Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thankful is an Understatement

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Its crazy how much can happen in two weeks time.  The very day of my last blog post, I went to my niece Liliana's first birthday. She and Alexia looked adorable in their pink poofy party dresses. Are you kidding me? This blown up picture of Lily is way too cute. Frog centerpieces and frog fondant cake? adorable.  Oooh I could make a cake like that! Cute idea. I wish Mike could be here to hang out but I understand he has to work. Wow, I feel weird...very hyper. Maybe I had too much coffee this morning. All these kids are these families are really growing. Where is my mom? I'll leave her be...she is always chit chatting. Ok, what the hell is going on? I have a pounding headache that I now can feel in my chest. I'll sit with my cousins. Guys I feel really weird....pounding headache. Just breathe said Brianna. Im trying but this headache is like nothing I ever felt before. Where is Kevin? He should be here any minute.  Should I pick him up? It will probably be faster for him to just walk here. I don't feel well to drive. Wow I am so hyper. My father came over to snap a pic I told him what was going on and that I was going down. Dad, I think Im going to faint.  He took me right outside to get me in the car to take me home. Oh, good!! Kevin! Let me lean on your shoulder for a minute. Kev, I feel really weird....something is wrong. Dad, pull up....I have to throw up..don't want people to see. Something is wrong dad....shit a tumor on the brain. No Lisa, don't say that its probably just a virus. Holy this what people experience when they get migraines? This is terrible. I feel bad if people actually experience these.   Oh no my dad is missing his granddaughter's first birthday. Not okay. He must go back right now. Anthony and Brianna could stay with me. Holy shit I have to throw up. My poor cousins, they must be freaken out. Thank God they are here. This is bad...what is happening. Jeez, the light is killing my eyes. Oh no I need to throw up again. I cant even talk. I'm just going to sit here with my eyes closed. Poor Brianna and Anthony.  I want to talk with them but cant even think straight. Door opening......who is it? Yes! Mike is home. That is so comforting. Babe, I really don't feel well. Really sick. Maybe I have a dad said he had this last week. Ok I can sleep. Just stay calm and keep your eyes closed.  Pain killer didn't help the pain. Holy shit what is happening? I never experienced pain at this intensity before. I think I need to go to the ER. No I don't feel like waiting there. It will pass. Wow its 6am already. Mike has to go to work. I love when he tucks me in with more blankets and kisses my forehead before he leaves. Comforting....we will get through this. Thank God my parents are here. I need to get my ass to the ER. My parents will update Mike.  I'm not changing. Who cares.....slippers will be just fine. Woah, there are so many lights and my eyes hurt. My poor parents. I hate pain meds but please give me something. I need relief. Yes triage person, history of melanoma... that's correct. Doctor will be in shortly. Were taking you for some tests. 

Brain MRI shows tumor on right side of brain. It hemorrhaged. Its good its on the right side of the brain. Doesn't deal with coordination.  It has to come out. Ill need surgery.  Mom, did you call Mike? Let him know. We are transferring you to Northshore Manhassett. You will be admitted. Okay, good I can request Dr Beg. He will tell me the right place to go.  Let me text Erica and let her know I wont be in work for a little while. Okay the pain is better. Holy shit I need brain surgery. What surgeon is best? Shit, Stephie had so many complications with her brain surgery. Im scared. Mom, contact Mike B please. I want to go to NYC hospital. Dad, we need to research. Oh boy this is really happening. Just another bump in the road Li, you will get through this.  Ok, I need to take a lot of cellect and supplements from Switzerland. Tumeric is good for inflammation. I'll take a lot before surgery. Mom, please call Fred and Dr Rau to inform them. Dr Rau will let me know what to do after surgery to minimize side effects. Does this have something to do with myofascia release treatment? Is this related to my shoulder pain? Mom, please call and schedule a vitamin infusion for every day next week. Lets replenish the good stuff.

We decided on NY Columbia Presbyterian Cornell Weill. With some minor transportation coordination issues, I finally was transferred to Cornell Weill by ambulance on Tuesday. My mom by my side is so comforting. Ugh she must be so worried. Despite it being a holiday, I was fortunate enough for my surgery to be scheduled on Wednesday. I'm so incredibly thankful for my quite extensive clan of family and friends. I feel the love and positive vibes. I really do. Like going through my body like electricity. We have to pray to Madonna Del Stella and Padre Pio. They will comfort me.  It makes it easier in time of crisis when you have unconditional love and support. I appreciate the visits and that sense of comfort having those people who care about me around. Grandma is so with me... I feel her presence and she will get me through this. 

