it’s not a tu-maaaaaahh

Head

It's been a long, long few weeks.

Just before Sock Summit, late last July, I started having these headaches- awful, throbbing dull headbangers that would send me to bed for the afternoon. Stress, I figured, and blew it off. When the sight in my left eye started getting dimmer and dimmer each day, I blew that off, too, remembering a case of stress blindness I'd seen in school. No joke, it really happens. Also: no joke, I really can be that dumb.

When I got home and after more than a little prodding from Sam I went to the doctor, who sent me for the full workup- blood tests, ophthalmology, neurology, MRI, MRA, some other acronyms that I can't break out. It was all very stressful and what we learned, for the most part, is that I'm healthy as a horse- great blood pressure, low cholesterol, negative for the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome that runs in my family. All good, except for the MRI. They found something thing on my MRI- the dreaded something– and started using some pretty scary terminology: terms like malignancy and astrocytoma and possible degenerative neurological disease, mainly. 

Today we ruled out malignancy. Malignancy, in case you're a layman like myself, is one way to say tumor. Astrocytoma is the sort of tumor we ruled out.  While the other option- multiple sclerosis- isn't great, it also won't kill me, and it doesn't involve chemotherapy or people cutting into my skull, either.

It's sort of funny- I'd dreaded the idea of an MS diagnosis up until the doctor said it could be a malignancy; now I'm pretty okay with the whole idea. Given the other option, it sounds just fine. Everything in perspective, I suppose. And I still don't have a firm diagnosis; the best I have is the training wheels diagnosis of probable multiple sclerosis, a small cache of meds and my neurologist's assurances that while he's pretty certain I can expect a big- girl diagnosis under my tree for Christmas, I should still be okay.

They're still performing tests, I'll be getting an MRI every few months for the foreseeable future, and there is still no hard diagnosis, but we're on our way. It's a process, they tell me, and as long as I get to keep my hair I guess I'm okay with that.

  One thought on “it’s not a tu-maaaaaahh

  1. Umme Yusuf
    September 19, 2009 at 6:43 am

    I’m so sorry you have to go through all this. Sounds all too familiar, as one of my family member was diagnosed with MS two years back. Although it does change your life totally, it has to be better than a tumor.And who knows, we might have a cure some day. Good luck!

  2. September 19, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Thank you, Umme. And you’re right- faced with the idea that it could have been a tumor, this is a lot better, although we’re still internalizing just what it will actually mean for us in our day- to- day.

  3. September 20, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Thank god! And good girl for blogging it. Keep us posted and you know I (along with many others) have your back! Much love!

  4. September 20, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Thanks, Kate. It’s amazing how much better things seem with even just a few answers. By the way, I need to get your fiber back to you. When are you free?

  5. Mary Ellen
    September 21, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Stress can do it but I’m so glad you went and had this checked out. Please keep us posted as the tests continue. ((((HUGS))))

  6. mel
    September 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Wow Sarah. Wishing you a clear diagnosis or ruling out of more yuck – and as much calm as can be had in the meantime. So glad to hear it’s not malignant, but the not-knowing too, that just sucks. How scary for you all. Sending you all warm thoughts – and yes, please do keep us posted. xo, mel

  7. September 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you, Mary Ellen. I appreciate that.

  8. September 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks, Mel. We’ll see how it comes out- now that the tumor scare is past, I’m getting okay with the idea of most anything else.

  9. Mia
    September 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I hope the are finally able to figure it out. And you are in the right place for medical issues with JHU right down the road. Feel better!

  10. September 22, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks, Mia. And you’re 100% right- I’ve never been so grateful to live in Baltimore. 🙂

  11. September 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Sarah,
    I am sorry you are going through this. I like how Mel used “warm thoughts.” I am thinking warm, spirit-soothing thoughts for you, too. And please let me know if you ever need anything. We met a couple of times at Spinster. I am the shy, slightly awkward one. 🙂

  12. September 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Hey, Theresa! Of course I remember you. You should come out to Spinster again tomorrow, if you can!

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