Monday, November 4, 2013

Meningiomas inside and out

You have a Meningioma. Grade One. Benign. It's nothing more than a lump adds one of my medical colleagues when he pops his head round my door.

I have won the lottery! Send for balloons. I raise my plastic glass of elderflower presse and the bubbles go up my nose.

I stare down at my lifeless legs and left arm and say right you lot, let’s get to work. No slacking. We are lucky. Some say no one is lucky to get a brain tumour; but I still believe I am one of the lucky ones. ...

If you have a brain tumour this is the one you want says my surgeon. I remember my scrap book of lovingly glued snippets about John Travolta as I hum; you're the one that I want, you are the one.. woo hoo hoo ; the one that I want...

But as time passes the damage and havoc good old Benign Meningioma left in his wake begin to take shape. Fatigue. Not tiredness that a good nights sleep can resolve but the need to re-evaluate HOW I live and how much I do each day; learning through experience the consequences of trying to have a busy day!! Leg, ankle, foot and bum muscles resist my attempts to return to normal life. I have a new normal and Epilepsy adds another dimension.

The message that he may regrow, but it is good to assume it won't - sinks in.

Now I educate when I hear comments like she/he only had a benign tumour and its out so they are fine...I hope you get over your brain tumour soon...benign that's good then it wont grow back will it...

Facts: Meningiomas:

  • grow from the meninges; the membranes which cover the brain.
  • are graded from 1-4. The grading refers to the the degree of malignancy (speed of growth). The majority are Grade 1. Grade 1 and 2 are known as low grade (slower growing) while grades 3 and 4 are known as high grade
  • can grow anywhere in the brain. Their site affects the possible damage and subsequent impact on life.
  • grow slowly and can be very large before they are found or cause symptoms - like mine
  • can be safely observed for some years without need for surgery if they are small when identified
  • can change their spots and become higher grade (in some instances)
  • can only be completely removed surgically if they are in an accessible part of the brain and have not grown too large or spread too far

However the impact of a grade 1 (benign tumour) can be anything but benign!

My BT has helped me see the world through different eyes...

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