￼Hello everyone! For those that don't know my story I became an undercover police officer's widow at the age of 31. Tommy had a massive stroke and died in my arms on the very first night we moved into our dream home.
I have been ill all of my life and in my 20s I could no longer stand up without feeling like I was hit in the head with a brick. A local neurosurgeon diagnosed me with a spontaneous spinal fluid leak requiring surgery which is very rare. It didnt help that much so after seeing 20 doctors who misdiagnosed me with migraine, tension headaches and rebound headaches in 2004 I found some experts in NY who finally diagnosed me correctly with a Chiari Malformation. A Chiari Malformation is where the back of my skull didn't grow enough and caused my brain to be squished and pushed out of my skull and into my neck clogging it completely so no spinal fluid could flow...none! Imagine squeezing toothpaste and that's what happened to the bottom of my brain. In 2005 I required an 8 hour brain surgery in hopes of halting my debilitating symptoms and the progression of them.. I was a legal assistant who aided Attorney General Narcotics Agents as well as Pa State Police in their investogations of drug dealers as well as handle the Grand Juries and prosecutions of the drug dealers we arrested. I loved my job! I especially loved the people I worked with! I had even gone back to college at night while working full time to get my Criminal Justice degree so I could become an undercover narcotics agent. Anyway, besides the daily horrible Chiari symptoms I was facing very bad ptsd and depression for many, many years. I fought my way out of the PTSD and depression! The Chiari surgery didn't help my symptoms at all and I was then further diagnosed with Chronically Raised Intra Cranial Pressure. I was dealing with all of this as a young widow.
Then in the Spring of 2016, due to worsening symptoms I was diagnosed with a petroclival meningioma brain tumor. Mine is basically dead center and left of my brain stem. It compresses my brain stem, cranial nerves, is wrapped around my carotid artery in my brain, enters my cavernous sinus and Meckel's Cave, left auditory canal, and is on my optic nerve junction, etc. I know...a whole lotta big medical terms that are hard to understand. I apologize for that! I underwent another 8 hour brain surgery at UPENN in Philadelphia in June 2016. My doctor, Dr. Grady
could hardly remove any of the pretty large for its location brain tumor. It's in such a dangerous place Dr. Grady only took a little bit off my brain stem. Which that is a BIG deal but so much of the tumor is left because of the very dangerous places he (Stupid Steve lol) is. The debilitating side effects like paralysis, dementia, etc and even death were too high. So, he had to stop. Which now means I have an inoperable brain tumor that can start growing or turn malignant at any minute in the middle of my brain. After surgery Dr. Grady told me that if I didn't do surgery, I'd be back on his table in a year. So, lol In December of 2016 I underwent 5 days of Cyberknife Radiosurgery. T hey hit my brain with 205 beams of radiation an hour a day. The docs just want it to stop growing! The tumor causes me severe and constant headaches, severe dizziness that is so bad I no longer drive and can't even walk to the bathroom without holding onto something or running into dressers, cabinets, countertop edges, etc. I get a lot of bruises from it. I also fall from the dizziness. I have severe bouts of nausea and vomitting, blurry vision, left ear hearing problems with constant pressure changes, ringing and closing up, near syncope (passing out), I will know what word I want to say but the wrong one will come out, my short term memory is almost gone completely, and the scariest...I have Absent Seizures (they used to be classified as petite mal seizures) when they hit it's like I'm gone! The lights are on but nobody's home type of thing and I never remember them. The tumor is pressing on some cranial nerves that have caused the left side of my nose, cheek and eyebrow area to go numb, my dizziness also causes me to need help walking everywhere and even getting dressed. I can't even cook for myself anymore or grocery shop I went to one of the best neurosurgeons in the country and all he could get out was a tiny bit. The tumor is deep within my brain so it's a dangerous tumor. lt could start regrowing at any minute (and eventually they do) and cause new and more dangerous symptoms and more life threatening surgeries at any minute. Or the radiation I had could create a new brain tumor and one that's more aggressive and/or malignant. I am so sick 24/7 I am basically bed ridden.
Just this October I had to have another surgery because I had another tumor in my left maxillary sinus that was so big it was completely filling my sinus and since it ran out of room it had to expand so it was squishing my eyeball. During surgery they found another tumor in my right maxillary sinus but the surgeon would have had to cut my lip and break more facial bones, so he decided I had already been through enough and ended the surgery. He will frequently scan it for growth and any look of it turning cancerous.
Just to add more pain and anguish to my life I had a bad reaction to my meds a few weeks ago that made me hallucinate and jump out of a window in my house. I had to be lifeflighted to a better hospital it was that serious. FYI be careful....the prescribed med that did this to me is called Baclofen. It is a muscle relaxer. Well, it mixed with my Benadryl and sent my brain into toxic levels causing hallucinations and all kinds of dangerous body levels we need to survive. I was in the hospital for a week and they weren't sure if I would come back to ever being me. I fought like crazy mentally to come back and God helped me accomplish it too. Now I am glad to be back but I am also saddled with medical copays that are too much for me only being on SIS. (long story why I didn't get SSDI that I legitimately deserved. My attorney Carolyn Amber treated me terribly, took most of my backpay and also lost a slam dunk case)
NOW, I am still behind on my property taxes and need to pay at least the money listed as the goal to stay off the sheriff's sale list to lose my house. That "goal" amount does not include all of the medical bills for my hospital stay and my continued and soon trips to my radiation oncologist to see if my brain tumor has grown. If it has, I face more radiation, chemo or a very dangerous brain surgery (way more dangerous than before). Also to see my ENT about my last surgery and the new tumor. None of that is covered by insurance. Except the docs, but the copay is too high for me to handle. The trip itself costs $150 without the docs.
So, I hate "begging" for money again but a good friend of mine said you need help, try to get it anywhere you can.
Thank you everybody who donated for me to get my radiation and to help with property taxes in the past. More than anything, thank you for all of your prayers, love and support through all of this. Without that, I couldn't even continue to keep fighting.