had a brain tumor.
My gut was screaming at me to go to a doctor, and insist on an MRI. No one believed me. Even the nurse practitioner was not convinced I had a brain tumor. She agreed that something wasn’t right though, and sent me for an MRI. She called me the next morning to confirm that the scan showed a large mass, about the size of my fist. I was not surprised. I was referred to the brilliant Dr. William Curry, at Mass General Hospital. He performed a nine-hour brain surgery to remove the atypical, but benign, meningioma. I made a full recovery, and continue to be monitored. I am still tumor free today.
It’s in the spirit of that fateful Tuesday, that I am participating with the National Brain Tumor Society to be a #GivingTuesday Champion. The NBTS is a positive, welcoming place, which makes it easy to take action, and be involved in the fight against brain tumors. My story had a happy ending. I know that’s not every ones story.
I am posting an #UNselfie #BTvoice #GivingTuesday on Instagram to raise awareness. Some people have asked if they can still give to the National Brain Tumor Society, even though the events have passed them by. The answer is definitely “yes.”
I am reaching out to my contacts to remind them that even though the Brain Tumor Walk is over, our fundraising page is still up for #GivingTuesday. Starting today, I am keeping track of what I spend on coffee each day, and donating that total to NBTS on December 2. I don’t give a second thought to what I spend on a coffee, so why wouldn’t I give that money to help the fight against brain tumors? Every dollar makes a difference.