Not Feelin’ My Oats – Brain Tumors Don’t Have to Mean “You’re Dead”

3/23/10

Given my assorted, mysterious health issues; I am forced to put all of my patience into practice every day. I had a brain tumor scare in February. It could have blinded me or I could have lost an eye in surgery. There was some suspicion around this time of year in 2008 that there was something affecting my vision and could possibly have been the route cause of my health issues. I still had my health insurance at that point so I was able to get some medical tests and see a specialist at that point. I have now been told that the tumor was probably too small at that point. I had brain surgery through the nasal cavity, which is high-risk and not commonly practiced as a standard option for my type of benign tumor.

Since I am writing this entry; it should be obvious that I survived with my vision and both of my eyeballs. I like my eyeballs firmly in my head at all times, so all is well. The good news – odd circumstances lead to the discovery of the tumor in just enough time to have it removed before it did major damage to my main optical nerve bundle and permanently blinded me. Bad news – there is no apparent correlation between my major symptoms and this tumor.

My Lasik Plus ride is also over. My eyes are slipping again and I need glasses to drive at night. I will have to get an eye test every month for a while, then every other month for a while, and so on. I suppose it would have been wise of me to add the vision plan for my 2010 insurance option this year, huh? I had Lasik surgery in 2005, so I wasn’t expecting to need prescription eye-wear and an annual test wouldn’t cost me as much as the vision plan per annum. It seemed like reasonable logic didn’t it? I can’t have laser surgery on my eyes or anywhere near my eyes for several years, because of my tumor removal. Back to specs I go.

I have made vast improvements over the last year, but I am in no rush at all. You could equate me to a deliberate elderly person right now. My inner “Mia” wants to move, move, move and do, do, do. The controlling two-thirds of me demands more of a “walk, look, breathe, relax, amble, rest” type of existence. My “okay” days remain the highest number. I don’t think I’ve had any “great” days, but the “good” days do outnumber the “bad” days by a decent margin. I have had a few “awful” days and today I get to add 1 to a new category to reflect my day that I have dubbed a “foot in the grave” day.

Usually, I have a sense of what kind of day I’m going to have as soon as I open my eyes and get motivated in the morning. Today I was tricked. I got Punk’d. I felt good and I set my mind to doing what I do on “good” days, which differs from what I can realistically do on a “bad” day. I’ve had a lot of practice understanding the difference between the two and the best mind-set for each. I had no warning today. I do everything I can not to take vacation, personal, or sick time, because I am like a “time-saving squirrel” these days. I never know when a long, hard winter might be coming – if you catch my drift. I did not have an option or choice of any kind today.  

Doing justice to the situation in this format in terms of explaining how fast my day went from “good” to “foot in the grave” may not happen, but I will try. I turned on the coffee maker and bent over to get some dry food out of plastic bin sitting on my floor to give my cat what I call “yummies” for her breakfast. I then straightened up and turned to head to hit the shower. Before I could take two full steps; I felt like someone had doused my legs in an accelerant and lit them on fire. Then within seconds of that; I felt like several people were hitting me with golf-clubs. As soon as I got myself back to my couch/bed; I felt like I had been out tossing shots all night without hydrating. I was dizzy and I threw-up all over my faux-crocs sitting next to my couch/bad.

Now, you tell me – what the hell is that and why does it happen at very random times for no apparent reason whatsoever? How am I supposed have anything close to a “normal” life when something like that can happen to me – at any time. Most of my symptoms eased throughout the morning, but it definitely was a sick day today. I couldn’t sit up until around noon and couldn’t try to eat food until around 2 p.m. Yucky.

It is a humorous irony to me that almost everyone who doesn’t know how old I am mistakes me for someone in her 20’s and on the inside I feel like someone in her 60’s – at minimum. I look young and healthy, but I feel old and half-alive. Classic Mia World right there is all I can say!!!

I finally started moving around my little “hillbilly efficiency” as I sometimes like to call my current residence a couple of  hours ago, but feel stiff, sore and achy. Nothing to do but rest and find out what kind of day tomorrow will be.

All is well – life is good – I’m always up for a challenge 😉 – Sing to yourself when there’s no hope to be found and see what happens – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excte.com)

Correction Needed From Previous Post

3/21/10

I was driving home from doing the standard weekly shopping in Shrewsbury, PA today when I noticed that I had incorrectly declared MD Route 139 as the point at which I drew a line between my version of CAPS territory and Flyers territory. It would have been nice if I could have gotten that information correct – but alas – I did not. I meant MD Route 439. Umm, duh. I suppose it’s a good thing my blog isn’t very popular. I make mistakes – it happens. Please disregard my silliness.

I have very little time to blog, so I will end quickly with a heads-up that I have gathered all the blog posts I have ever posted since 2000. I have begun putting those archives on both of my blogs and hope to get 2007 and 2006 on both blogs sometime before the NHL Playoffs begin.

Go CAPS and Go Peter Gabriel (that man oozes music as far as I’m concerned) – peace – mia  (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

Tucker and Bob – Cancer Sucks!!

