How long had I been dragging my leg? Why didn’t I notice the toe of my slipper gone and the stuffing coming out? When I fell out of shower was I really that tired? Were the bruises on my arms and legs, clumsy? But, when I came staggering in from the deck, falling into the counter and slamming my arm and scraping my elbow, all in front of my husband, it was finally time to go to the doctor!

A year earlier I was having shoulder trouble and kept going to the doctor getting injections for pain. I owned a Donut Shop working long hours and my son and I had owned a small lawn care service. But, the kids were grown now and I had taken on another full time job. An MRI revealed two ruptured discs in my neck which was causing the shoulder pain, but I was too busy for surgery. I began wearing pain patches until I broke out in a rash.  So I finally had to have a fusion done.

But, my leg still kept dragging, so I had another MRI. Then I saw a hip specialist, then another MRI. Everything was fine, nothing was wrong. I suggested physical therapy maybe I had dragged it for so long waiting on my neck, that it was now just habit. But, six weeks later I wasn’t getting better, she said it was actually getting worse. She suggested I go back to my primary care doctor, maybe he could see something we were missing, or should I say, “maybe we weren’t looking outside the box”.

I walked into his office joking that I was a blonde, that I would get arrested if I was pulled over, I couldn’t walk a straight line, or even stand on my right leg! He just stared at me. What was it? Between all the different doctors and my lack of urgency had we missed something? Another MRI…you’re kidding? But, this one of my head and GO now!

cancer research, cancer blogSo I called my husband and told him to drop me off and go get groceries. I’d be done in 30 minutes, after all this wasn’t my first rodeo.  But, the MRI was longer, enhancement injected in my arm, nothing like the others.  I asked questions, but was told there would be a doctor in to talk to me later.  I had another staggering spell, so they put me in a room. In walked my husband and son.  Then the doctor, we will never forget the next moment as long as we live:


Are you crazy? There is NO cancer in my family, let alone a brain tumor. No headaches. No blurred vision. No seizures. Nothing!

I’ll never forget what someone said to me, “if I had to list ten people I thought would have a brain tumor, you would not be one of them”. I wished he was right.

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