Friday, 15 January 2016

This waiting game!

So I had my annual MRI on Wednesday. Of course, they tell you nothing, zero, zilch on the day ... not even the tiniest clue as to how things are going in this nut of mine! But then, I didn't really expect them to if I am honest.

But sadly my radiology-oncologist is on annual leave until 25th so I am very unlikely to hear anything until at least 27th/28th.  People keep saying "Oh, that's not long to wait!" (which to my way of thinking is on a par with "At least it's not cancer") ....

Little do they know.

It may not seem long to them but it seems like AGES to me!! Especially when a whole year has gone by since the last test results.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Neurological appointment at last!

This morning I went for my first neurological appointment for four years.  This time it was with a different neurologist and I was in trepidation in case he was as 'unapproachable' as the one I saw originally. But "NO" this one was very nice, seemed interested and talked TO me.

After I had explained the main symptoms currently bothering me (double vision, weakness in left arm and jerky left leg)  he gave me a neurological once over. Luckily he did not ask me to walk heel to toe in a straight line as I have tried this at home and I fall over!!!  

He says that there is definitely some 'slight' weakness in my left arm and leg, so I feel both vindicated (not imagining it) and a bit anxious (what is causing it?) !! But here is where we stand at the moment:

1. Visual disturbance .... no clues as to what is causing it as yet.

2.  Left-sided weakness .... could be a small blood clot following the radiotherapy or maybe the meningioma is pressing on the cerebellum. He cannot say anything for sure until he sees the films after my next MRI which I have an appointment for on January 13th.

3. He does not think that I have early Parkinsons disease, which is good to know.

So nothing more to be done until mid-January ............ will just let my body do the talking and rest up when I need to!!!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Going flat on my face!

One week ago today I tripped over and fell flat on my face in the supermarket car park! Luckily some very kind young ladies came to my aid and helped me to my feet, and one of them fetched a first-aider from the shop who took me in hand. How nice people can be!!

My face has been very swollen but not painful unless touched, so that has been a relief. However, now that the swelling is subsiding, I think things look a bit lopsided, - around my eye in particular. I did go to see my GP on day 4 but it was much too swollen for her to tell what was what, although she did test my jaw movements - which were normal thank goodness. She said to go back in a week if swelling not completely gone.




What an idiot! ..... now I really do feel old and wobbly!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Not one of my best ...

Today has not been a good one overall.  Worked on a painting most of the day, which I have to say is quite a feat these days, but I am not too impressed with the result and it is likely to go for reclamation! (this involves blocking out the canvas in white gesso so that I can start all over again).

Wouldn't it be lovely if one could put oneself in for reclamation? And start all over again ... all white, new and un-scarred.  Now that would be quite something!

Anyway, by the end of the afternoon I felt very dizzy and nauseated. Luckily I did not have to cook our dinner from scratch ... just had to do some fresh rice to go with re-heated chicken curry. Easy-peasy, ... and it tasted nice! Well, more than nice actually!

I just wish these bloody head symptoms would fade away, rather than getting gradually worse. At least it seems that they are getting worse, but it might just be that my resistance is low. Whatever the reason/cause I am feeling pretty crap lately.

P.S.  The vision problems continue. Following my discussion with my family doctor I have received a letter from the hospital regarding being seen by a neurologist.  At least 4 months to wait.  Nice.

Probably won't be until after my next annual MRI in February so will work in quite well, do you think?

P.P.S. Skin cancers ... the one on my chest that was 'frozen' has gone, plus the one on my leg has gone following treatment with Flurouracil cream (anti-cancer cream).  The remaining one on my face is still there although it seems smaller. Good, eh?

Friday, 14 August 2015

More than I bargained for .....

So yesterday I had an appointment with my family doctor just to check my chest as my recent bout of 'flu has left me with the inevitable hacking cough,. One can never be too careful, especially with children and old people! 

Never one to waste an opportunity, I decided that I would tell her about 3 worries (limiting myself to the three "most worrying") and get my money's worth (doctor appointment = $43)!! 

Worry No. 1 - Hacking cough

Chest examination clear and problem limited to upper airway. It should settle in a couple more weeks. Dr prescribed Codeine at night as this acts as a cough suppressant and this may help sleep disturbance. Excellent news!

Worry No. 2 - Visual problems
I explained the latest issue with my eyes which is difficulty in adjusting my vision when I look to the side then try to re-focus centrally. This results in dizziness and some double vision on occasion. After some games of "Follow That Pencil" she asked me if I would like her to contact my onco-radiologist or neurologist. I informed her that I had not seen my neurologist for at least 4 years as my follow-up appointments had suddenly stopped and, as I felt they achieved nothing, I had not followed the matter up further. We agreed that she should write to a different neurologist to see if they felt a follow up might be called for, but she agreed with me that they (neurologists) are not the easiest people in the world to get on with!!!

Worry No. 3 - Skin lesions
Friday is "freezing day'' at our practice and I seem to have millions of skin lesions - freckles, moles, warts, the lot!! Anyway, I asked the doctor to look at several that were bothering me including three on my face. Two of these she declared as benign and gave them a good zap with the liquid nitrogen, but the third one turns out to be an early Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Two others SCCs turned up for the party as well ... a teeny-tiny one on my chest and a larger job on the back of my lower leg.

The tiny one got a ''zap'' but the other two are to have daily Efudix (Flurouracil) cream for 3-4 weeks and for review in one month. Hopefully this will see them stopped in their tracks, but if not then it will be the knife!

Needless to say that my friend 'Google' has been working overtime with regard to skin cancers! Being fair-haired and blue/grey eyed, and the wrong side of 50, are increased risks for developing a problem but no-one is immune. Where you live in the world is a factor too, with New Zealand having a very high incidence, but we all need to be Sun Smart.

Remember SLIP, SLOP, SLAP on that high factor sunscreen. And do it OFTEN!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Long time no see!

I must admit to having neglected my blog in recent months. Why? Well downright laziness may play a part, but there is the time factor .... juggling daily living, family and bowling with Facebook pages and this blog. Somehow this little journal gets left until last .....

My Facebook pages include one designed for meningioma sufferers but I do include stuff for those suffering from other types of brain tumour as well.  It appears to be going quite well and I like to think that it is of use to people.

Meanwhile Feckit and Fuss seem to be reasonably behaved and apart from trouble with my vision (which could be totally unrelated) I am managing pretty well on minimum doses of Amitriptyline and Carbamazepine. These help me get to sleep and also reduce the incidence and ferocity of facial pain. So things are good on that score!

Also good is the fact that my bowling partner and I won our club pairs championship which gave us entry into the Dunedin Champion of Champion Ladies Pairs Championship which we managed to win!

Then May/June we went to France for a month to visit our very dear French friends in Bordeaux and included a week's boating in a narrow boat on the Canal du Midi and 10 days stay at the Lac du Lacanau. It was all fantastic!

Please visit my Facebook page at:

Meningioma Living

Au revoir et a bientot!