(this story is going to be 2 parts just because I think it’s too long of a story to put into one post!)
I’m going to be a little personal, and probably gross with this post, But I’m going to be 100% honest about this and my journey. When I was 17, towards the end of my jr. year in high school I stated to notice wet spots on my T-Shirt. I was like okay I’m obviously drooling in my sleep gross! But then I noticed as it became more and more frequent that it was in the area of my boobs were, that was uncomfortable to have to tell my mom and I honestly had no idea how too. But once I told her she didn’t really believe me and sort of just brushed it off, until one day I showed her water marks in my bra and the bra was still wet. My mom took me to the doctors to get a breast exam thinking it was a sign of breast cancer, the doctor did his examination an found no lumps or bumps of any kind. He said that while he didn’t find anything wrong or out of the ordinary with my breast he had an idea of what else it could be. He sent me to get some blood samples done to determine if it was what he suspected it to be, a brain tumor.
The summer past, I kept myself busy with tennis and friends. The day before my first day of senior year I got a call from my doctor while I was home alone with my friend Sarah. I can remember being on the computer watching music videos and getting ready for tennis when the phone rang and when I answered it my life changed, and I know it sounds dumb but my life really changed. I broke down and started crying with my friend and then told my mom the blood test came back positive and she came home from work early to talk about it and what to do next.
Your senior year of high school is supposed to be fun and filled with dances and senior activities. I spent mine in and out of school, in and out of the doctors office, and always getting those sad looks from my teachers. I didn’t tell all my friends, only a few knew, I didn’t want anyone to look at me differently because I didn’t really know how big of a tumor or if it was cancerous or not. I didn’t want it to be a big deal. But I obviously had to tell my teachers what was going on because I was missing quite a bit of school.
I found out a lot about myself that year. I found out needles will never scare me, MRI machines are loud and scary, and Tumor shrinking medication sucks! But that’s just my opinion. My first MRI was beyond scary, I described it as something out of the movie saw. The nurse took me outside to a trailer that housed the MRI machine, which was a little sketchy to begin with. Then she told me to lay down and she put some kind of cage thing on my face. The cage is supposed to bounce the magnets around so they can good a good picture of my brain, no one told me this at the time so I was freaking out. Then she moved the bed into this doughnut hole, where my face was little 5 inches from the top and I couldn’t see anything around me. I started having a panic attack! about 30 minutes in she starts to pull me out and leaves me with the damn cage on my head and says, “Okay it’s time for the contrast, and starts to try to find a vein. (contrast is like ink so they can see the veins in my brain better, and your body uses your kidney to flush it out of your system, it doesn’t hurt.” At this moment I freak out and start crying for my mom. I consider myself a strong person, so crying to me was a form of weakness and I hardly ever did it. The nurse took me out and walked me back into the hospital and I had to reschedule my MRI for something a little more fancy, they called it an Open MRI.
The next week I went to a different clinic where they had this special machine I was a little worried just because the first experience was so scary and awful. I walked into the room and it looked like a pizza oven it was weird. but they let my mom stay in and they played music so I was more relaxed and I was able to have the MRI and they were able to locate the tumor.
The Doctor said it was a Pituitary Adenoma. It’s a fancy way to say I have a brain tumor located in my pituitary gland. He said this would explain the lactation, and severe headaches I was experiencing. And that because I was on birth control my periods were not affected the way they should’ve been. Basically my body thinks it’s pregnant without the baby being inside me.