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So I Have a Brain Tumor

Don't freak out.

The good news is, it's not cancer.

I feel like I need to tell everyone that right away.

Not. Cancer.

I also keep telling people it's not that big of a deal. Because, in all reality, it's not. It's a very small deal. 4mm to be exact. Just a tiny little deal that's affixed to my pituitary.

I'm not sure how long it's been there. My guess? A long time. Judging by my ongoing symptoms. But the stress of the past year or so seems to have really punched those symptoms into a whole new galaxy.

Fatigue, brain fog, continuous weight gain (despite working out and eating healthy on a regular basis), inability to lose weight in my chest, pain in my joints and muscles, messed up menstrual cycles, migraines and more.

I was sad. Unnaturally so. I like being happy. I strive to be happy. I chase down happiness with a harpoon and make it my trophy. But it was getting more and more difficult to get out there and hunt for happiness every day. I kept telling people I knew something was wrong.

[And I think that's a really important thing to recognize in yourself. If you know you're not okay, if you know something's not right, please, please, please, go to a doctor. If your doctor isn't interested in listening to you, go to a new one. Keep going. Figure it out. Don't stop until you have answers.]

My first couple of doctor visits were incredibly discouraging. They did blood work and listened to my symptoms and sent me out the door with a, "Well, you're fat and tired." Because when you put on double digit pounds between doctor visits, they look at you with professional disbelief as you tell them you do eat healthy and exercise.

I can't even begin to explain to you the frustration with working out and having every workout feel like it was my first. There was no progress, no real muscle growth, absolutely no weight loss.

And the harder I tried, the worse it got.

Until I finally went to an endocrinologist in Sioux Falls. I was referred by my dad and brother who both have Hashimotos. I thought maybe that would be my answer. I mean, why not? Both my dad and brother have it, we have very similar symptoms. It makes sense.

So this new doctor ran all new tests. Within a couple of days he had scheduled an MRI.

Because. Tumor.

After years of feeling like I was just crazy, everything was suddenly moving very fast. I had a doctor who not only believed me when I said something was wrong, he was excited to help me figure out what it was. Though I can't say I was super happy about thinking it might be a brain tumor.

But then, two days ago, I got the results.


So much friggin' relief it was unexpected.

And while the problem really is (literally) in my head, I'm not crazy.

After so many years of blaming myself and trying to fix the problem on my own, I have this thing that is wreaking havoc with my brain and body.

So, the is my life with prolactinoma. I start cabergoline tomorrow and I'm excited. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it's the truth. I'm looking forward to fighting back now in the right way. I don't think it's going to be easy. In fact, I expect it to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I'm going to keep writing. The stories may just take longer for a little while. (Brain fog is no joke, yo.) I'm not going to let a little tiny brain tumor stop me from chasing my dreams. But I do ask for your patience. You've all been so amazingly faithful to me and my stories. It's overwhelming at times when I think about the love you've shared with my words and with me and with each other. I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.

So, don't freak out.

Everything is going to be fine. I promise.

Some days will be harder than others, but I'm more than willing to put in the work to make this the best life I can.

One more adventure.

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