Sunday, January 10, 2010

REACHING A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY!!!!!

January 9, 2010...which was Saturday, was my 50TH birthday. I have to admit to everyone reading this...that I am quite proud of that fact.

For one thing...I do not look my age...so turning 50 didn't bother me in the least.

Throughout the week, I received birthday cards from relatives & friends...from all over the country.

I got several emails from cousins..who are in other states... an animated card...which was just the neatest thing..from someone..who used to live here...but is now in another state.

I had many well wishes from people on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, I had a birthday wish to raise $100.00 for the cause," Mad About Meningiomas." I am happy to say, that $70.00 was donated...which I think is pretty spectacular. For those of you who donated...I thank you very much for your generous spirit. You are doing a great service to Meningioma Mommas.

My Mom wanted to have a birthday party for me...but she needed my help. So we drew up a guest list of various ages. It was to be a cycle of life party...and I have to say...it turned out pretty good.

The ages ranged from 50 (me) all the way up to 94. We managed to have someone in every decade. That...I thought was really neat.

My Mom is going to be 87 this month and I think she did a fantastic job..with the invitations, etc.

Another thing we did was set up a collage of pictures...ranging from when I was a baby to the most recent. That turned out real neat! : )

Everyone who was invited to the party...was asked to share a special memory, they had of me. It was amazing...how when they started sharing all those good memories...that I instantly was right back there...remembering as well.

I think the neatest thing that happened...was the son of one the moms that was there..called and I got to talk with him for a bit. I consider him to be my little brother. What a great surprise!

I also read the blog I had previously done on my Mom..here, "Crafts & A Mother's Love." The reason I wanted to share that...was because my Mom is just so special to me and I wanted everyone there to know just that. There were actually tears...as I was reading it.

Our lunch consisted of two items from the Meningioma Momma cookbooks. One was a punch and the other my favorite...Frozen Strawberry Pie for dessert. We also had meat, cheese, crackers, mints & nuts.

Everyone had a great time and we had a lot of laughs. It ended with hugs, good wishes...and plans to get together more often.

All in all...I think it was a way in which we reconnected. I had not seen some of these people in quite sometime.

So...I reached a milestone. It can only get better from here.

Thanks for allowing me to share my very special 50TH birthday celebration...because it was just that!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DOCTOR TO DOCTOR : )

This blog is actually going to be written in 2 different parts. The first, I have lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 18 1/2 years. The second part will be about my life as a Meningioma brain tumor survivor...thus far.

On to the first part. I really can't even believe I am writing this. I have pretty much avoided rheumatologists for the most part...over the years of living with RA...primarily, because they have been so negative. They would say things like..."You are going to get worse." Just wonderful! That's the last thing..anyone living with a chronic disease...needs to hear. : (

Well...this time was very different. He entered the room...so upbeat and extended his hand and get this..he bowed. He is from India...and very polite and speaks excellent English. That was really a nice change from usually, not being able to understand what they are trying to say.

He actually commented on my being so knowledgeable about my disease and seemed very impressed...that I have taken such an interest. The thing here is folks...either you let this disease beat you..or you decide that you are going to learn as much as you can..about how you can cope. Knowledge is power...I really believe that.

We discussed how when I was diagnosed and what meds I took. He also mentioned something very interesting. He said that the RA was actually probably beginning back in 1988..when I went to the famous Mayo Clinic...for my costochondritis..for which I had some cartilages removed from my chest wall..later that year. It usually starts up in the primary joints..such as the wrists, hands, feet or ankles. Mine began in my wrists and ankles. My ankles used to be so swollen at times...that I could hardly put on shoes. My knuckles would be red and swollen at times too.

Well today..he said I have no joint deformity whatsoever. He also asked me if I have seen other people with RA who have? He also said that with the drug I am using and have been on for over 8 years now...that I AM IN REMISSION! I never thought...I would ever hear those words.

He of course...just wants to be sure...nothing else is cooking. So on to Radiology and Lab...I went. First...they did x-rays of my hands, ankles and feet..which have never been done to my knowledge ever! Then they took 4 vials of blood. No wonder...they call them vampires! lol

All in all...I was very happy with my visit to this rheumatologist. He was very kind and actually let me ask questions...such a difference. He said I am doing so well...for someone with RA and also mentioned that back in the day...when these kinds of meds were not available..that people like me, would not be working.

During the course of the exam...it was really hard to hold back tears..because he was just so wonderful and constantly acknowledged...that I knew what I was talking about.
I finally met with a doctor who gets it. It was just awesome...which was a word he used a few times during the exam. I thought that was really cool! He ended the visit..by again extending his hand. What a great visit! : )

On to part two. I had my head CT today...and thankfully...I got the ALL CLEAR!

I did see my neurosurgeon (NS)...after the scan. He showed me the comparisons between the one done after the brain surgery in October of 2008 and today's. It really was quite different!

He said that there is no real explanation for the severe HEAD PAIN and nausea...when I bend down or tip my head back. For that reason...he recommended I see a neurologist. I told him I would not see the one...I did before. Just so happens that there is a lady on board. I am going to see her next week. I believe this is a smart move..because I want to get to the bottom of this ASAP!

The one thing that he did say and I was so glad to hear...was that he would not have to go inside my head again. What a relief!

He is still just as kind and professional...as he has always been. He extended his hand at the end of the visit..and said it was nice to see me again.

He said for now...just try and stay comfortable with OTC pain relievers. I also mentioned that I was wearing a cap to bed and that it really seemed to help. His response...whatever works! I liked that!

I also realize...that this just maybe something I am going to have to learn to tolerate...for possibly the rest of my life. Think about it..when they drill inside your head..there is bound to be things that are possibly rearranged. I don't know...but that is how I see it.

At any rate...I have really found out this week, just how many great friends I have.

I just want to thank you all for your words of encouragement, thoughts and prayers. As my new rheumatologist said to me yesterday...it went something like this.."We don't know everything...but He knows all."

So my life as a Meningioma brain tumor survivor continues. I will continue to spread the word, to anyone who is willing to listen.

This has really turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. I'm pretty sure I would not be writing...had it not been for this experience.

Life has a way of throwing things at you, when you least expect it..but it can really turn out to be a blessing...if you just let it. Remember...always look for that open door.

Well...that's my 2 stories combined into one blog. I am really fortunate...that I have such great doctors...who care and respect me. That is just so rare!