February of 2012 I was having a lot of really bad headaches, I would literally wake up with one as soon as my feet hit the floor and have them all day. I called them white out headaches because sometimes they were so bad that I wouldn't be able to see, only white.
My wonderful husband, Ryan made me make a doctors appointment, being a busy new Mom, I spent all of my time taking care of my 1 year old!
I scheduled my first MRI of my brain, then a CAT scan of my brain. For the record. THEY ARE VERY VERY VERY LOUD and about 45 minutes long. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am sensitive to sound, so thus far, this was the most horrible thing ever!
I learned that there was an unknown 'mass' on my brain. My Mom got me into the Director of Nuerology at Johns Hopkins, he told me that I needed to have it removed. I was terrified.
I had to have my brain cut open. I had to sign documents that said I could die. I had to think about Noah being without a Mom. That is where I stopped. I would be OKAY. I would have my craniotomy, the tumor would be removed entirely and I would heal quickly and be able to take care of Noah very soon thereafter.
About two weeks later, May 2, 2012 I was being rolled into the Operating Room. I remember the nurses putting a mask over my face, I asked if it was to put me to sleep, they told me "No, this is to get rid of the dirty Baltimore air." Sweet Dreams Jen...
I woke up in the Nuerology Intensive Care unit, so nauseas, that I could not even turn my head or open my eyes.
I can't remember it perfectly. But I do know all of the nurses said they were shocked. They could not believe that I healed so fast. That I was able to get up and walk around so soon after surgery (a couple days--and slow) but I was up! I was determined. One thing that I did. It sounds silly. I imagined myself sewing little red hearts into my scar on the back of my head. A large angry looking scar. I really think mind over matter (ha!) helped me here.
Fast forward a week later, (i was told i may be there 2 weeks)-I was in the car and on the way home from the hospital.
My AMAZING husband stayed home with me for almost 8 weeks. I wasn't able to lift my Son, not in or out of a car seat, not in or out of a crib. I needed help taking care of him all day and night.
This is when Ryan learned the true meaning of a stay at home Mom, and he was shocked, surprised, and oh-so-grateful, of all of the daily duties and tasks that came with being a stay at home Mom.
I have had 5 or 6 MRIs since my craniotomy, they do get easier. So far, so good. I am doing well.
on May 2nd, 2014, I celebrate my (2nd) 'Cranniversary' because it IS A BIG DEAL!
Since all of this madness, I have learned a lot. The biggest lesson that I have learned? Most everything isn't a big deal. :)
I am uniting with others to make a difference in the fight against brain tumors. I am passionate about this cause, so I’m taking action and need your help. The National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure are making strides for a cure - but more needs to be done. Please join in my effort!