Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pokes, Prods, and I Don't Knows

We go to our doctors to fix what ails us; so when we hear the words, "I don't know what's going on", it's particularly disturbing. I've heard these words quite a few times in recent months. Not only do I have a rare tumor, the presentation of my tumor is a-typical. So naturally it should come as no surprise to me that I am once again baffling my doctors.
On Monday night I began having an odd pain on the right side of my neck and shoulder. I asked Nate to please massage the area for me and of course he lovingly obliged. The next morning the area was swollen and it was so tender to the touch that a massage would have been unbearable. Before my radiation treatment I informed the nurses what was going on and they had the on call physician take a look at me. After speaking to my doctor, they agreed that it was unwise to proceed with radiation without first finding out what was causing the pain and inflammation. A blood test and an MRI were ordered for today.
Last night was probably the most difficult night I've experienced so far. I was in so much pain that Nate and I were contemplating if we could find a way to prop me up so I would be in a sitting position and still be able to sleep. Eventually we opted for a mixture of Benadryl and Percocet and I was finally able to be comfortable enough to get some rest. At 6am we were up to head back to UM to get my blood work done. My doctor happened to be in early so I stopped in to see him as well. He said that he's never seen anything like what's going on with me for the type of tumor I have and the amount of radiation I am receiving (which is a low dose due to the location of my tumor). He decided that we should put the radiation on hold until we find out if whatever is going on is a result of the tumor, the radiation, or something else entirely. We agreed that we would speak on the phone tomorrow after he's had a chance to review the results of the MRI. At 4 pm I was off to do my MRI with and without contrast which meant that I had the pleasure of receiving two injections today. Two and a half hours later I emerged from what has been the smallest MRI machine I've been in to date.
When I got home my step-mom and I were examining my shoulder and neck area.  The best way I can describe it is to say that it looks like one of those people in an exorcist type movie where you cringe looking at the way their body is contorting (ouch is an understatement).  Luckily that's not going to be the explanation for whatever is going on here.  *I laugh to myself a little thinking see, it could always be worse.
In summary, I've had my fill of pokes and prods to last me a while and I'm ready to hear something, anything other than, "I don't know what's going on." But on the bright side, all these injections have made me much less afraid of needles.  All in all I'm hanging in there and I'm tyring my best to be what Nate believes me to be.  Whenever he knows that it's going to be a rough day, he makes me laugh and says, "Don't worry babe, you're tough."  I don't know if I'm tough but I know my tumor is so I better bring my A game or at least put on my fighting face and tell this tumor that it's in for one heck of a fight!


  1. Ahh Mari!

    As parents we wish we could take the place of our children when they are experiencing hardship and pain. I know your mom, dad, and Ili feel that way! We continue to pray very specifically for healing for you, discernment for your doctors, and peace for your family. I wish there was more I could do....Hang in there-soon you will be dancing at your wedding and this will be a memory of a life challenge that made you an even better person. Your Nate sounds wonderful-He's right-you are tough! I don't know many people that would show such grace, dignity, and faith during a time like this.

  2. Mari (Katica) - this is Carlos Cueto. I pray for you everyday!!!! Hang in there! You haven't hit a wall, just a huge step that will launch you's just that from the current view-angle, it looks like a mountain. God Bless YOU Always!


  3. Hey Mari, what a touching post. And yes, sometimes zingers come your way, unfortunately this is a huge one. I will continue to pray for you, that you feel better soon and all of this (all of it) disappears. Meanwhile may God continue to give you the grace, courage, wisdom and sense of serenity (and sense of humor). Much love, Teri

  4. Baby, as much as I have worried about your pain for the last week and texted Ili daily to find out progress, reading your post was so always really bring a new meaning to the phrase: "al mal tiempo, buena cara" your sense of inner strength and courage is truly inspiring to us all, who stand behind you and send you our love, prayers and much good energy...God bless you sweetheart....and may your angels continue to watch over you....Susy

  5. Lourdes, thank you so much! Your thoughts and prayers mean the world to me!

    Carlos, thank you so much! It does Look like a mountain...but I'm climbing more and more everyday! :-)

    Teri, thank you so much! The prayers are working!

    Susy, thank you so much! The angels have kicked it into overdrive! I truly feel the love and support!