I and some other "international types" spoke the fourth grade about elementary schools in other countries on January 29th and I was glad to answer questions from L's classmates. He seemed happy to have me the too. It was a bit of an effort to speak because of lingering effects of last fall's brain surgery and gamma surgery, or so I thought. It turns out there was more in my head than I thought.
That night I woke up to two paramedics kneeling on my futon explaining that I'd had a convulsion and my daughter had called them because she could wake me up. I had my insurance cards and cancer center information in my bag next to my pillow so I quickly grabbed a change of clothes and went down with them to the stretcher/dolly waiting in the lobby. They insisted I should ride and pushed me up the slope out of our building to the waiting ambulance. M, who had called the ambulance, rode with me. At 3:30 in the morning, it only took 30 minutes to reach to cancer center downtown where I was examined and given a bed. There were no more incidents that morning and I gave M money to take the train home, assuring her that I was in good hands and telling which food should be eaten first from the fridge.
The regular staff gave me an MRI first thing Monday morning and sent me back to relax in my room. Results from MRIs usually take a while. I was surprised to be called to radiology the same morning and assumed it was a follow up on the pelvis radiation I'd had last fall. When I went in, the image on the screen was not a hip but a brain, and it looked quite festive with tumors lit up here and there. The Awaji Island Awaodori dance music and images came to mind as I sat down next to the screen. Here's a YouTube image http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uve3jpd4flg&feature=related
The radiologist figured out that I hadn't heard the diagnosis when I commented on how busy it looked in there. We talked about treatment and, as I'd expected, whole brain radiation was the next step. I'd stay in the hospital and have 10 treatments. As soon as I returned to my room upstairs, the neurosurgeon came in to apologize for not explaining before I heard about the treatment. We looked over the MRI images and counted 12 tumors. December scans were all clear so this was rather sudden.
Anyway, my good friends stepped in to bring food to my children and kind people offered to help me home from the hospital. Friends stopped by the hospital and brought treats to cheer me up after the healthy grilled fish, rice and vegetable menu. People generously donated cash so I was able to pay the bill and I'm thankfully home and looking forward to two graduations and two entrance ceremonies with spring break in between. I am so grateful for the support that helped me though this tough two week and continues to encourage me in the battle.
Time to break out the scarves, hats and wigs again.