In February of 2017, I was on a longer (15 mile run) with my two running partners as we were all training for a marathon, my first. Over half way through our run, I experienced a very sudden onset of a wave of lightheadedness and unbalanced feeling as if the world was magnifying in front of me. My legs started to go numb so I sat down. This "episode" passed in the matter of a minute or two and we were back on our run. I chalked it up as possibly my body still adjusting to the distance runs since up until this point I did more sprint running than distance running.
In April, again on our 22 mile run, a very similar episode happened and once again I chalked it up to possibly poor nutrition and long distance. I completed my first marathon at the end of April with my running partner Ulises in Louisville, KY. I then decided to run a second marathon three weeks later in Lexington, KY with my running partner Jenn who was not able to run the Louisville race with us. No issues...amazing experiences...and a huge accomplishment for myself.
The difference between letting things slide and realizing something wasn't right happened in July. I played on a co-ed indoor volleyball team and for three consecutive Monday nights, I experienced an "episode". This time the episodes not only consisted of the unbalanced, out of body feeling in my head and numb legs, but also my left leg and foot started to twitch. I went to see my primary care doctor because the episodes were starting to happen multiple times a week. We did top to bottom blood work which showed absolutely nothing..I was normal (even though at this point I am pretty sure my doctor was thinking I was mental). Either way, he felt it was a neuro- related problem and set me up to see a neurologist specializing in epilepsy. Although I wasn't scheduled to see the neurologist until October 6th, he figured we would get the MRI and EEG out of the way since the neurologist would require that. Luckily we did because on August 29th, after a 7A MRI and 9:30A EEG I received a call at 11:45A from my doctor informing me of the lesion on my brain.
The initial diagnosis was a heterogeneously enhancing mass lesion within the paramedian high right frontoparietal region with an associated local mass effect and parenchymal edema within the adjacent right frontoparietal region. In layman terms: a tumor located between the two hemispheres very central as in between the two hemispheres as deep as the the bridge point of my nose. Around the tumor there was an additional mass which it was uncertain if it was calcification, blood, swelling, or worst case scenario a glioma (meaning the tumor originated from the brain and not the meninges and the entire mass could be a cancerous tumor). Also at this point it was determined that the "episodes" I experienced were focal seizures.
I was absolutely blessed to have the primary doctor I did because within 24 hours, really like 12 hours, he had an appointment for me to meet with the two most qualified doctors in Louisville, Dr. Sun and Dr. Spalding - both co-directors of the Brain Tumor Institute of Louisville. They were amazing and both agreed that this needed to be removed because there was no way to guarantee 100% what it was until it was biopsied. I wanted to get a second opinion from Mayo Clinic since I knew I wanted to be with family for recovery but also because Mayo is known as Mayo for a reason. Again, I felt so blessed because the process moved so fast and I had an appointment with Mayo setup for the following week.
The second opinion from Dr. Meyer at Mayo was that the MRI was consistent with either a meningioma of intermediate grade, possibly a haemangiopericytoma, or even a solitary fibrous tumor. The surrounding T2 change was presumed to be edema, but there was an outside chance that the mass could represent a malignant glioma.
So, here we are today. Preparing for surgery tomorrow morning and I feel so positive! I am anxious of course which is normal, but honestly I feel so ready to do this. I am overwhelmed with the amount of love, support, cards, flowers, texts, calls I have received from so many individuals. Family, old co-workers, current co-workers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, friends of friends, people I don't even know, all saying they are cheering for me and praying for me! God is so insanely good and I'm not someone special. There is no reason that something like this couldn't have happened to me, obviously because it did. But to see how many people are around me, caring, and supporting me - it has truly re-enforced in me, my own strength. God built me for this and I am ready to see it through! No matter what happens tomorrow I know it is His plan, but I just feel so confident that everything is going to be OK! We felt that this site would be the easiest way to keep people who were interested, updated. So someone in my family will be updating periodically.
I want to end with an amazing reading my friend Austin sent to me. Every day since the first diagnosis, Austin has been sending me an inspirational message (mind you his mom, my second mom, Debbie Robischon is currently battling pancreatic cancer). Not only have they helped me battle through some of the hard times, but they truly have helped me strengthen my relationship with God which is something I have always had but never leaned on like I have this past month. The reading for tomorrow is as follows ( I hope you all see how uniquely relevant this message is for me and what I'm going through right now - talk about a sign put right in front of your face!)
I am with you and all around you, encircling you in golden rays of Light. I always behold you Face-to-face. Not one of your thoughts escapes My notice. Because I am infinite, I am able to love you as if you and I were the only ones in the universe. Walk with Me in intimate Love-steps, but do not lose sight of My Majesty. I desire to be your closest Friend, yet I am your sovereign Lord. I created your brain with capacity to know Me as Friend and Lord simultaneously. The human mind is the pinnacle of My creation, but so few use it for its primary purpose - knowing Me. I communicate continually through My Spirit, My Word, and My creation. Only humans are capable of receiving Me and responding to My Presence. You are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 34:4-7 2 Peter 1:16-17 John 17:3 Psalm 139:14
GOD is good! Thank you for your continued support and love and God bless the medical staff for all those who are sick and being operated on!
Oh ya....and we are going to beat this tumor's butt!!! All positive thoughts!!