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Here I am getting geared up to have yet another MRI on Thursday. I hate MRI’s! I’m soooo Claustrophobic!  

In January I was diagnosed with a recurring Tumor in my head. When I got the news the floor nearly fell out from underneath me. It has been 4.5 years since my first surgery to remove the larger than golf ball size Tumor that was jut below my brain which has left me with facial nerve damage, Freys and First Bite Syndromes. I take so many medications they look like meals themselves! I can’t bare another surgery like that! The recovery was so intense and traumatic! Too many people around me trying to tell me what to do as if I wasn’t even in the decision making process. My surgeon and the Tumor Board, both from the University of San Francisco, tell me that a second surgery of this type is very complicated and dangerous. So they feel the best thing is to just watch the tumor grow for now until the best thing is to try to remove it. It’s located next to my carotid artery.

I wake up each day knowing that it’s there, pray that God will take it away, yet I’m still so angry about it.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Oh Denise!  I am so sorry.  I feel your pain.  See my cancer blog to read about the hell I have been feeling. I have stuck to my faith and given my worries to God.  I am in a fight for my life right now and know that one missed meal is deadly so I just keep trying and trying.  Please don’t lose hope.  I need you to feel there’s hope because I need to believe that there is hope for me.  I keep telling myself that when I have my PET scan next month it will be ok and no hotspots will show up.  My tumor was in my jaw and I had my saliva gland removed.  I too have partial facil nerve damage and I’m hoping some feeling returns soon.  Did you have radiation or chemo?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Thank you for your words of encouragement and wisdom. I’ll pray for you. My tumor was in the deep lobe of my perotid gland (saliva gland) I had that whole thing removed. It was not cancerous yet by the time they removed it. I’m very thankful for that. This new tumor is growing much deeper in my head tucked behind my carotid artery. As you know each day seems to bring a new challenge. I know you will get some more of your feeling back if they did not cut or tear any of your nerves.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Both of you strong women will be in my prayers!!!
      Please keep us posted!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Thanks empower.  Sometimes I feel more whinny than warrior.  But Denise I feel silly complaining about my situation when here you are going through something so much scarier.  I’m sorry yours came back but your doctors are going to do everything possible to beat this tumor AGAIN!  I know I don’t have to tell you that you need to question them about everything.  I learned the hard way that our doctors mean well but only you know what is best for you and your tolerance level.  Make them explain everything to you and get as many opinions as you need. After your MRI will they read your results right then or do you have to wait for the follow-up appointment with your radiation oncologist?

      Stay positive because I almost depressed myself to death, literally.  I gave up eating because I was in so much pain.  I had to contend with the stiffness in my jaw and the scars inside of my mouth and throat and couple that with no saliva and taste buds and I was a basket case.  I was not prepared for this and just shut down.  But, I have reached a place of peace and when I have one of my pity moments I reach out to my Church, hubby, family and my fab40 gal pals for encouragement.

      Please reach out to me as often as you need.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Denise,
      I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Don’t let warriorprincess fool you. She is very strong! And so are you! I will pray for you, and pray for wisdom for the doctors to know how to best help you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michele66 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • You are in my prayers



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Denise... your a Ruby.. and Rubies are one of rhe rarest stones in the world.

      If you have to do this.. you must.  I know you dont want to do it again and one is more than enough to endure.

      Just keep saying to yourself your strong and your a Precious Ruby, because you are.  

      Ill pray for you ... my family coat of arms, one of them.. “Hold fast like a wall of bronze“.  

      Your more than a wall of bronze your a beautiful Ruby.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • So many of us have our strength tested. Warriorprincess you are amazing for what you have been through and for what you continue to go through. After my first surgery I couldn’t get my mouth open for 10 weeks. My face on the right side was so numb including my tongue and down my throat that I would choke but didn’t even realize that I was choking because I couldn’t feel it. I don’t make any tears in my right eye now and can’t get my eye all the way closed. I really only notice that when I shampoo my hair or wash my face when soap gets in my eye. So many things I took for granted before.  

