Thursday, July 3, 2014

Don't cry for me, 'tis just a tumor....

I have gone over and over how to start this blog post, and nothing seems to flow. It isn't something I even want to talk about--yet, I am not good at ignoring the elephant in the corner. Never have been. As hard as this is to type about, the few conversations I have attempted haven't been smooth, either. Humor helps me, but not everyone else, it seems. So, I figure, you can choose to read or not--and then we can talk about it later or not--the elephant is out and life can go on. Here goes nothing.

If you read my last post, you know I am currently being treated for chronic lyme (which, by the way, is going well). During the process of getting diagnosed, my physician ran a bunch of tests. One of the tests that came back atypical was my cortisol level. Long story short, after many more tests (of both my patience and my body), we have found a pituitary tumor. Before anyone freaks out (brain tumor tends to do that in the best of us), as far as tumors go, this is not a bad one to have. He is just a little guy--about the size of the beads I use most, 4x6mm (the irony is not lost on me). He is assumed to be benign, but is most likely secreting hormones and wreaking havoc on my body. So, as cute and little as he is, he must come out.

While there are plenty of bad things about this--fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, surgery, inability to live my life to the fullest right now, etc., there are also many really good things.

One, it is removable. It is not pushing on anything or growing into anything, as far as we can tell. AND, they can go in through my nose, rather than through my skull--so the recovery is not as long (nor does it seem as scary).

Two, the new theory is that I may have never had PCOS (my previous health issues that weren't solvable, only managed). Rather that I have always had this tumor and it is just slow growing. So, that means that if we remove this tumor, I may not need to be on meds for the rest of my life for PCOS.

Three, there is a plausible and reversible explanation for my memory woes--other than just growing older. This has been really frustrating for me--I used to have an excellent memory (I was once falsely accused of cheating on a test because I remembered the sequence of answers from the identical pre-test given and scored in class the day before). Just this last week, I failed to remember an entire story from one of my closest friends until she came to the end and it triggered the memory. I had heard the story only two weeks prior. As a former therapist, stories are fascinating to me--this was troubling. It is not the first time in recent years that I know of--who knows how many other things I have forgotten. On this note--I can't remember who I was training in my basement when I found the tick that caused the Lyme disease. If it was you, please let me know. That would help me pin down the timing of onset. Thanks! On a similar note, if I owe you money, you might have to remind me. If I don't owe you money, you could still remind me and I might not know any better, LOL! So, there is hope that I could get some of my memory back.

Four, if you have to get two diseases that both affect your energy levels, cause a lot of pain, affect memory and focus and keep you from exercising, you might as well get them both at the same time! If you are going to take me out--just get it all done at once. It should take 3-6 months to wean me off of the high cortisol levels following surgery (which should be this summer). I will need to take a tapering dose of a steroid pill for several months. My lyme treatment could very likely be wrapping up at about the same time. Therefore, come Christmas, you could all be getting your N back :).

Five, there is an explanation for everything--it isn't all in my head--lazy, hazy and crazy--well, it is in my head (technically), but not in the way I was beginning to worry! I have gained 30 lbs at this point. Which, when you go from a very fit and muscular 5'3" to 30 lbs heavier with less muscle, it is a big difference. Not easy to take for a fitness instructor--or anyone else for that matter! I am learning humility, patience and to love myself no matter what.

Truly, in the end, that is the best outcome of all. I have slowed down my life, removed unnecessary clutter and distractions, lived in the present and learned to love myself without all the achievements. The deconstructed N is still the same--big heart, living my life with intention, to the fullest I can muster. Aren't we all, really?!

Sharing a little tumor humor--feeling loved!