Tears....F@*k! How did this happen. I was doing so good and such a good path...felt like things were reversing and getting better. I'm angry. This shouldn't be happening. Not with cellect, not with Switzerland, not with all the good I have been doing for my body. People are going to have their comments. See that holistic stuff doesn't work. Who cares Lisa. Bottom line is you know you feel better and will be okay.  Tears rolling down cheek. Don't worry Lisa. We love you. You will get through this. Stop tearing Lisa you have to be strong for everyone. You cry they cry. Oh boy! everyone looks so worried. Don't worry everyone i will be okay. Ugh. Now Thanksgiving is ruined... I'm here.. Last year I was in Switzerland, now in the hospital for surgery. Wow we have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, I can do Black Friday shopping. Mike bought the IPAD. Shopping on morphine....dangerous. Mike is it okay if I shop? Sure Li, its fine. Thanks babe.

Seriously this is the neurological resident? He looks like an elf of some sort."You have a brain tumor." Probably related to the melanoma. Its on a good side. We will cut the bone take it out and then staple the incision closed. We will shave a little piece of your hair and the incision will be right here in an "s" shape. No!! my hair!!! Shit! How much hair? Okay not the end of the world. I look good in hats. I'll blossom style it for awhile. Ok obviously cuter hats then Blossom. Fedora...yeah.

We are going to insert Brachytherapy in your brain once we get the tumor out. Brachy..what? They are radiation beads that will stay in forever. The radiation frequency will diminish in three months time. Very calmly I said I'm not getting that. My dad said we will look into it. I said absolutely not getting radiation pellets inserted in my head for life. Nothing about that sounds okay or my speed. Oh good Mike agrees. Elf man said he will have to see if its okay with Dr Schwartz. Made it clear that it was not an option for radiation pellets to go in my head. My body. My decision.

Tomorrow morning is the surgery. Mom is here with me and Mike will come back in the morning with my dad. I have to wash my hair. Oh no! When will be the next time i could get a blow out? Wow Im out  of it. I guess the pain meds. I hate how my mother cant sleep well here. Surgery was postponed till 4pm. Oh great. Mike and dad will come in a little. Hour later nurse says I need to get a brain MRI then right into surgery. Make up your mind people. Buzzzzz!! No my hair!! Tears. Mom is it bad? No Li its only a little. Oh shit this is really happening. Ok Lisa, after this MRI you will go into OR. Just sign this....says craniotomy on left side with placement of brachytherapy. Very thats not correct. I already explained to Dr. Schwartz and elf man that I am not getting bracytherapy and the surgery is on the right side. Come on people. This is serious. Focus.... think before you speak. Okay I will cross it out. No please go fill out a new form correctly. Then I will sign. .

Five hours later, pain is unbearable. Im cold. Cant breathe. Is there a tube around my neck? What the hell is going on I should feel no pain. This is horrific. Where are my parents and mike? Excuse me I cant breathe and I feel a knife going through my brain. You just had brain surgery. No shit but I should not be feeling such intense pain. We are going to try and find your family. Where are they? Please find them quick. Cover me. I'm cold. Can i please have some water. Oh thank god!! Mike. Please can I have a drink. Ice chips with mango coconut water? This is the best thing Ive eaten in awhile. I can live off this. Pain is unbearable. Please get nurse. I need something.

There is a wave in my head. Oh no! please tell me that I don't have fluid on the brain. Why do I feel like a wave is going back and forth in my head. Its okay that's normal. They washed your head and probably got water in your ears. This is a very strange feeling. Ugh this pain. Its 150 on a scale from 1 to 10. We gave you everything. Okay we will get the pain doctors. Hurry please. Stabbing  pain that  is way too unbearable. Morphine pump is going to be administered. I hate it but I need to manage the pain. Okay this is getting better. Headache is getting better. Try and sleep. More ice chips with mango water please. This wave is getting old. This head wrap is too tight. I don't care I'm pulling off. Please Mike loosen it. They wont even know. That's why I have this pain. Thank you!!! That is so much better. They had it wrapped it so freaken tight.

Wave is gone. Pain is tolerable. Its Thanksgiving and I have so many people here who love me. I feel pretty good. I don't feel like I had brain surgery. Makeup is on, all washed up, walking around by myself, feel really good. Thanks to my aunts and mom in law some Thanksgiving dinner in the hospital. Stuffed mushrooms and pastina. Yum. I'm doing so well they could move me out of ICU into stepdown. Pain is not bad anymore. Stop using the morphine don't need it....poison for the body. Washed up, leggings on, makeup on, leopard scarf. jewelry on and comfy blazer. I feel good and want to go home. But you had brain surgery three days ago. That's okay. I feel great and want to go home. We will check with Dr Schwartz. Thank you.

