It IS a brain tumor.
It all started out innocently enough when I started getting really horrible headaches about two years ago. I have had migraines since I was eleven, so intense headaches weren't out of the norm, but I'd never had any quite like this. Six months of inconclusive testing later - and that at a world-wide recommended facility, a friend referred me to a neurologist at another hospital. One MRI and lab test later confirmed that I had indeed had a brain tumor (which I still refer to as "things in my head" - yes, I suppose it is a rather futile attempt to desensitize myself to reality, but c'mon - who's keeping score here?). I've undergone both gamma knife and accuray stereo-tactic radiation and while results were optimistic at first, nothing has had that panacea effect I'm still hoping for. I'm currently taking Temolzolomide (Temodar) which is a chemo treatment that crosses the blood brain barrier and along with radiation seem to having positive effects so far. Keeping fingers crossed.
I know there are others out there with similar conditions, or at least facing similar challenges to getting through day to day activities. I'm still working a flexible full time schedule, making up hours if I miss them and able to go to appoints as needed. I tried going on a paid medical leave, but got so depressed, I wanted to go back to work and have a least some semblance of normalcy (is that a word?).
I find myself hiding from my friends, family and co-workers a lot, lately. I avoid their phone calls and e-mails. It's not that I don't appreciate their thoughts, but is more that I don't know what to say back. Everyone asks "how are you doing?" and while I sort of nod and mumble 'okay' I'm really thinking "I have a brain tumor, how do you think I feel? Sheesh." So I keep a lot to myself, my appointments, my "trial and error" treatments, my irrational and rational fears... I feel that I'm the one going through this, albeit unwillingly, but I don't have to subject my friends to the same abject fear that I'm constantly struggling with. Anyway, this was just my attempt to give an escape route to get what I'm experiencing and feeling.