Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another mountain?

Well it's been a while. One of my most recent posts was about a climb we did as a family and the fun we had.

We have met another mountain recently.........a more personal one. I have decided to share it with you. Not to worry or frighten, but simply to share the FEAR load and one simple request...........love.

Exactly 11 days ago I was told by my GP that I have an intra-cranial mass. Yep. (breathe)

You could call it a tumour, a clump of cells. I haven't been told what it is or it's name. I was told this surprising news after a routine sinus CT scan. What they thought was a shadow resulted in me off for an MRI scan (icky) and some snazzy photos of my brain. It confirmed, I have a little extra inside my head.

My shocked GP referred me immediately to a Neurologist, put me on steroids to help shrink the mass and reduce any pressure and sent me home. The waiting game begins. We are now waiting for the Neurologist appointment that will help plan our path.

It was a Saturday morning. I drove home alone.....back to the kids and hubby. I wailed the entire, but short drive. NEVER have I made noise like then. I cried for what hadn't been, what might come next, for all the people I'd lost and what I might lose. This crying scared me.

The weekend was a blur of "what ifs", desperate hugs, conversations and phone-calls. My children were frightened despite me trying to keep it together around them.

The first two nights were slept, in a drug induced sense, but I still woke in a sweat from dreams about my funeral and my family growing on and upwards without me. Was I about to be delivered a death sentence? Why was my mind so cruel to me? Why couldn't I be brave and positive?

That first week is now a complete blur. The steroids, despite being a low dose have had unpleasant side effects. My joints ache, have pins and needles, blurry vision, acne (oh joy, puberty again!) and some fatigue. I think they may have increased my anxiety too as now the dose is reduced I am much calmer and am not imagining the worst every few minutes!!!!

But over the past couple of days.....something has changed. Not physically as such.......but I am not allowing myself to expect bad news anymore. I know that this mass is in a slow growing position. If you are going to adopt a brain mass........then my body did well to put it there. Because it is in this part of my head it is silent. I have no headaches or seizures. I think I've had one full blown headache in the last 12 months. It is a silent mass. Which is obviously why it was so difficult to diagnose. I just wasn't presenting with "tumour' symptoms. However, if there is a lesson here. I did go the docs over the past few years with niggling symptoms and the optometrist. We just collectively never put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Keep asking questions......you know your body.

I met FEAR last week. It is very dark, very frightening. But people who love me are giving me exactly what I need right now; positive and healing thoughts. I will surround myself with happy people from now onwards. I don't have time for negative, I need to heal. Time to be selfish, and when I'm well..........I will return all the love, I promise.

I still meet FEAR.......every now and again. Before I go to sleep or when the house is still and quiet. But I don't walk towards now. I'm not in denial. I know I've got to walk alongside it for a while, but I will not let it consume or make me someone else.

So I'm ok.
I am well.
I haven't been told otherwise.......so I will teach myself to be well.
I will be extremely well once I introduce myself to my "tag -along" and share my plan with it.
We even laughed a few days ago and made jokes about what I can blame "the mass" on over the past few years.

We bought a juicer.........I am boosting my immune system like you wouldn't believe. My hubby in his desperation to keep me well is cooking and filling me up with antioxident rich nutrients. I love that man.

So I will share the process on here as often as I can. I still want this blog to be about our adventures and happiness. You will just find some of my own more 'personal journey' post slotted in. I don't want pity or even your fear. Because both of those things make my heart race and my breathing shallow. FEAR feeds FEAR.

I hope you will feedback occasionally, it is a lonely time trying to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind. I do feel very far away from my family and friends right now. BUT, knowing your thoughts are floating around in the universe is more than enough!! I love following your blogs and lives too.

On a brighter, family note:
My hubby's b'day was on Sunday and we were determined as a family to relax and enjoy each other's company. Miss ten yr old helped me make a birthday cake, we lounged around in pjs watching the presies being opened and grazed on a late brekkie.

