The Seven Year Stretch

The date quickly approaches that I am coming up on 7 years since Norman was evicted in 2010. This morning I went in to Seattle Virginia Mason Hospital for my follow up MRI.

It’s been two years since the last time I had my brain scanned. I think I’ve had just over a dozen MRIs since they first found Norman the Neuroma in 2009. I asked my doc after his “you are good to go” two years ago, if I could be on the five year plan. He said no. But, he did say that if this year shows no growth, we could talk about it.

The good (GREAT) news is, I am now on the five year plan!! Scar tissue is stable….a constant reminder of where I have been, and an equal reminder that I still have stuff to do.

Maybe sometime in the past seven years you have talked about me behind my back, about my having a brain tumor. Pretty often, I get the feeling someone I know is talking about me. Behind my back. To someone I might not know. Because I had a brain tumor.

Maybe to a person I might not know, who thinks they might have a brain tumor.
And the person I know, tells them about me.

Or maybe to a person i might not know who has similar symptoms to mine
And the person I know, tells them about me.

Either way, the person I know, sometimes, gives the person I might not know, my contact information. Sometimes, the person I might not know gets in touch with me, and we talk about symptoms and “normal” and being scared. That’s how I sometimes feel too.

Until your doctor tells you that you DON’T HAVE an Acoustic Neuroma, and you think you might, keep at it until you get an MRI with contrast.
Until your doctor tells you that you HAVE an Acoustic Neuroma, act as if you don’t.
If and when the doctor confirms that you have an AN, there will be people to support you.
If and when the doctor confirms that you DON’T have an AN, I look forward to being here to celebrate with you.

If someone I might not know goes through all of the above, and it turns out they don’t have a brain tumor, they are so relieved. And I am relieved for them.

And sometimes, they feel bad for me. That they may have gotten good news when I got bad news.

Don’t feel bad for me.

In the past two years, since my last MRI before today, I have met and talked to at least three dozen people who were diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma. People I never knew before, and people who were recently diagnosed. I traveled to China to attend an international Acoustic Neuroma conference. I’ve traveled to Dallas to attend National Board meetings for the Acoustic Neuroma Association. And I am planning a road trip down the east coast at the end of this month.

Life is good and life goes on. Thanks for your support.

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