As a mom my health has become secondary. I took Logan to the doctor’s and the secretary said “I can’t remember if we are seeing both of you, or just Logan today.” I said well since you asked I do have a question for the doctor, can he see us both? That is how this whole situation started. I though that I had a simple little question about a couple of random head pains. From the Doctor’s initial reaction I could tell that maybe it was a little more serious than I thought, and he ordered a CT scan.
Fast forward 6 weeks, and I find myself back in the same office. But now I know that I have a brain tumor, and surprisingly my doctor has no clue. How on earth is that even possible you ask? Well my CT scan came back while my GP was on vacation, and his locum called me in for a follow-up. As luck would have it another patient was having a baby during my appointment time and he cancelled my appointment to deliver a baby. It was sort of a good thing because I would have found out about Timmy the Tumor on Friday March 13th. Since we all know that bad things happen on Friday the 13th it would have been quite fitting, but it really would have freaked me right out. It was also the day before Sasha’s 6th birthday party and I would have been a disaster.
My appointment was rescheduled for the next week, and was cancelled again when the locum had the flu (for the entire week). I get it you see sick people all day, but honestly there is a thing called a flu shot, maybe as a doctor you should get one.
So after two cancelled appointments my GP is back from vacation and has no clue why I am here to see him. After I inform him that I am here because I have a brain tumor, he panics. I have a book filled with questions but he can’t seem to get past the diagnosis. He is clearly in shock. Maybe it’s because he knows that I have kids, maybe it’s because I have been his patient for 7 years, maybe it’s because he has never had to tell someone that they have a brain tumor. Or maybe it’s because this is totally freaking serious. I quickly realize that this situation isn’t good. I take control of the appointment and get the answers to the questions I have. I am calmer than the doctor, and I am the one with the brain tumor.
I was hoping that the visit to the doctor would ground me a bit more, that I might find a sense of peace about the situation. But I left shaking my head. I am not worried about my care, I will advocate for my best interest. I feel like I have a couple of the best secret weapons in my back pocket. When I got the initial diagnosis standing in the emergency department hallway, I didn’t panic. I planned. And I asked for help. I called the person that I knew would be able to give me the straight goods. My sister-in-law is a fancy type of doctor who has been an incredible resource for us. If you are reading this Sanja, thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t even have words to express the gratitude I have. I think the scariest part of this whole thing is not knowing what’s going to happen next. It gives me tremendous “piece of mind” to know that there is someone that is super knowledgeable a phone call away. As I mutter my way though the medical system I am confident that I will get the care I need because I will demand it.
But here is a lesson to all of the parents out there that don’t make time for themselves, who fit in their needs around those of their children, make the time. You are important too. Your kids need you to be healthy so you can take care of them. If you have been putting off a doctor’s appointment because it’s just not convenient, do us both a favour and make that appointment.
Sarah, I almost fell over when I came across your recent blog posts. I keep wanting to reach out but don’t know what to say to help. But I have to tell you, the way you express yourself and work through this process is amazing! Finding out you have a brain tumor is traumatic to say the least but you are so strong, grounded and inspirational. I will wake up each day and be aware, take things in and be present and enjoy the people around me because we never know when everything will be pulled out from under our feet. Life moves too fast and it’s too easy to forget about what really matters. Thinking of you everyday and sending well wishes. Shannon 💜
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