TSgt Tacka: Life, Family,&the Tumor

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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Organizer

Jannette Tacka 
Organizer
Portland, ME
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