My Tumor

I started having vision changes and went to the optometrist in the summer of 2018. I tried new glasses and wore them for a couple of months and noticed some more changes. But by November I was concerned.

My vision was getting worse. I went to a retina specialist and he referred me back to an optometrist to get another pair of glasses. The optometrist I went to was concerned I may have MS because of the vision issues. So she referred me to a neuro-ophthalmologist and after extensive testing he determined I had a pituitary tumor.

I was ordered an MRI. When the results came in he confirmed it and sent my file to a neuro surgeon for treatment options. I walked in expecting to be able to use medicine to reduce the tumor. When the doctor said there was no option it had to come out or I would go blind or it would kill me, everything stopped and I was in shock.

The initial MRI was incorrect. I had a 24mm Meningioma cradled between my optic nerves and the carotid artery. On January 8 2019 I had a keyhole craniotomy. He removed it all but I still don’t have a clean scan because of scarring which they are watching.

It’s changed my life. I don’t drive unless I have to, even though a lot of my vision returned, I lost peripheral in my right eye. Doctors appointments and MRIs are a constant part of life. I tire easy.

But recently I was able to complete my first 5k walk ever. I live a new normal. I used to push through stuff and now I have to step back to take care of myself. 

– Joael Ward

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