Heather's Blog

Cancer: Is it an Orange…or a Brain Tumor?

July, 2014. During the ambulance ride to the new hospital, I have no idea what is happening. My mind is swirling around between disbelief and shock. I think I am dizzy. I think I am nauseous. We arrive. I’m taken into a large room and meet Dr. S, a neurosurgeon. After a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI), Dr S tells me I have a brain tumor the size of an orange in my head. My mind is saying, “Who put the orange in my head? Who put the orange in my head?” over and over again. RUPTURE!!! Next, I am hearing that my brain tumor is in “First Stage Rupture” and he is performing surgery in the morning. Dr. S is very kind as he tells me the operation could leave me paralyzed on my right side, blind in my right eye, or unable to speak. I am thinking, “Who the HELL put the orange in my head!”. He is no longer talking to my brain. He is the narrator in a terrifying nightmare I am having. His words hang in the air in front of my eyes. Soon, I will wake up and go to my job at Sears. I seem to remember my family standing over me and crying. I am saying, “goodbyes” from the the top deck of a cruise ship, I am bidding bon voyage before I go on a long cruise. I never had …

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If I am Vomiting…is it Cancer?

12:00am!! It’s New Year’s 2014! A time to start anew. For me, at 19, a time of pain. Omg!! I’m sorry for being rude. Hello there. My name is Katie and I just received my third New Year’s kiss from Tyler, the love of my life; but as the weeks press on, the new year becomes a living hell. February. I wake up every day and go to work at Sears. Today though, it was different. For 2 weeks, I wake up with a nonstop pounding sensation in my head. I swallow 100 mg Excedrin Migraine tablets like they are Tic-Tacs and, as usual, one of these “horse” pills gets stuck in my throat. I jam water down my throat and the pill goes in the wrong pipe. It’s a routine. It bites! I put on my freshly folded “Sears work clothes” that smell like I fell in a tub of Fabreze and go to work. When I get to work, I fall down in the office holding my head. My co-workers convince me to call Dr. B for an appointment. I really do not like doctors. I delay going to see the doctor until I’m practically dragged into the office by my ear. March 10, 2014, doctor’s office visit. The office smells like latex and the alcohol of hand sanitizer. Right away I get nauseous. She examines …Read more

What is my diagnosis? Cancer? Dying?

June, 2014. The pain is more immense and I am getting dizzy more often. My vision blurs. I can’t ever complete a full shift at work. I am at home. My boyfriend Tyler finds me rolling on the bed screaming in pain. My mother rubs my back as I vomit into the toilet. Day in, day out, this goes on. My boss is worried about me. My attendance at work is sporadic. They see me in a bad way. On June 25th, I am frustrated. I go to Dr. B again. She examines me and gives me a new medicine, telling me, “MRI scans are expensive and you’re only 19…nothing will show up anyway…. you’re too young.”. I left her office obsessing, What am I “too young” for? Cancer? Dying? I went to stay with my mom. My boyfriend, Tyler, needed to sleep an entire night to be able to go to work. I am vomiting every 20 minutes at my mom’s. I kept telling her I felt like I was dying. My mom looked frightened. The next day, she drove me to the emergency room. They looked at my charts and immediately said, “Your doctor just gave you new meds. We are going to give you liquids and Tylenol B and send you home.”. The nurse stabbed me with an IV six times. I received some liquids …Read more