experience required – part one

January 13, 2010 § 16 Comments

Results of the MRI’s taken mid December were a kick in the pants and a painful reminder of just how flawed self-diagnosis can be. Tsoris seekers everywhere (Yiddish term for folks seeking trouble) were putting their money on a herniated disk, when word came in that a 2” lesion at the base of my skull was causing all the aggravation.

Lesion  – sounded bad but more than bad, it sounded vague. Would Bacitracin help, possibly a kiss or a giant bandaid?

Appointments, events and practical details wandered off like fireflies. Tuesday I was out of town on business, Wednesday I was at a  pre-op meeting with a Neurosurgeon, Dr Ekkehard Kasper.

Over priced and over crowded, New Years Eve had never been my thing. With my biopsy scheduled for New Years Eve Day tradition continued and I would be staying in on New Years Eve. Staying in a hospital recovering from a Biopsy so delicate it required a neurosurgeons finesse to access a slice of the demon.

With his hand close to my right ear, Kasper explained  “You have a tumor the size of a small egg growing in here”. Glass flowers everywhere were jealous that his tender tips were all mine that moment.

I must have looked too calm, or too confused.

With a glint of boyish enthusiasm, he asked: “Has anyone shown you pictures of this yet?”

I had been scanned and imaged, measured and medicated but until that moment I had been without the benefit of visual aide. Kasper pulled a couple of the more compelling images from the MRI deck to pass around.

I think I heard Marty say “shit”.  I knew the Bacitracin would be useless.

The the area in question was circled. A near perfect oval, very much the small egg described.

The sutures were removed today and while the course black stitches reinforced my dramatic story, the real art was inside.

Muscles and nerves retracted to gain access to the tumor site were reassembled without event. While the breast cancer had spread, I had the uncanny feeling that it was my creativity that was out of control at this moment. That said, I put in my order for my own  set of MRI images.



§ 16 Responses to experience required – part one

  • Marilyn, Thank you for sharing the updates. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It’s reassuring to know that no surgery has cut out your sparkle and spunk and that you continue to fulfill make life livable with humor and community. Sending a big hug and lots of love. Keep blogging! -Tracy

  • Marilyn, Thank you for sharing the updates. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It’s reassuring to know that no surgery has cut out your sparkle and spunk and that you continue to make life livable with humor and community. Sending a big hug and lots of love. Keep blogging! -Tracy

  • Betsey says:

    Hi Marilyn –

    Amazing update. I visualize you setting your creativity FREE!

    Also, I have the laminated photo of you and Frannie in China in my kitchen near where I make Benji’s lunch and make my coffee each morning.

    I love the photo. You both are full of delight and have a world of possibilities ahead of you. Makes me smile and reminds me to send positive energy your way everyday!

    I see you healthy and whole now and for years to come!



  • Ruth says:

    I’ll be your crack anytime! Glad you’re feeling the love cause its definitely flowing…you make me finally appreciate all that technology offers as it allows you to let us in and take us along for the journey. Sending lots of love and hugs and some jewish penicillin whenever you say xoxo roo

  • susan crain says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Your gifts for words is truly amazing. I read each bolg with fascination and anticipation for how you will describe each experience.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope to see you soon.

    Much Love, Susan

  • Karen says:

    I think your creativity is, as always, perfectly in your control. Thank you (and the Gods and Godesses) for it!


  • susie says:

    You’re still the best blogger – eggo or no. Keep it coming as you inspire so many people who love you and we’re going to get you a book deal out of this damn thing yet!

  • Karen Cote says:

    As one survivor to another, I continue to be awestruck by your grace and dignity. One of the plus sides of my diagnosis was meeting you through my energetic sister!Your ability to put into words the sentiments that all breast cancer survivors face is so appreciated. On the same note, please don’t feel you are facing this new part of your journey alone. We are all here for you with love and thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if you are up for company! Karen Cote

  • Kate says:

    As for the prayers…Phyllis has you covered daily mass 10:00 all for you
    as for the creativity it is ozing

  • Jacques and Kathleen says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    Thanks for taking the time to fill me in this morning.
    We are thinking of you and wish you the best.
    Do not hesitate to ring if you need anything: 617 734 2183
    We will keep in touch.

    Kathleen’s email: kmck@bu.edu

  • Amanda Gard says:

    Thinking of you everyday. More love and prayers coming your way!


  • Linda says:

    Bless the beautiful contents of your mind. And your amazing capacity for sharing it.

    Sending much love your way.

    Linda M.

  • Linda says:

    BTW, as of this posting, your stats are at 50, 001.

  • Nancy says:

    Don’t be upset that you ignored the symptoms at first. In my experience the reverse is the norm. For 12 years my sister complained about a host of problems and she was told that only a good diet and discipline would cure. Unless the obvious is staring the md’s in the face’ they often don’t diagnose properly. From what Jonas and Seth have said, you will be able to shrink this thing into non-existence.

  • Laura Wilson says:

    You are amazingly talented. My thoughts are with you, Frannie and Marty. XOXO

  • Kelley B. says:

    Truly impressive photo of the egg, not to mention your own calmmentary. BTW- I love your new (old?) facebook photo. You look lie you know something really good I wish I knew…

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