Author Topic: glad that damn thing is gone  (Read 4973 times)


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glad that damn thing is gone
« on: October 27, 2006, 02:11:18 am »
Eventhough the chances of getting one of these AN's is 1 to 100,000(maybe even more under 30) according to some website, I actually feel really good about things.  I can honestly say I never had a pity party or thought "why me?" or "poor me".  Well maybe for a second, but not really.  I don't mean to brag, but I never cried thru this whole ordeal.  And i'm a very emotional person.  Hell, I get a little misty eyed at the end of home alone...LOL.  But I can truly say, that I can now stop and smell the roses so to speak.

I guess any near death experience can make you feel this way. Being more appreciative of life. Although, I have more problems now than I ever did, i'm actually more optimistic about life in general.  I used to be on Zoloft for anxiety.  And yes, I used to get anxious, nervous and occasionally depressed.  I don't really feel that way anymore.  I think over time, I learned some coping skills, plus after this whole AN thing, I think it really made me have a better perspective on life.

Being sick, I found out how much my parents really cared for me.  I mean they always cared for me, but they never expected that something like an AN can come crashing down on our world.  But in all honesty, it was better for both me and them.  I know I realized how much they cared and didnt take as much for granted anymore.  I realized they're good people, even if my Mom is a professional worrier.  But then again, if she wasn't so cautious, matters may have been worse.

Also, I realized about how my friends and co-workers really cared for me.  And even my employer! not to mention some of the other top ranking officials at my work place.  My ex-girlfriend really didnt care though.  She was so alarmed at first and so caring about things, but it seemed like when the **** hit the fan, where was she?  Oh well. I still have the "just a cyst then?" stuck in my head.  How heartbreaking it was at first, but I really realized how much my friends were the ones who really cared.  And I learned to appreciate them more as well.  I used to think, what happens if I disappered for awhile?  Or who would care if I'm dead?  But I stand corrected.  The sicker you get  the wiser you get, realizing you really know who cares.

I'm grateful cause things could've been a lot worse.  I don't suffer from headaches, Tinnitus, speech issues and all the other horrible things I may have forgot to mention.  Sometimes I get numbness on my face, weird eye feelings, a sharp pain behind my eye, weird involuntary movements of my face near the eye, I can't chew on the right side, I drink from a straw, my face droops, my balance is f-ed up(slowly improving), i'm deaf in one ear and at night sometimes, I suffer from a type of post-traumatic stress...but these are all things that come with the territorry, as you more than well know.

Most of it is getting better.  With ambition and a good attitude towards my goals, im certain that some of these things won't bother me or will get better with time and hard work. I must say I was really moved by the people in here too.  I know i'm kinda treatin this post as a journal,  I'm sorry.  I just want to get across that even with certain mishaps and some permanent issues, I am very happy to be alive.   I can really say that it was the first day of the rest of my life.

Son of Chrissmom
23 Years Old
AIM is the best way to contact me
5.3 x 4 cm tumor removed by surgery(2 times)
Dr. Arriaga and Dr. Baghai Pittsburgh Allegheny Hospital
Post Op as of 7/20/06


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2006, 04:38:30 am »
Beautifully written - Life does go on, & if you can get thru this, well, the world is your oyster.   You have alot more insight than others your age.  Keep the faith, Nancy
2.2cm length x 1.7cm width x 1.3cm  depth
retrosigmoid 6/19/06
Gold weight 7/19/06, removed 3/07
lateral tarsel strip X3
T3 procedure 11/20/07
1.6 Gm platinum weight 7/10/08
lateral canthal sling 11/14/08
Jones tube insert right inner eye 2/27/09
right facial paralysis
good to go.


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2006, 04:56:26 am »

It's been 9 years , but neither Chet nor myself have forgotten how truly lucky we are.  Sometimes it's hard for others to understand, but when these tumors become as large as your's and Chet's it does become a life and death balance.  We both know how close both of you came.  When you come that close, it changes your perspective for the better. Well at least most of the time, we're all allowed a few down days!!!!

Chris know that as some people leave your life, others will come into your life that will take a special place in your life.  Some of the people that I thought we could count on bolted pretty fast, others, that I least expected stepped in and filled the the void.  I was and still am amazed.

Chris continue to believe.  I know how rough some days are.  I also know how hard you've worked to be where you are today.  No matter the many outcomes ( Chet has many of the sames ones you mentioned) you are not a "horror story"  but a work in progress.  In this life we may never know all of the reasons but answers will come in another time and place. 

Chris, i have always believed in positive good, even in negative situations,  I also believe that there are gifts to be found along this journey if we look hard enough.  I do believe that you are finding some of your special gifts.   Knowing, the road that you are traveling i have got to tell you how proud I am of you!!!!

Big Hugs
Raydean and Chet

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2006, 12:49:38 pm »
Hi Chris,

I enjoyed reading your post too. Nothing like a brush with death to make you appreciate your family, friends and other support people in your life. It just sort of lets you know what is important and not important.  I think you should collaborate with Chelsea and Taylor and write a book!  Three different people, three different stories, three different lives affected by the dreaded AN.  I wrote for the high school newspaper and for a while on a college paper, and even with my limited experience,  I smell a great feature story here. 

