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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tumor update

Tumor: I am due to go into the doc for a follow-up on how the radiation went. That it stopped the tumor growth, slowed, or not. I have since read that the dye they use in the MRI is not so good for you. Sigh.
Meds: Switched statin medicines. Just heard the news report about significant memory loss when patients are on statins. Also moved taking my blood pressure pill to the eve - and 85% of my dizziness is gone. I am getting frustrated with realizing my (tumor? stroke?) symptoms are sometimes just the medicine.
Health: Joined the YMCA. This is the hardest thing for me, since my heart starts 'thumping' at night hours after I exercise, hopefully it will even out.
I have to have faith that my body will reach, is trying to reach an equilibrium. That there was a reason I did not eat fat, sugar, sodium for 2 months after the stroke... my body needed to clean something out. (I would not voluntarily eat like that pre-stroke!)
Same with exercise. I need to build stamina, and there may be some issues at first, but I remember these drugs I hate being on are actually there for a reason.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I have started looking for work.  There is an enormous amount of fear (I swear I have used this word more in the last six months than in my whole life) that I will just keel over if I begin working and work the way I always did. Which is hard, long, focused... a bit of perfectionism thrown in. Like my post-stroke body with the head tumor hanging around for kicks will up and quit if I strain it in any way. It is hard to explain what it is like in my head, since I am not toppling over when walking.  Or have very visible signs of the stroke and tumor. But that it feels like I am leaning or will topple. Like my hand still drops things, my awareness of things to the left of me is altered, or that I still stumble and ache on my left side.  Of course, I don't talk of this... my kids freak out, and they don't need the worry. 
 Since I am still argumentative it is assumed all is peachy keen... but I can tell it is not.  So the fear.  I guess I will apply for jobs and see what happens.  This is, after all, a life.   A messy, unpredictable, loving, worrying, laughing, angry, tilting, joyful life.  Did I tell you I am taking a free meditation course on Bainbridge Island?  I will talk of that next time, we will see what sort of calm it can bring, hopefully LOTS.

Best, Andrea

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Haller Fountain images courtesy "Glabah" at
With the simvistatin I started having aches and a wicked wicked stomach.  Even though my doctor advises there could be "dire consequences" of me being off the statin, I have rolled over to fish oils and flaxseed supplements until my stomach settles.   Today was lovely here in the NW, with sun and spring fever making me want to be outside.  A friend had a dog to massage in Port Townsend, so I tagged along and she dropped me in town while she massaged her hairy client. 
I took a walk up and down a long staircase that connects "uptown" with downtown PT.  As soon as I stopped exerting energy on the stairs I got lightheaded, lopsided and funky feelin'.  It sucks that I don't know if it is residual stroke or tumor effects or medicine side effects.  I have said it before and will say it again : I know these medical challenges will become more commonplace and seamless within my daily life but completing the mental acrobats it takes to calm my thoughts is tiring. The "I am not having another stroke right now" is running alongside the somewhat fatalistic "if it is my time, it is my time and not my decision" alongside "I can't leave my kids yet" alongside "you are a major drama queen get over it."   It will get easier... yes?