Angiogram’s R’ Us

I’ve been scheduled to have my follow-up angiogram in a couple of weeks. It’s to check that the stent (flow diverter) we placed in April is doing well. Then it dawned on me that it’s not only to check on the stent, but to also check to see if it is preventing more blood from getting into the aneurysm.

One would hope that a stent placed inside of another stent would finally do the trick, but with this particular aneurysm, you just never know. It has been a thorn in my side, or a thorn in my brain for 16 years.

Let the scanxiety begin!

And the Stories Continue

Five years ago I wrote, what I contend, is one of my more poignant blog posts about all of THE STORIES I have heard about brain aneurysms. Stories from many different people from all walks of life and at very random times. We heard a new one last week.

As my husband and I were in the pre-op area at the hospital waiting for his colonoscopy to begin, the anesthesiologist came in to speak to Dave prior to the procedure, which is normal. As Ron was talking he noticed the brain aneurysm survivor pin that was on my purse and Dave’s KAT-WALK bracelet and asked who was the survivor.

We proceeded to share my story, which was top of mind for both of us because it was 16 years to that day, that I had suffered my ruptured brain aneurysm. Then sadly, Ron told us HIS story about losing his wife to a ruptured brain aneurysm 12 years ago.

Suddenly Dave and I were no longer patients Ron needed to tend to during his daily routine prior to the procedure, but human beings who had both suffered losses due to this horrible disease. Ron leaned over and rested his elbows on the metal railing of the hospital bed and proceeded to tell us the sad story of his wife, his children’s reactions, the day it happened, the treatments involved at the time, and the tragic outcome.

Obviously, for Dave and I, we could relate to Ron’s pain and the suddenness of losing someone to a rupture brain aneurysm. Ron even mentioned meeting someone else who survived and how that person had survivor’s guilt. I too, have suffered from that.

Dave wears his KAT-Walk hat and bracelet almost daily and I always have my survivor pin on my purse. These pieces of “swag” can result in moving stories of sadness and triumph from complete strangers. Stories we never would have known had they not seen the small trinkets and asked about them.

Five years ago I wrote that blog post because of the anniversary of my sister’s death. This year was the 10th anniversary of her death. 16 years ago last week, I celebrated my annie-versary of my rupture. That is MY story, but there are so many others out there and we continue to realize the importance of sharing them.

Ron congratulated me for surviving multiple times and said I “looked great’, which was very sweet considering he had never met me before and had just shared, what I am sure, was not an easy story to tell. We shared our sympathies with him and thanked him for taking the time to tell us about his wife.

All of these stories are meaningful. All of these stories effect us. And all of these stories get added to the long list of people we have met over the years who have been effected by brain aneurysms.

Happy Annie-Versary

16 years ago today I didn’t know if I’d survive to see another sunset after suffering a rupture brain aneurysm. Tonight I was greeted by this stunning rainbow shard over the water and two cardinals at the feeder. I am blessed. My brain is wicked tired, but I am blessed.

Just Another Scar

Two weeks ago, I finally got a funky bump on my forehead checked out by a dermatologist. I’ve had it for about two years and it has slowly started to grow.

Hearing the word “cancer” in any form during a doctor’s visit is shocking, especially when you think you just have a little skin mutation. I was quite surprised, and was unprepared for that initial diagnosis of the bump upon the first glance by the doctor.

A quick biopsy was performed and a week later it was confirmed to be a basal cell carcinoma tumor – skin cancer. The good news is that, of the three types of skin cancer, this is THE most common form of skin cancer. It is also highly treatable and curable with a one-time procedure.

I will have the Mohs micrographic surgery performed in late July to remove the tumor. Although the biopsy was more of a scraping of the tumor and it bled like a son of gun due to still being on Plavix for my April brain aneurysm stent procedure, the Mohs procedure will be a bit more invasive and has potential for some lovely discomfort, MORE bruising, and additional scarring.

The tumor is above my right eyebrow. My craniotomy scars, dent, and screws are on the left part of my forehead. Of course the cancer couldn’t have developed on the left side where I already have strategically cut bangs (fringe for my UK friends) to marginally cover all that loveliness.

I can live with another scar. If I was going to get cancer, this is the kind I’d vote for. One treatment in the office, some pain and discomfort for some time afterwards, and obviously more sunscreen and sun care. I have no right to complain, but I might do it a little bit while it’s happening. All in all it’s just another “bump” in the road. Carry on!

#basalcellcarcinoma #skincancer #scars #scarstellstories #IGotThis