Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Start

Today will be my first post to share my journey with everyone. I will try to update this as much as possible but I will not make any promises on how often I will do it. My journey started years ago before I could even realize to where it would bring me today. I will never forget a day at work when someone dropped a stack of plates next to my ear and I started to lose my hearing. I thought nothing of it and figured things would work themselves out. Well things don't always work themselves out. I ignored my hearing loss and just kept moving forward with life and getting caught up with everything it has to offer.
Now fast word to a year and a half ago. I started getting these terrible headaches. Crippling they were so awful. I didn't like to talk about them because I felt that I was just complaining and everyone got headaches. I went to the doctor a number of times for them to tell me that I had sinus problems. So every time I would just take more allergy medicne thinking I was doing the right thing. By now I lived in Miami and hated it. I hated it more than anyone could really know but I loved my job and just wanted to do the best I could. With my health in the condition it was in started to reflect in my work and I heard many of times people telling me that they didn't know what was wrong with me and Miami couldn't be that bad. I got so lucky and was moved back home to Fort Myers just a few short months ago. Once I was home my headaches got the point where something had to be done. I started making more doctor's appointments and seeing someone to help me. The doctor ordered blood work and told me I was boarder line anemic. I was grateful because I thought that I had the answer so I started to be more pro active in fixing it. But I was wrong once again. Another night at work and it was all bad. I was light headed, seeing double and running into things. I had bruises on my arm from that night at work and I knew something was seriously wrong with me but I wanted to push through work to prove that I could do it and I wasn't week and I had what it took. A couple of days later I leave for vacation and I visit NYC to see my best friend. I felt a little bit better but was still having trouble with my vision. When I got back from the city I went into a Lens Crafters to get my eyes checked. The eye doctor there knew enough to know that my double vision was not going to get fixed by new glasses and sent me to a specialist. I'm still thinking everything is going to be okay and I'm not too worried. I go to the specialist and he orders a MRI.
That might have been the scariest thing for me to hear at that moment. They schedule it rather quickly and one of my very dear friends takes me so I don't have to go alone. I should have known something wasn't right when they asked me to wait so they could call my doctor. But me being me I said that I had enough and had to leave for a bit and that I would come back. When I came back they informed me that my doctor was in surgery and that he would call me back. I thanked them and went on my way with my MRI disk. I tried so hard to not look at because I really didn't know what I would be looking at. I loaded it in my computer and wouldn't you know I had no clue what I was looking at so I popped it out and waited for the doctor to call me back. I missed his first call so I had to wait for the next day. The next rolls by and I go to work and while at work I get the phone call. It's the kind of call that you never expect to get and don't know how to react to it. I had a brain tumor.
After hearing those words I didn't know what to say or what to do so I just thanked him for the information and that I would have to call him back when I had a free moment. After letting the news set in I called my parents and told them. They really didn't know what to say either. I basicly dropped a huge bomb on them and then went back to work. I called the doctor back and asked him a few questions but he really couldn't answer a whole lot because now I needed a new specialist. A day later I had a new doctor with a new appointment and more anxiety then I could handle.
We are now at last Friday and I am in the office of an amazing nerololgist. My parents are with me and I'm just doing my best to not freak out on them beacuse I know they are there to support me but I am so scared to learn my news. I go into the office and we wait. It seems like forever but it was only a couple of minutes. Dr. E pops in my disc and says the words again that I have a brain tumor. A large one at that. I knew it beacuse I had already heard it but hearing it again doesn't make it any eaiser. He tells me all my sympotoms like I have told doctors before him. I am amazed that he knows How could the others not know?? It seemed so simple when he spoke to me. He takes the time to tell me that the location and the size of it not favorable. He tells me that the surgery is 10-16 hours long. He also tells me that I will encounter defects. My whole world just stopped. How could this happen to me??? I sit there and talk to him. I don't cry and I just take it all in. The tumor is next to my brain stem. It's in a really bad place and I have to get through this. I will get through this because this is who I am. I am not going to lose who I am in this journey. I will be the same postive person and what ever defecets I have I will overcome! I meet the the Chairman of Neorlogy on Tuesday and hopefully he will be able to perform the surgery. I will be in the hospital for sometime after the surgery and I will have to go through rehab from what I am told. I will have more news after Tuesday for everyone.

Somethings I want to do before my surgery....
Pre Surgery Pot Luck ( everyone is invited)
Go to Universal to Harry Potter Land ( I don't know if I will be able to after the surgery)
Buy an iPad ( I think it will be good in recovery for me)


  1. Hello Dana, First let me say you will be in my prayers and I have lots of people to send out the word that need all our prayers and thoughts. My name is Linda Jensen, you worked with my daughter, Kenzie in Miami. She gave me your blog today as we were talking of my upcoming surgical consult. I was diagnosed with very early stage of breast cancer, which took me totally be suprise. It all happened within 5 days, like you said you never expect to hear those words.
    I hope for the best for you, as the hosts of a talk radio show I listen to, "keep your shoulders back and your head held high". You have the right attitude to come through this bump in the road. Please feel free to call me or email anytime. I live in Seattle so I am 3 hours behind you. My number is 425.361.5519, you can email me at: I get alot of good positive thoughts from listening to The Secret by Rhonda Burns. Take care, be strong. Linda

  2. Dana,
    We are so proud of you and the way that you are facing this obstacle in your life. Your strength, attitude, and courage are characteristics that will allow you to have a successful recovery. We will be here every step of the way for you and we are praying for you daily. We love you very much.
    Aunt Heather,Uncle Bob, Madisyn and Rylee

  3. Dana,
    I'm truly sorry to hear what is happening to you. Is it the stack of plates being dropped that caused it or just brought it to your attention? I will pray for you. You don't know me but I'm Steve Tyree and I'm friends with your cousin Kristy Labay. Please keep me informed and I will pray for you. Good luck dear!

    Steve Tyree

    1. By the way you can find me on facebook at