Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am Grateful

I *am* grateful. Every.Single.Day. that I wake up and breathe I am thankful for it. You should be too. I'll tell you why. Be thankful you can see and be thankful you can smile. It is all too easy to get caught up in the every day BS around us and forget what actually matters.

I usually talk about this stuff over here at my other blog but today, I just felt like part of what I had to say was about my kids and it needed to be said on this blog - my mommy/kid blog.

Last week I had to go and see my Neuro Surgeon and have my MRI. I have 3 Meningiomas. They found them while doing an MRI for the Bell's palsy I got right after my little girl was born. The Bell's robbed me of my smile and the Meningiomas robbed me of my peace of mind. Now, that being said, Meningiomas are benign brain tumors. Yes - it is WONDERFUL that they are benign. However, benign is really a misnomer because it just means that they are not actively attacking the brain. They are still in there and they can still grow. You can see pictures of them over here.  If they grow large enough they can begin to cause me all sorts of problems and then would need to come out. Also, they are too far apart to get at once - so I would need 2 separate brain surgeries.

So last week I had to go have another MRI done to see what was happening inside my brain. Turns out the tumors do not show any "significant growth" since my last MRI back in October. That is great news and I credit this for making it possible. However, the third tumor may or may not be a Meningioma. It is located on my right optic nerve sheath. It may be a Glioma. Pretty much anything with -oma attached to the end of it sucks ass. If it is a Meningioma it will either continue to grow very slowly and eventually rob me of my sight in the right eye OR it could just stop growing altogether leaving my vision as it is right now - compromised but there.

Gliomas are a bit different. They almost always occur in children. When they occur in adults they are usually very aggressive. The doctors don't know exactly which I have yet - they have to continue to do MRI's and watch and see what it does. They can't biopsy it because of where it is located which is what also makes it inoperable. Or rather if they did operate on it - I would be blind in my right eye immediately because they would have to remove my optic nerve. I just found out there that IF it is a Glioma -  I wouldn't just loose my vision in that eye, which I thought was the worst that could happen, I would most likely loose my eye.

Now, some people would say that should have always been obvious to me - why didn't I see (haha) that earlier. I'll tell you because I didn't. I just did NOT realize that was an option. To me going blind in that eye was bad enough - it never occurred to me that it could get worse.

In high school, during our senior year I was voted prettiest eyes. I love my eyes. I love that they are green with yellow and gray flecks in them. I love the shape of them - almond. I don't want to loose my eye. I don't want a glass eye. I want my eyes. Both of them.

And then the other night a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to this site. But let me warn you - don't go there unless you have a good deal of Kleenex and nowhere you need to be soon. Their little girl is dying of cancer right in front of them. I can not imagine what that child must physically be enduring or what those parents are emotionally enduring on a day to day basis. It is, to me, in a word - unfathomable.

I read a couple of pages and got up and went into my room. Those pages were all I could take at that moment. I have only truly knelt to pray a couple of times in my life. The other night I hit my knees next to our bed and prayed and wept. I cried for that little girl, I cried for her family, and I cried for her parents. I prayed for all of them.

And then I thanked God that those things were not happening to us. I thanked God that if we had to have the Bad Things, they were happening to me and not my children.

It has always been a bit odd to me that I have 3 tumors and I have 3 children. Coincidence? I don't know. Maybe I have one for each child - payment made in advance for them. I would gladly have it be that way. If this must happen then yes, it should be me. Yes, the tumors suck. And yes, they are a lot to go through. But, I got to have 37 years of good vision. With 2 eyes. I got to see my children. And they are healthy and happy and growing. And that makes me, even with everything going on, blessed beyond measure and very, very grateful.


  1. It takes a strong person to face what you're going through with thankfulness and praise for what you do have. Bless your heart. I will pray for you, Kathleen. But I'll also pray that I can have half the strength and wisdom you have. Take care and keep us updated.


  2. Nancy - thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it so much. I don't think I'm strong, trust me when I say there are a GOOD many days that I am in the floor and terrified. I cry a lot of the time - even this morning while doing the dishes, as a matter of fact. There are times in your life all you can do is continue to live and see and move forward and I am in one of those places. But it also serves as a way of clarifying, brutally sometimes, what actually matters. I appreciate the prayers - I'll take all I can get. :)

  3. Kathleen - you have the most amazing attitude toward everything; you inspire me daily. Thank you for sharing this. I think I really needed it today. It was one of those sucky days where things just went wrong -- little trivial things, but enough to make me want to choke someone. Your post helped me put things in perspective and I am thankful that we are friends!

  4. Kendall - thx for reading my crazy ramblings. I'm glad we are friends too. :)