Emily and Dave!! I am so fortunate for my amazing friends. Ugh I feel bad that they took the trip here before the long trek back to Boston. But Emilina is so comforting. Happy to just have them here. Pretty flowers. They are always on the road....don't know how they do it. But truly thankful to have them here. Thank goodness this brain saga didnt happen when we were visiting them last week. Spleen surgery was when we were visiting them in Boston.

Good news! Friday night and I'm going home. Not only am I going home but I feel so good. Like nothing happened. I passed all Mike's OT tests.....I can text, walk, I have strength, I know where I am and am totally with it. Yes, home it is!! Cant wait for my own bed and just to be with Mike and cuddly Marli. So now what? Nothing really. We will take off the head wrap.  Oh no!! so nerve racking. Don't worry Dr. Schwartz does a great job. You wont be able to tell. Mike I don't want you to see. Li, don't be silly. Okay here goes. Snip Snip. That's it? You cant even tell. My hair covers it. whew! Yay! Lets take a picture. Why is everything going so smoothly? We will get you an MRI and then you can leave. Take these three medications, follow up with local oncologists and get staples removed in ten days. Wow I can go back to work on Monday then. Lets pack up this we accumulated a lot over a week. Ugh that MRI was so loud and annoying. All looks good. Brains clear. You can go home. Do you want a wheel chair? No. That's silly....I'm totally fine to walk. I'm not one for this whole patient thing.

Home sweet home. Wow its spotless. Not surprising...that's Mike.  I love our home. So cozy. Just where I want to be. I know I have to rest but I love visitors. Everyone is so kind. I have such good people in my life. Lucky girl for sure. Marli!!!!! Oh no she is sick. Maybe she ate too much. She probably is out of sorts and missed us. Dogs sense things.

The weekend was for sure busy with company, delicious food, get well gifts, puzzling, banangrams, lots of texting, movies, Dexter and Homeland and relaxing.

I'm okay to go back to work. I feel fine. I will take one more day to relax but getting restless and antsy. We have an audit coming up and i want to be up to date. I want to check in with the boys. It will be good to get back. I'm so appreciative for my supportive co-workers. Wow, we have been through a lot together. Erica, has helped me so much. Truly appreciative.

Fred called. Believes it is related to myofascia release treatment releasing the pathway causing hemorrhage. Cornell Weill called...the tumor is related to melanoma. No shit people! They suggest chemo and radiation. Very calmy said okay but no thank you. No pathology report is in yet. So how do you know its related to melanoma and why are you suggesting deadly treatments?  Please just send me my pathology report when it gets in. I will not be following up at Cornell Weill. I will continue my own path. Thank you for your time and assistance though. Switzerland is ready and scheduled for mid February.

By Tuesday it settled in.....something strange happened. This was meant to happen. Its like a demon was lifted.  Just like my spleen filled with dead cancer had to come out, this blocked energy in my head had to be released. I feel so bizarrely amazing. Its not like I'm doped up on pain meds either. Ive been taking 1/2 a pain killer a day for shoulder pain, which is nothing .My emotions cant tolerate anymore than that. They make you sad and cry. Not worth it.  

Euphoria?  A state of intense happiness and self-confidence. That is what I'm feeling. I feel so free, clear headed, loved, confidant, stress free, and like I didn't undergo any surgery at all. I have no pain on my head and sleep on the incision side like there is nothing there. I have been so productive, wired, clear, and like I can do anything and everything that I want. Not foggy and out of it like I was for some months now. Something was released. I went back to work on Tuesday and had the most productive work week that I had in a really long time. Writing paperwork was nothing. I was like a machine. Tasks have been so easy and manageable. I put up Christmas Thursday before work all by myself. The house looks adorable. I just love Chirstmas and decorating. I know its crazy.  I feel vulnerable in a way by even writing this.... But something spiritual went on these past two weeks and all that went on was just another part of the healing -one -step closer- to- remission- process. Im at peace, relaxed, and just plain old focused. Thank you for all those positive vibes, prayers and good thoughts. I truly believe that it is that supportive pack like energy and love that is bludgering my cancer to death.

Not sure how long euphoric feeling will last but I'm going to enjoy it when it's here.

So much love and thanks.

Love Always,