Thursday, 22 August 2013

Being diagnosed with a brain tumour

When you go to see a consultant due to neck pain and come out with an inoperable brain tumour it can understandably be a shock to the system. And I really do mean system. 

I am a great coper with medical things. I love hospitals and think I really did miss my vocation by not becoming a nurse. So hospitals don't scare me in the least. I'm also not scared by people with serious illness. For 5 years I was a carer in the community, and I loved every minute of it. I had a bubbly personality, that lifted people's short time that they got to spend with me. It was brilliant to make a little difference in people's everyday.

So although I am a great coper with bad news and illness. My body did go into shock. When we left the hospital on a sunny, Tuesday evening, we had planned to treat ourselves to a Thai meal on the way home. Understandably our appetites had disappeared. As we drove along trying to decide what to do, my hands were involuntary shaking and I mean shaking. The only other times I've had that happen was when I gave birth to both my children. I was fine and had had easy births. But my body was in shock. 

As the week has continued on. I myself have been coping very well. I am extremely practical and have spent a part of each day doing some research into my condition. Taking it slow, as I feel there is no rush. But my body keeps getting in the way. It's not letting me sleep well. I'm a bad sleeper at the best of time. I was taught methods of dealing with worries, when I worked with abused children. It a technique where you imagine putting your worries in a box and putting it somewhere metaphysically . I am a bit of a pro at this technique having used it for years. It has always been a great help. But the first nights after my diagnosis, the worries were racing in and out of my head. There were so many it was hard to catch them to put them into a box. The only way I ended up managing it was to imagine I had a fishing net and make huge sweeping motions catching all the thoughts. I then proceeded to imagine I had put them in a cute patterned trunk, I keep shoes in in the conservatory. It seemed to do the trick, but then I became more aware of my other body tricks telling me it was scared.

When I am anxious I always want to go to the toilet. I have what is medically called an unstable bladder. So no camel piss for me, ever ! It's always more like a dormouse's piss. Such a trickle, its embarrassing when people are waiting for me at the toilets. I am in and out quicker than my husband can clear a room after a fart. Since my diagnosis, you would think I have cystitis without the acute pain. I have had a constant low aching pain in my bladder, which makes it hard to concentrate on going to sleep. My brain Is telling me to go for a piss, and I am telling it to piss off, it's fine. I know it is just a fight or flight reaction. So now my bladder is on high alert sympathy for its mate the brain. If it keeps on I can see the pair of them falling out. It is really getting on my brains nerves.

Then we have my stomach. That too has decided it needs to express its sympathy in the only way it knows. Pain, just to let everyone know its there. I have had very little appetite in the last week. It's hard to decide what to have to eat, when you have no appetite. I have been choosing some of my old favourites to tempt myself. But it has been hard going. I have the worst indigestion and deep stomach pain. Obviously due to too much stress hormone and adrenaline. To add to my stomach woes, I have been having to take ibuprofen for back pain and bruising from a relaxing massage, that turned into a deep tissue bruising agony affair. But that's another story. My stomach doesn't like ibuprofen much and always rebels against it. So not not only do I have no appetite, but I feel like my stomach is on fire. I suppose it could be seen as a blessing if I tried to look on the bright side. At least it takes my attention away from the fact that I have a brain tumour ! 

I know the day will come when all these distressing symptoms my body is causing itself will calm down and I am dearly looking forward to the day. It should be just around the corner. But then I have moments of realising that this will become a lifetimes occurrence. For the rest of my life I am going to be scanned and spend hours waiting at hospitals for news. My life has really and truly changed forever.

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