Tonight I’m off to get an MRI and MRA to check on the status of my brain aneurysm – whoop! One year ago a surgeon filled my brain with platinum, (the procedure is called “coiling”), in order to keep my aneurysm from bursting – eek! I was actually very lucky because when I was in the hospital for cancer treatment my doctors accidentally stumbled upon my aneurysm while scanning my body. Who said cancer doesn’t have a silver lining?!
I always come prepared to these scans with a pocketful of pills. Lying in an enclosed, small space for 45 minutes while the MRI machine pounds you with loud noises – which sound like punk rock combined with power tools – is not ideal for anxious types like myself. Six months ago at my last brain scan, several poor souls in the waiting room started to freak out with nervousness. The nurse told them that they should have asked their doctors for a sedative before coming to their appointment – nice! I was tempted to share my stash with them, but since I’m not completely insane I didn’t. Personally I think the waiting room should come equipped with a Chill Pill dispenser. The pills, or “dolls” as I like to call them (watch “Valley of The Dolls” if you haven’t already), could be kept in this fabulous canister by Jonathan Adler:
To shop his whole selection:
I can now officially say that I have a sparkly brain! On Wednesday I had my brain aneurysm “coiled” with platinum, so I’m feeling pretty swanky! The surgery went smoothly for which I am very grateful. I only had to spend one night at the hospital and I had the loveliest nurses. But, my God almighty, I have never experienced headaches like that! I spent the night riding waves of intense nausea mixed with the most brutal headaches. They gave me morphine which helped the pain – a bit – but made the nausea worse. And as with all my recent medical experiences, there was an absurd quality to it: the patient next to me had an odd, bedazzled female visitor who was blasting Celine Dion while performing a weird interpretive dance – in an ICU style recovery room – r u kidding me?!
The doctors wrote me a prescription for Percocet to help with my headaches, which are supposed to last for a few days. For some reason I felt deep shame picking up the drugs – I felt like a low-life! I was paranoid that I would become addicted and that I would end up like Nurse Jackie, doing anything to secure my next high. Once home though, the drugs were a godsend and I spent most of the day in a loopy sleep dreaming of Iron Maiden – who were dressed like Wizards! – flying through the sky.
Editor’s Note: A special thanks goes out to my cancer! Had I not been in the hospital being treated for Mesothelioma – where I ended up with “Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome” after a bad reaction to the drug Haldol – I never would have had my brain scanned and my aneurysm would have gone untreated. So thank you Mesothelioma!
You know that expression that God only gives you as much as he thinks you can handle? Well, I think it’s a ridiculous expression. But on the off chance that it’s true, then God must think I am one hardcore broad. Because in addition to dealing with Mesothelioma, (special thanks to Asbestos for giving me this lovely cancer), I also have a Brain Aneurysm to deal with. Fuckety Fuck Fuck.
On days when I am feeling “oh the glass is so very beautifully half full!” I feel extremely lucky that my brain aneurysm was found. Most people don’t even know they have one and then one day they’re walking to the 7-Eleven and – pouf! – they die on the spot. But my brain aneurysm was discovered while I was being treated for Peritoneal Mesothelioma. I forget exactly why they were scanning my head – that whole time in the hospital is a bit of a blur – but they basically stumbled upon it. When my Oncologist told me I was like “ok, whatever!” because I had more pressing issues at the time. But now I’m worried.
On May 18th I go back to the hospital – cue the scary music – to get my aneurysm “coiled.” Basically the surgeon packs the aneurysm with platinum coils which prevents it from bursting. Luckily they don’t have to open up my head lobotomy style – thank you Jesus! Instead they weave a small catheter from my groin all the way up to my brain. Is it just me, or does that seem like something that you would see on The X-Files? I have decided to think of the platinum in my brain as an alternative engagement ring from my partner. Instead of wearing platinum on my finger I am wearing it in my brain.
Intellectually I understand what the operation involves and I trust my amazing Neurologist. But I also have an irrational fear that I will wake up from this operation a changed woman, that I will be turned into some weird Stepford Wife. I will go from a tchotke, sparkle loving collector, to a Plain Jane Minimalist. Or worse, all the things that make me “me” – my many neuroses, my belief that I was a showtune singing Broadway star in a former life, my rule about never leaving the house without lipstick on – will vanish and I will become someone different. I realize that it’s a ridiculous fear, but there is just something about messing around with my brain that freaks me out. It feels like I am about to enter an old episode of The Twilight Zone. Stay Tuned.
You know you have Mesothelioma when having a brain aneurysm is low on your list of things to worry about. LOL.
Last week I totally forgot that I had a brain scan scheduled to see if my aneurysm had grown. My brain aneurysm was discovered accidentally while I was in the hospital last year being treated for Peritoneal Mesothelioma. At the time, I remember my Oncologist coming over to my bedside and saying “okay, this is going to sound worse than it is, but you have a brain aneurysm.” I actually laughed, because what else could I do? It seemed completely insane.
I am lucky enough to be seeing one of Toronto’s top Neurologists who also happens to be super Euro-Chic and wears the most gorgeous Italian loafers. In his lovely accent nothing sounds too scary. If we find out that the aneurysm has grown, then I will have to get a procedure called “coiling,” which for some reason makes me think of 80’s permed hair. Although it’s ridiculous, I like the idea that the doctor who will be putting metal coils in my brain is a sharp dresser. Platinum please.