It's coming round to the time of year when I have my yearly MRI scan to check on my brain tumours. Because I've had so many scans I'm not worried about that aspect, but my other fears come back to the surface before, during and after- have the tumours got bigger? Will I need surgery to remove them? Will they need to use other interventions to help me? How long will I need to take off my course to recover?
Several years ago I was told the tumour in my 4th ventricle would be difficult to remove and the exact procedure to do so has never been done before. The only time a similar surgery had been done before the patient had issues with swallowing for a few weeks after the procedure.
Along with this the tumour at the brain stem is in an area that is too risky to operate on, and radiotherapy would potentially cause more tumours to grow, which would defeat the purpose of doing the treatment in the first place. Because of this chemotherapy would be one of the few options left to me.
The thought of potentially having to have chemotherapy scares me more than anything. Because of my lack of knowledge I thought chemotherapy could only be used for cancerous tumours. Now that I know more I'll be able to better understand the treatments being offered to me should I need them. However if I do need chemotherapy my nursing career could potentially be at risk- I wouldn't be able to go out on placement or start my job due to the affects of the treatment. No matter how hard I try to not think about the worst case scenario, my brain has other ideas and I sometimes lie awake at night, these thoughts running wild.
Last week these fears started returning, especially since my neurosurgeon completely cancelled the post scan consultation after multiple date and time changes. I then got another letter that stated my care was being handed over to someone else. My worry is now surrounding this new professional. Will they listen to me? Will they take my concerns seriously? Will they know which treatments I can and can't have due to my medical history?
I know I can't do anything until I've had my scan (which I'm still awaiting a date for) and got the results. I hope that my tumours have remained stable and I can be reviewed again next year like normal. However if I do have to have some kind of intervention I will take everything in my stride and overcome every challenge with a positive outlook and a smile on my face.