      I will pray for all of our Fab40 Sisters that we are strong and safe in our own Battles.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • I forgot to answer your question...I will not get the results of my MRI until later next week. And yes, I ask a lot of questions of my doctors. They don’t get away with anything.
      University of San Francisco Tumor Conference is also following my case.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Yes, we are being tested but we will prevail.  Prayer is powerful. You are my example of what a true warrior should be!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michele66 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Do you come to SF for the test?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • I was told that the Parotid cancer was a rare disease.  But I don’t plan on wearing that badge for long.  I’m confident that you too will shed this label soon.  I’m being followed by Rex and Duke Hospitals in NC.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michele66 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • I wish you the best of luck and will be thinking of you on Friday



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Yes, My husband will be driving me to SF for the MRI because I will have to be sedated. Can’t drive the car afterwards



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michele66 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Well best of luck, and I will be thinking of you on Friday



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michele66 wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • LOL sorry I didn’t think it went through so you got a 2fer



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • I am so fortunate to have connected with someone that has/is suffering with the same thing. Yes this is a very rare disease indeed. I’m so glad that you have a good group following your case. When I had my surgery they cut one of the nerves and then had to graft a section from the greater auricular nerve which means I can’t feel my right ear now and my hearing is diminished as well. What I hate the most about that is I can’t feel my husband kiss my on my ear or that side of my face anymore. In my line of work I do a lot of talking so by the end of the day or if I have to talk longer than 2 hours at length I start having trouble pronouncing words because my lip and tongue get tired from the nerve damage. So many things to accept and make changes in my life for. But very grateful to have a life to make changes with. Just so fearful to have to do this again in the future.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • Oh I am so with you on that.  I cannot feel my hubby’s kisses either and when he forgets to shave, I find my face is tender because his stubble scratched me to pieces.  However, I’m told that some feeling should return or at least partially.  I know I was blessed that fateful day in July because my surgeon tried terribly hard not to damage my nerves and just remove the parotid and saliva glands.  I love him for the effort although he had to leave a margin of cancer behind.  My nerves were scrapped for the full surgery and so I have slight nerve damage and they are still in shock or asleep from the trauma.  I am so sorry that your situation went differently.  However, anything is possible and you can rewrite your chart.  After my surgery, my ENT Surgeon wanted me to take 3 months of disability because he told me I would not be able to work while I was in treatment.  My Oncologist convinced me that I could work the entire 8 weeks of radiation. I am sorry to say he was wrong and I should have taken the advice of my ENT.  I'm due to return to work this Friday.  I'm scared and happy at the same time.  I am nervous because I'm missing 6 teeth from my uppers (cancer & radiation damaged my teeth) and I won't get my dentures until next week.  Ugh! I'm a manager at a CRO and I'm terrified of opening my mouth to talk.  

      So this Friday I will put aside my petty silly worries and pray for my friend.  I pray that Thursday goes well for you and the MRI is quick and you arrive home and come online to tell me how was your day.  If you want to hear the silly stories of my return to work complete with pictures then I'll tell you with all of the details, even the embarrassing ones.  Take care!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Droesch wrote Nov 18, 2008
    • My dear new friend none of your feelings are petty or silly. I totally understand how your are feeling. I didn’t leave my house for the longest time. I had the ugliest scar and my face was so swollen. I talked like I had been drinking non stop for hours because of the numbness. Everyone will be so happy to see you on Friday. I will be praying for you too. I’ll tell you how it all goes for me too.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • Denise and Cherly... you both will be lifted up in prayer.. i am sorry you both have had to go through this stuff.. you are BOTH such STRONG, COURAGEOUS women, and its an honor to be here with you both!

      Give this to God.. He is here for you!
      God Blless
      Linni



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote Nov 19, 2008
    • WOW...What Linni said.  Reading what has gone on between you two has not only given me goosebumps but i feel blessed to have you 2 strong courageous faithful women in my life! I am praying for you both!
      Have a gret day and thank you for the inspiration!
      Friends,
      Ree



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