3/18/10

I have to take time today to remember two great guys. First, my friend Bob Keintz who lost his battle with lung cancer last year. I realize it has taken me a while to post on any regular basis on this and my other blog. Apologies for my lateness. My friend Bob was a Penguins fan. He was one of those people who you just liked right from the start. His spirit and kindness always made me feel at ease. I know his caving and canal friends think of him often and miss his focused interest and dedication. Me, I’ll miss the back and forth about the Capitals/Penguins and the gentle and wise way in which he faced his challenges. Yay Bob – You Rock!

I also have to send my thoughts out to the Davis family. Tucker Davis was also a hockey fan who I was fortunate enough to meet and share some hockey talk with now and again. You can read about Tucker here. He spent the weekend with me when I was really sick and feeling at my worst, but still managed to have the best attitude ever – no matter what. I got to know him before he found out he had cancer. I was more than happy to take him to a Capitals game for his birthday when he came down to visit. We bought him a “surprise puck” at the game and he was thrilled when his puck turned out to be signed by Chris Clark (former CAPS Captain). He was a Rangers fan, but I still have the picture of him all dressed-up in CAPS gear, smiling from ear to ear. We sometimes sent texts to each other to give each other good-natured crap about each other’s team. It is sad that he did not have a lot of time on this earth. He was one of the “Little Rangers” when he was a kid and I know the New York Rangers have lost a dedicated fan. Much love to Tucker, wherever he may be watching hockey right now, and the Davis’s.

I have had extraordinary personal struggles during the time I have known both Bob and Tucker, but it’s just knowing people who understand my love of NHL hockey, like Tucker and Bob, that has made a very big difference in my life. I haven’t lost my battle – but they did and it makes me wonder why the universe works the way it does.

Love your hockey. Love your friends. Love your hockey-loving friends. – peace – mia sciencegirl99@excite.com

Rage Against the Dying of the Light – then Rage Against the Machine

…from time to time the night hides light…

Ah yes, I have read your e-mails oh tiny following of my little blog. I would like to thank the 4 of you who took the time to send repeated e-mail requests in efforts to get me blogging again. It’s quite humbling that up to 4 people actually found my posts interesting in any sort of way so this one’s for you – Jamie C., Tomas V., Marty T. and Music Pimp II. You Rock!

While I do have a laptop again and a DSL internet connection, it is not anywhere near an ideal situation for me and my blogging ability has been greatly reduced. 1) I live out in corn-cow country and aside from dial-up, DSL is my only option. As some more technologically nerdy folk out there know, the farther you are away from the CO, the slower your internet speed becomes. Well, I am at the very end of the line, so I may be better served using high-speed dial-up. This little problem also prohibits be me from watching my NHL Hockey online as well. (I don’t thing hockey withdrawal is covered under any health policies in the USA – maybe Canada has a clinic I can check into though).

2) My laptop is a basic, stripped-down, Acer that I purchased for an off-key song and was puked on by my late diabetic cat, Dirty Harry. I miss that little guy like you wouldn’t believe, but once a cat vomits on your laptop while it is open and you are using it; the inegrity of the electronics and keyboard becomes less certain. As it happens, I am a dork-geek with a bit of free time, so I did manage to get my laptop back to some useful capacity recently. Can’t guarantee that it won’t just crap out on me, but for now, I have operational keys to press.

I have seen so many movies and read numerous books. I just do not have time to go into specifics, but I have read all of Dan Brown’s books by now and really enjoyed “Deception Point”. I also read a book about Chuck Yeager, mostly written by Chuck Yeager and I simply am astonished that he lived to be an old man. As for movies – I’ll get to them in another blog but I’m sending out my happy thoughts to all those who worked so hard to give us all “Boondock Saints II – All Saints Day” – all I have to say is “Shut-it”. Rock with that low-budget sequel. I’ll sell some of my eggs if it will help get a number III out for the viewing pleasure of the Boondockians.

Usually, I would reserve the hockey stuff to my other blog, but this one feels more appropriate here – to all those Flyers fans who feel like invading my space in Harford County, MD – keep your orange north of the Mason-Dixon line. I’m holding strong with the “Rocking of the Red” south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you cross over MD-139, you have entered full-on CAPS territory. I may be the only CAPS fan that far North, but I’m a pain in the ass CAPS fan who has plenty enough gumption to give it right back when you yell things at me when I am wearing a CAPS shirt or hat. Feel free to give me shit when I venture up to Shrewsbury to shop on the weekends, but I’m one feisty little girl and I’m claiming a “return fire” rule below the PA line. Thanks for the incentive to shop in PA.

To my 4 questionable readers whose interesting e-mails helped get me back here – I will work to get back into the swing of things – I promise. Just give me some slack – I do have some health issues and I wake up at 4:30 A.M. every morning, have a 3 hour commute to work (round-trip) and get home again at 7:30 P.M. I am in bed around 8:30 P.M., so I can get up and do it all over again. I work at secure government facility and cannot access this blog from work at all. I work on a full-time contract and have consultant work on two other temporary contracts. Right now, I am working on a full-scale recovery effort and my health issues drain me faster than I would like.

Don’t worry – I’m on it and I will do the best I can just because I wouldn’t want to have 49 e-mails sent to me in one day explaining why it’s important for me to post on my blog (Tomas – I think that’s actually harassment – but I’m letting it slide because you ended every single one of the 49 e-mails with “GO CAPS”)

Go make a pie and then eat the entire thing in one sitting – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)