Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pre-Op Day

Pre-Op day was pretty fantastic to say the least. I have gotten so comfortable with my condition now I can openly say yes I have a large brain tumor and voice doesn't tremble. I love that. It's there and and I am one day closer to it going away. My day starts super early as usual because I can't sleep. That along with weight I have gained is due to the steroids. I general fall asleep around 1 and wake up about 4. To say the least it's exhausting. So I get up and eat because the steroids make me so hungry. I hate it. I can't wait to be done with that part. I know it will be fine because I won't be able to eat for a bit after the surgery but 20 pounds. Really?!?!?! It's really not fair but I'm dealing. Or at least the best I can as eat just one piece of something. I know I know it will all be over soon but I still hate it. So aside from that because I really could go on forever about that, the steroids do help my head and give me some peace sometimes so it is worth it. I have found that my coffee helps as well. I don't know how but it's almost like a little cup of magic for me. So now that I'm up at four I drink my coffee and lay in bed and hope that I will fall back asleep even if just for an hour. I would love that but that never happens, must be all the coffee I drink now.
So my day today. Amazing. First the hospital is so great. I don't have to wait ever. I have never been to a doctor who doesn't make you wait. I think they are just that good, it can't be because of my large tumor. Or maybe. But either way the no waiting I will take. My first appointment of the day was another MRI. Great my fav. I just love laying in a tube that sounds like a truck in running over it for an hour. But this is THE MRI. The one that said is going to be the GPS to the tumor. It's crazy to me that they will navigate in my brain with an tiny tool and a photograph. To have that talent is unreal. I can barely find my way out of a paper bag let alone navigate from a picture. I get the MRI, not too bad, they inject me with dye and leave a bruise. I'm a little tired of all the bruising as well. They are every where. Due to not being able to balance all the time they are on my legs and arms and now on the inside of my arms. Hopefully that will go away soon too. Then after I'm done with my MRI today I have to go sign a few papers and get asked the same questions again. They all ask the same questions and they all right down the same answers so I really don't understand why they don't share that information with each other. It just seems pointless to me. Maybe moving forward I will make my form and just give to each new person, it might be more efficient that way. So I meet my nurse practitioner today. My new best friend. I love him. He told me today that I am allowed to take a Tylenol PM!!!!! That was music to my ear. It makes me so happy. I might actually get more than 4-5 hours of sleep tonight. I hope it works. I only took one because that's what he told me to take and I'm not going to mess around with anything this close to the big day. Then he asked me what I thought was the silly question I have ever heard. He asked if needed would I accept blood. I looked at him and I said " so what you are really asking me is do I want to live or die?" he looked back at me said you would be surprised to hear that people won't accept it. I said please check yes to that box I plan on living for a very long time even if takes someones blood. The chances of me needing blood are slim to none but don't worry I checked that yes box. So after all that was said and done I had to go over to Tampa General to start their pre-op items. You guessed it the same questions I just answered from USF, and Radiology. But like I said I'm getting much better about talking about it. They gave me all my supplies for the day before the surgery and started with the tests. These ones weren't too bad. I got to talk about being put to sleep. It makes me very nervous because I have such a hard time sleeping under normal conditions let alone someone cutting open my head. She assured me that I wouldn't wake up and that I had a better chance of winning the lotto two weeks in a row. That made me feel a little bit better. Then it was off to get more blood taken. But this nurse was awesome and didn't leave a bruise at all. you can barely see the hole. Then a chest x-ray and then I was done. It was so easy. The day went by so fast. It was only from 8-12. I really expected a lot longer but they like to get you in and get you on with your day. It wasn't a rush thing it was more of being respectful of your time thing. It makes me feel so good about my decision to go to Tampa. And then on the way out we bumped into my Dr and we were able to chat for a few minutes. I know it's going to sound crazy but I really want him the video it so I can watch it later. It's something I would really like to see. So keep your fingers crossed that he will say yes to that. My surgery will be at Tampa General on Monday February 6th and I have to say my fear is going away about it. I have accepted it this week. I am going to have major brain surgery and I will be fine. Oh I forgot to mention, the thing that made me the happiest today was that I got a follow up appointment to put on my calender! I will be ok. The doctors know it, I know it and my support system knows it! Just a short 10 days after my surgery is my follow up. How amazing is that?!?!? Today has been so great all day. There are so many things that made my day wonderful but the two most important are the follow up appointment and the Tylenol PM. We will see what tomorrow brings me but I'm on such a super positive high tonight I have a feeling it's just going to carry over until the surgery. I can't say things are going my way but it looks like they might start.


  1. Dana,
    you inspire me.. thanks for letting us in on your life as you take this challange on. i was supose to when i went through chemo, but never did. cant wait to hear what happens after the surgery and any kind of crazy dreams you have whlie they have you under.. i have had some crazy dreams during the 6 heart surgeries i have had.. one day we can sit ans share them.. praying for a speedy recovery.. ciao Paul

  2. Dana,

    You are a very talented writer and have inspired many by sharing your journey. Especially me. We all wonder in similar circumstances whether we could display the courage and strength that you are showing every day. You have taught many the difference between facing your situation, and ignoring your situation.

    Over and over the medical community has seen the difference in outcomes from patients that face their situation with optimism vs. pessimism. The body follows the lead of the spirit. And yours is very strong.

    We are all praying for a successful surgery, a quick recovery, and a return to a life where you don't have to learn the meaning and spelling of so many medical words.

    God bless you,

    Lane Cardwell
    President, P.F. Chang's China Bistro

  3. Dana,

    I too know what it's like to go through tough times and have my PF Chang's family behind me. I have been wearing a rubber bracelet that my husband had made up for me that says "this too shall pass" and I'd like to send you one or as many as you'd like to pass out to friends/family/co-workers. It was my mantra during my recent breast cancer experience (all is fine now).

    If you send me your address I will mail them out ASAP.

    I will think very positive thoughts...good luck girl.

    Maxine Beiriger
    Home Office

  4. what beauty is emerging out of the ashes of the devistating news from a month ago. BeaUUUtiful <3
    We love you, Dana.
    Mike,Colleen, Aubrae/Gavin, Jacob, MichaelaJoy, Jonathan <3