Monthly Archives: June 2011

A change in plans

Things were going along fine in the dismantling process, and I was making a lot of progress (as I mentioned in the last post).

The only problem was that I kept feeling vertigo and nausea almost every day. I couldn’t figure out why. The vertigo started in November, when I returned from Italy, but my doctor and I agreed to watch it and see if it improved.

I went back on some daily medication I had neglected to take on my trip, and it seemed to improve for a time. I was still feeling off balance, but that I attributed to my new Shape Up sneakers that are supposed to give you a good workout when you are walking. I finally contacted my doctor when I noticed double vision while driving. A street address that was “1505” looked like “150505.” Fonts on signs looked funny to me. Since I am such a visual person, all that really freaked me out. She made several appointments for me, including one with an opthalmoligist. I happened to have a dentist appointment the same day and he thought my strange symptoms sounded like positional vertigo. So when I went for my MRI the following week (June 3) I thought it was a formality, and I would need to find an ear-nose-throat doctor who could perform the strange treatment for positional vertigo.

An hour or so after the MRI I got a phone call from my regular doctor telling me the news that a “mass” was found on my brain. I had no idea what this meant and calmly said, “So what is the next step?” She got my attention when she said I would need to see a neurosurgeon and have surgery. The first thing that came to my mind was that my move to Italy might have to be postponed. She hadn’t used the words “brain tumor” yet.

I made an appointment to see her that same afternoon and my daughter, Gabriana, broke all speed records to get from her work to the appointment. The doctor told us it was a benign meningioma, a brain tumor that was located on the posterior fossa. It was about 2″ by 2.”

After my daughter’s very determined interactions with Kaiser, we got an appointment the following Thursday with a wonderful neurosurgeon who had made the surgery appointment as soon as she got my case. It will be in two weeks, on June 24.

I’m using the two weeks to get myself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually ready for this. Gabriana bought me a cool walking stick so I wouldn’t fall down as I walk. She had moved home in January, which is very fortunate, and is insisting that I rest and let her take care of me.

As part of that, she set up an online community on She has more information on our customized Website there with updates and the information we have learned. I probably won’t be writing a lot here after the surgery, so you can follow my progress at this link. I will continue here when I feel up to it.

This weekend we had a garage sale and moved much of our clutter out to people who needed/loved our stuff. We will have an estate sale sometime this summer for the higher end stuff. I have to stick around for some follow-up MRIs, and hopefully nothing else. We will know that after a pathologist takes a look at the tumor. We have sold a lot of furniture, so during my recovery the house will be blissfully clear of all the extra stuff I used to think was so important. I think that will help my recovery too.



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