Monday, January 25, 2010

Tumor Humor...

As a friend once said to me, "You certainly receive more than your fair share of struggles!"  That's an understatement...truly.

Last week at a routine eye appointment (I say "routine" however I actually scheduled the appointment before my yearly was due because I've been suffering from what I would classify as severe headaches and I felt that my vision had changed a bit), Dr. Sally asked me to follow up with my neurologist (remember, I have I have an ongoing relationship with a neurologist) because my left optical nerve was "bulging" (as she put it).  Here's the conversation...(share with me if you find the humor in this as I did):

Dr. Sally:  "Hmmmm, I would like for you to see your neurologist.  Your left optical nerve is bulging."

Me:  "And?....Am I supposed to know what that means?"  (Okay, I wasn't quite that sarcastic)..."so, what does that mean?"

Dr. Sally:  "Well, I don't want to scare you or worry you....but it typically means there is a tumor"

Me:  "Oh....just a tumor?  No....that doesn't scare me or worry me...should it?!!"  (Again, I wasn't that sarcastic...but in all seriousness I wanted to pick up any sharp object I could find and hold it to a main vein of hers and ask her if that "scared" or "worried" her).  "Okay...I will see my neurologist as soon as I can get an appointment."

And so...on Thursday I had an MRI. 

Now...I don't know if you have ever had to have an MRI, but if you have ever watched a piece of luggage go through the airport security tunnel, that's pretty much what it is like (I'd be a piece of Gucci or Louis Vuitton luggage). 

At the MRI, after I had undressed, as to free me from any metal on my clothing that may interfere with the MRI machine, I was placed on the slab table and the technician kindly instructed me to "be very still throughout the MRI, this will take 30 minutes, the machine is very loud, please wear your headphones to help muffle some of the sound.  It is imperative that you lay not move."  I gave the thumbs up and slowly I was inserted into the long, narrow tunnel.

Here comes the part that I can honestly say, "I can't make this s**t up"...

Twenty-eight minutes (28 minutes)....TWENTY-EIGHT minutes into the MRI...I heard what sounded like an out of this world space craft shut down....woosh....darkness.....silence. 

Next thing I know I am being pulled out and I'm starring into the (gorgeous) face of the male technician...he places his hand gently on my arm....

"Mrs. Dudenhoeffer, the MRI just shut down.  This has never happened.  We will need to reboot the machine and begin again.  I'm sorry."

All I heard was, "this has never happened" and I was quite certain that his "I'm sorry" was not going to help the rage that was boiling up inside me.  I had an "Are you there God?  It's me, Betsy" moment..."Ummm, hello, God?  Are you there?  Because I'm just curious what is going on....I mean, I on some sort of 'Punked' episode and you are going to jump out in your white robe and berkenstocks, pointing and laughing as you say 'You've just been Punked!....cause I'll laugh, I promise."

No such luck...I was forced to "lay still" for ANOTHER 30 minutes...and of course during that time is when EVERY SINGLE part of my body itched!

But...that's not where our story ends, dear blog followers....

Friday morning the nurse from my doctor's office called my cell phone:

Nurse:  "Hello Ellyn, (remember, Ellyn is my real name) this is *nurse from Dr. Neurologist's office...Dr. Neurologist would like to speak to you in person regarding the results of your MRI, are you available for a consultation on Monday morning?" 

Me:  (looking at the clock as it reads 10 am on FRIDAY):  "Yes, I can come in on Monday morning...but in the  meantime, can you tell me if there was anything abnormal on the MRI?"

Nurse:  "Yes, everything about your head is abnormal" 

Nurse:  "I'm sorry, Dr. Neurologist will speak to you on Monday"

Me:  "Great.  In the meantime I will thoroughly enjoy my weekend.  Yes, I won't give one thought to the lingering tumor or not tumor, but since Dr. Neurologist wants to speak in person I'm guessing there is a tumor, so.....have a great weekend Nurse Ratchet!"  (okay, I didn't really say that).

Do you want to know the results?  I mean, it IS Monday...5:35 pm to be exact....

Drum roll please........

I do, in fact, have a tumor.  The tumor is on my left optical nerve.  Dr. Neurologist said something like "optic nerve meningioma," it's basically a small (it's the only time I won't pout that it's not all BANG and BIG) tumor on my left optic nerve and they are certain that it is benign.  I had several measurements and photos taken today to track the growth (or lack thereof, which would be a FANTASTIC thing).  I will see my neurologist every three months where he will make sure the tumor is NOT growing.  With this sort of tumor the treatment is just that...watching the's too risky.  However...if the tumor decides to go all "Hulk" on me, then the tumor will be removed and I would do radiation to prevent regrowth....

It could be worse...right?

And by the way...I TOTALLY intend to use this tumor....

Hottie Husband:  "I had a rough day at work today, I spilled fresh coffee all down my front and now I think I have second degree burns on my chest."

Me:  "Yeah, well, I have a tumor."


  1. Betsy, I am sorry, I am laughing my a** off, but seriously, if that is a word you know, I will put you on my prayer list for the tumor to not grow and actually get smaller.

    Did you do your MRI at JCMG? I had to squeeze the little ball thing... I chickened out at 15 minutes. The cute guy came over and sweet talked me into the last 15 minutes.

    Life is grand, ain't it!

  2. Betsy - I love your humor, but if you ever want to just go find the right spot and SCREAM - take me with you. I'm about due for one myself. I love you bunches, and will keep praying about this with you. I already knew that you were "special" but now I know you are "uniquely special!!" Oh and that broken leg thing I have - forget about it!! You so trumped me!!! I also forgive you for starving me to death at the church dinner - I'm so over it now! (actually I was already over it, but not I'm professing it publicly!) Now, I hope Dr. Neurologist takes really good care of you but if you need a second opinion, let me know a day ahead of time, and I will go stay at a Holiday Inn Express and give you my opinion the next day! Keep the positive attitude and humor!! [[[[[[HUGS AND PRAYERS for Betsy!]]]]]]

  3. Giggles and Bits? I see no giggles, just bits. This is serious shit. I was hoping you'd start the New Year out without more health problems.

    We are going to have to take the time to smell the roses, including having a chai tea together!

    And then we can talk about the cost of krumcakes. Maybe I can then retire with the hubby and just sell cakes! LOL

    Seriously stay the same you darn tumor or better yet go away!

    Take care,

  4. Praying with you that the tumor will shrink and not grow. Maybe God, thru the power of prayer, will miraculously remove the tumor before your next visit. That would be awesome. I think that is what I will pray for. And then you can share on your blog about your miraculous recovery to the glory of God. Enjoy your surprise! ANd thanks for the text this morning saying how great it is!

  5. You have to laugh about it, right? I'm sorry to hear about your tumor, and I'm praying that it doesn't HULK OUT! This is totally random, but sort of related... When Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer (terrible, I know) I SOOOO wanted to post the following update on FB but thought I'd get some hate mail (remember I have pancreatitis) "Patrick Swayze: finally someone with a suckier pancreas than me!" Thanks for letting me finally use that one.

  6. I totally understand your sarcastic humor and I've been using the same to get through the last month myself. Here's sending prayers for a shrinking tumor.

  7. Betsy ... Hope 2010 treat you better than last! I can't believe that! Take care of yourself girl!! Praying for ya!