The evening before we discovered some family members had arranged a gift voucher to be waiting at a gorgeous cafe, up north from us in the town; Warkworth. Chocolate brown it is deliciously called and the food was equally tasty. Alongside the cafe is an amazing chocolaterie.
The photos show some of the gorgeousness found within.
BIG love, hugs and thank yous to you both for that voucher. I forgot about everything weighing on my mind for almost the entire day. We all had a lovely time.

Enjoy the pics!
Oh and remember, don't sweat the small stuff tomorrow or even the next day! :-)

Wholemeal blueberry pancakes...mmmm
Oh my!
Caitlin carefully choosing.....
Daddy and daughter browsing...
Holy FUDGE!!!
Even the building looks good enough to eat!!
Mummy and baby snap time.
A quick play in the park to burn chocolate calories ......weeeeee
three little chocolate gems still sitting here at home waiting for their time of need.



  1. Will email you something separately too... thank you for your honesty and update on your progress xx
    So glad you had such a wonderful day - I always see chocolate as "soul food"... so I am really glad it had the desired effect on your day together :)
    As ever, love to you all from us both

  2. YYYum, drooling here......chocolate!!
    By sharing this you have just released and divided your worry. It can be incredibly cathartic and healing!! Sometimes just jump on and write whatever your thinking, expel it all then delete it, its the same I suppose as writing it down on a piece of paper, then burning it and letting it fly away............
    You are inccredibly right, you are LIVING with this new knowlege of your body. Again you are strong, intelligent, and you will have great and awesome days and crappy ones, but remember thats normal, you will pick yourself up and enjoy another day. People will sourround you with love and support. Very brave Jaz, a huge step forward. Im thinking of you and sending some (hopefully) good energy your way!! xoxoxo

  3. Hello Jaz. I'm a complete stranger to you. I live in another town in Blogland. I know your Mum-in-law.

    You will hear stories similir to mine from a lot of people. I will tell it to you anyway.

    I was diagnosed with cancer in 1998. It never occured to me at that time that I might die (and just for the record I didn't!). I was operated on almost immediately and learned afterwards that the prognosis for my survival had been weeks rather than years. The cancer lingered with treatment on and off until last year when I had radiotherapy. There are now no readings indicating the presence of cancerous cells: after 12 years.

    I've had a great deal to do with cancer over those years and still have quite a few friends both here and in New Zealand (where I live 6 months of the year) experiencing it.

    I can tell from what you have written that you are well on the way to helping yourself survive. By that I don't mean the physical survival. I mean the mental survival. Being positive cannot guarantee survival. Being negative can guarantee mental and physical deterioration. I have believed that since I was 16 and saw evidence for myself.

    I found great comfort in being able to accept the cancer and talk openly about it. Never morbidly. Just matter of factly. When your friends can just accept it you will be much more comfortable and so will they.

    Your blog posting is a magnificent step towards that. I hope that you will find the words to deal with it on your road to its elimination from your life.

    I have no faith in the existence of a deity so I cannot say that I will pray for you but I do believe in the power of positive thinking and you will be in my thoughts.

    I look forward to the time when you will be writing these words to someone else in another 12 years.

    I know that this sounds a bit stilted and terse but I've never written like this before in the confines of a public comment on a blog so I hope you will forgive that.

    With positive thoughts


  4. Wow Jaz I have only just read this now. Will join you in the positive thoughts and prayers all the way!!
    Thanks for sharing your honesty and remember this is your space so you can write whatever you want or feel like!
    That chocolate shop looks amazing and I heart your boots...hope that's not too shallow but you are looking mighty fine in that pic!! :)

  5. Jaz - I have followed your blog since you left and have always enjoyed you honesty about life and the trials it can throw our way. I have loved keeping up with what you and your gorgeous family are up to. You are an amazing person with a big heart. All my thoughts and positive energy is coming your way. You are an inspiration.

  6. Hi, you dont know me but i'm a facebook friend of your husbands..we are members of the rosacea group. I love your blogs; your kids are little sweethearts and you and mark are obviously devoted to each other;it's heartwarming.
    I look forward to reading about your recovery and in the meantime my family send you oodles of positive vibes, Karen xxxxxx


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