Alison Walls

First post: Jun 7, 2022 Latest post: Jun 27, 2022
Well, in less than a week, life has taken quite a turn. On Wednesday, I had an MRI to find out why I was having some double vision (after some thyroid problems I was SURE were the root cause...spoiler...they weren't). Shortly after the MRI, my doctor called to tell me there was a mass, that he believed to be benign, on my brain. But he felt it was urgent enough that I needed to be seen by a neuroscience oncologist immediately. I met with that doctor less than 18 hours later and saw the scans for myself. I do have a brain barnacle, Barney, as I've named him, and he is just a bit larger than a golfball sitting dead center in front of both frontal lobes. It is a meningioma and if you have to have a brain tumor, which I don't recommend, this is the one to have. Almost always benign, it really just serves to anger and annoy the brain, rather than destroy it. The doctor feels that they eye and migraine symptoms are from a significant amount of swelling on both sides of my brain in response to Barney being where he shouldn't be. Because of the swelling, removing Barney has become a bit more of an urgent issue and he will be evicted via brain surgery on Tuesday, June 7th. It's amazing to realize it hasn't even been a week. 

The surgery will be about 4-5 hours, depending on how much he needs to disentangle my nasal cavity. One of the blessings is he does not believe that Barney has tangled with my optic nerves or any arteries. Just one of many, many miracles in the midst of this journey. I will have an extensive recovery both in the hospital and at home afterward. It will be long and I'm not going to win any beauty pageants afterward! BUT, Barney will be gone!

People keep asking me how I'm doing and when I say "I really am okay," they rarely believe me and follow it up with "no, how are you REALLY?". REALLY, I am okay...maybe even better than okay. First, I am HOPEFUL. Daily migraines and constant double vision have been taking their toll on my life. Almost every area of life was impacted. It was becoming more and more overwhelming thinking about continuing to manage both symptoms when no one could tell me where they were coming from. Now there is an answer and a solution...even if the solution does kind of suck. Second, I am GRATEFUL. In what will have to be another post, hopefully for surgery, I will outline all of the ways I've seen God orchestrating this week and even see his hand in the weeks and months leading up to it. I'm so grateful for a diagnosis, for doctors who saw and expedited, for OR schedule availability, for a support network that is truly unmatched, and for God's providence in it all. Finally, I am PEACEFUL. For maybe the first time in my life (another story I need to tell in another post), I truly feel that God wants good things for me out of this and I don't need to control or coordinate it on my own. He's got me and I can trust Him.

The next question I often get is "What do you need?". My answer is the same every time. Prayers, for sure, but I have no idea what else. Until the surgery, we just don't know what recovery will look like or what I'll want and need afterward. My Mom is amazing and flew down last night to be with me. She'll be taking over these posts soon enough! Even at 39 years old, you still want your mama to be with you in times like this. I'm so grateful she was able to book a last minute flight, drop everything, and come take care of me. But I do need your prayers! Specifically, please keep these things at the forefront:

-That there are no seizures (a miracle that I haven't had any yet) are kept at bay until surgery

-For Dr. Glenn and his team: their hands, their wisdom, their decisions, and their skill for Tuesday's surgery

-For complete healing and restoration of my brain and optic nerves. There's also a chance I lose taste and smell because of where the tumor is located. Please pray that doesn't happen.

-For my family. This is incredibly difficult for them to watch (maybe more difficult than for me), because we lost my brother-in-law to a brain tumor years ago. It's stirring up a lot of emotion for them.

-For God to be glorified and His people to be encouraged by my story

Thank you, my friends. I hope to write more before surgery.