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TSgt Tacka: Life, Family,&the Tumor

$3,250 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 6 months
Hi everyone, Jannette here.  I wasn't able to focus very well, think of the correct words, multi-task, etcetera  following my surgery to remove the tumor; hence, the narrative below written by my fellow airman.  Basically, I had a slow growing meningioma on my right frontal lobe for years (unable to tell me how long) caused by possible radiation exposure (again they aren't sure about the extent), I'm just now beginning to process the death of my Mother, death of my AFR Major and over six months of my life where I slowly lost the ability to function and was suicidal several times (saved only by not having a weapon in my immediate vicinity or not wanting to do that to my family).  Prior to my tumor surgery, I was still driving but would run out of gas or drive hours in the wrong direction, they believed I was close to having seizures (so lucky not to have had any; especially, with my children in the car).  As I recover, I don't remember most of the months prior to my surgery. Yesterday I had a radiation consult and the doctor offered a study where randomly you're offered radiation or the watch and wait approach. If I don't enter the study ASAP then I'll miss out. I called Dana Farber to get any advice but they couldn't assist me until they see me in March. I'm lucky to have insurance so wasn't anxious about not participating in the study.
Good news: the neurologist didn't find any dead brain tissue during the tumor removal and I'll continue to improve, the previously mentioned symptoms  slowly subsiding. .  Also, the collection calls have stopped, I'm on a budgeted payment schedule (with some collectors) hope to improve my credit score steadily over time.
Bad news: tumor will return  Grade 2 or 3, all I can do is MRI and wait.
Great news: I'm alive and continually working towards having the best quality of life possible! I'm blown away by all the love and support we've received,  wish so many of you weren't so far away (what I get for moving to Maine, right?). Our Christmas wouldn't have been possible without y'all and the many friends and family who bought the girls presents thank you. I'm looking forward to seeing the joy in my home Christmas morning. Thank you all Happy Holidays! Also, please let me know if I can do anything for you  we always have a seat at our table, don't be shy, life is too short!

Original post:
I am a veteran mother of three loving children and I have run into a series of unfortunate events, due to which I am struggling. Struck in February with the terrible event of my mother's passing, my world had been turned. I noticed a change in my day to day life. It seemed like all of the problems of my entire life were crashing on me at once.

I felt like after 18 years of military service in the Navy and Air Force, as a Radio Man, Information System Technician and Ophthalmic technician, I would have the bearing to deal with these changes and emotions, but I found every day tasks to be difficult. I was unable to work the job that I had been thriving in for years. People in my life noticed some change but they associated it with my loss.

My wonderful husband had finally decided for me and the sake of my family that I needed to checked out and given medical attention. Misfortune struck again, my emotions and feelings received validation. In September, I was diagnosed with a grade two meningioma, the size of a baseball in my right frontal lobe.  It had been there for years. 

I was rushed into brain surgery the next day, and it was successful; every bit of it was removed! But the tumor will return in the next two years as grade two or grade three. I hope I can endure another battle. 
The military is providing me with some financial support, but the medical bills are growing and my financial reserves that I have been saving for years are gone. I can't return to work. I need to support my family, three children, including my oldest who will be attending Florida State to fufill his dreams of being a director, whom I am so proud. 

I am an independent woman who has worked hard all my life to achieve where I am, but I have found myself in a place of desperation for help from my friends, family, supporters of the miltary, those whom have lost loved ones to cancer, and those who empathize with family's predicament . I know everyone has struggles; thank you for taking the time to read my brief story.
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We hope you've had a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you again for your caring assistance, just quick update: I transitioned my Term Life Insurance to Whole Life, started tapering off the depression meds, and feel a little more capable every day; despite my short term memory still being an issue. Being married to a man who doesn't care that I have scars on my head that will never grow hair doesn't hurt either. Yes, another silly thing in the grand scheme of things. We are blessed to know you all and again thank you.
Thanksgiving 2017
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Well, I wrote a long update and then my phone died and nothing was saved. Bottom line: "Don't let a person with a brain tumor do your finances". Saw my psychiatrist and getting tapered off the depression meds, going to see what is really surgery recovery vs medication induced. Things are still foggy,memory issues, fatigue, etc. Yes, increased the goal, discovered we didn't have auto insurance for several months this summer had to pay off that policy and start a new one. Glad able to pay off the gas and electric bills plus several medical ones. Racking them up prior to surgery between PCP visits, counselor, two psychiatrists, QuickCare visit for what I thought was a ruptured eardrum (really pressure from tumor). Okay, I'll stop now but I really do appreciate all of you who have come out to help us. Bless you all and you too anonymous.
Most PG version of my craniotomy scar
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Today I spoke with Dana Farber and we agreed to wait until my next MRI is done - around March and I'll bring the disc with me to my appointment. They have several trials being conducted and they will tailor treatment based on the tumors pathology. In the meantime, a portion of the tumor is being requested by them to run tests. This Fund is giving me the hope and strength to fully pursue all my options and I appreciate each and every donation. Crazy before we knew I had a tumor my PCP caught me before I left an appointment and asked if I needed money for gas since Kevin had called and told her I was running low. My pride got in the way and I told her I was fine, I then ran out of gas half a mile from my house. Today I filled the gas tank and it is silly how good that made me feel but yes, it felt good. Thank you everyone!
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Jannette here: I spent six months prior to having my tumor removed in September battling what I believed to be depression and anxiety associated with the passing of my Mother and Air Force Major in close succession to each other. My symptoms worsened and progressed to migraines, vomiting and disorientation. I made an absolute mess of our finances in the months prior to my surgery and am still playing catch-up while receiving 60% disability. I am thankful for my husband, Kevin, who advocated for me and pushed the ER staff to give me a brain scan. I am also blessed to have some really caring friends and my wonderful military family. Much Love!
Our Girls
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Raised by 34 people in 6 months
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