Sue in Vancouver
Sue in Vancouver, USA
 2 cm Left side
Diagnosed 3/13/06 GK 4-18-06
Gamma Knife Center of Oregon
My Blog, where you can read my story.

The only good tumor be a dead tumor. Which it's becoming. Necrosis!
Poet Lorry-ate of Goode


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2006, 01:20:08 pm »
that was gorgeous chris!! i couldnt put it into words better! none of us asked for an AN, but it turned out to be a blessing to have one in a way. It opened my eyes to SOOOO much. I feel the exact same way as you and to give just a preview of what I appreciate more now was the other day i was driving home with my mom and I almost cried at how beauitful the sunset was. Before I probably wouldn't have even noticed it. Also how you said you found out who really cares. My dad sent emails everyday to folks back home to keep them updated on my progress and watching the list of people grow and grow made me feel so loved that I couldn't imagine not coming out of the hospital! The day I got home my recovery room(downstairs) was decorated beyond beliefe with posters of famous quotes, pictures, and this extra long piece of paper for anyone who came to visit me sign it with their thoughts. That poster is full! My friends come home from college like every weekend and my parents watch a movie with me EVERY night. I just can't believe how much I love everyone and how much support I have throughout this whole thing. The immense amout of cards, flowers, balloons =) ( i know you like those too chris), gift certificates, everything has just showed me the real side of everyone. I have to say too I often wondered what would happen if I was in the hospital or died not thinking it would ever happen, but when it did my loved ones couldnt have come through stronger. I am with you 100% chris!! just remember I am always here for you just like everyone else on this site is!  :) :) :)
Diagnose in June 2006
6+ cm
20-25% still there
Removed after 2 surgeries
went to UCLA in California


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2006, 02:44:53 pm »
thanks for your replies.  I was having regrets this morning that I wrote all that.  I write all kinds of crazy stuff at 4 in the morning.  I'm glad I did though, I had some info I wanted to get across.

By the way, I mentioned Zoloft.  I want you to know i've been off that for 2 years, and I don't recommend that or any other anti-depressant.

Son of Chrissmom
23 Years Old
AIM is the best way to contact me
5.3 x 4 cm tumor removed by surgery(2 times)
Dr. Arriaga and Dr. Baghai Pittsburgh Allegheny Hospital
Post Op as of 7/20/06

Jim Scott

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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2006, 03:42:42 pm »
Well written and very astute for one so young.  Well, 'young' to me, anyway. :)  Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. 

A life-threatening medical condition, like the discovery of a huge AN tumor, certainly does focus one's thoughts and re-arrange our priorities.  It did for me.  My wife was the absolute rock of compassion, help and concern that I had expected - but I was still gratified to have her literally (and figuratively) 'by my side' the whole time, including 72 straight hours in the hospital before, during and following my surgery.  She didn't go home until the third day following my surgery.  My friends were also very supportive and with me all the way.  5 of them came to 'see me off' (to surgery)  - at 6:00 A.M. on a Wednesday morning!  Even my physicians were not only excellent in their specialities, but, far from being cold, detatched professionals, turned out to be very caring and compassionate people.  I did make some new friends through the process of discovery, surgery and recovery and this website has been a big part of that.  Through this message board, I was able to encourage and occasionally advise others.  I was even able to recommend my medical team to another AN patient in my area who read one of my posts here and contacted me via PM.  He was very satisfied after meeting my doctors and is now a patient of the same radiology oncologist that supervised my post-op radiology treatment, which was totally successful.    Naturally, I wish him well. 

The 'AN experience' is actually beneficial in some ways - as Chelsea affirmed - because - as we go through the experience it helps us appreciate the people and the world around us.  I love my wife more than ever after seeing her deep concern and her ready abandonment of her routine and her plans as she stayed with me for every doctor visit, every test, the long surgery and of course, the recovery, which she very much helped facilitate.  My friends were also forthcoming with sincere good wishes in many forms: from cards to calls to visits and I appreciate them a lot more than I used to.  I even heard from some folks that I never expected to hear from - distant acquaintances, really.  That was a pleasant surprise.  Overall, not only do I appreciate the people around me more than I once did but I appreciate my life a whole lot more, for good reason. 

Yes, like you, Chris, I'm also happy to be alive and - relatively - well.   Life is good for me, too.  :)


« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 04:26:31 pm by Jim Scott »
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.


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Re: glad that damn thing is gone
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 06:31:08 pm »

You have a very well-written letter.  You put down in words many of the things that I am feeling after my surgery.  I too often wondered if anyone would care if I were here anymore.  I found out that a lot of people would care.  I had my husband there with me the whole time.  He was a great support (and still is).  Even though I'm older (I was 42 when I had my surgery) my parents were both very supportive during this time.  My dad even brought me chocolate milk when I mentioned that I was wanting some.  :-) 

Although it would have been nice to not have had an AN I am happy that I've been able to come through this as well as I have.  I'm back at work and doing all that I did before surgery.  People just can't see that I'm smiling about it yet.

translab on 3.5+ cm tumor
September 6, 2005
Drs. Friedland and Meyer
Milwaukee, WI
left-side facial paralysis and numbness
TransEar for SSD