My Brain Tumor Recovery

Hi. My name is Beth. I'm asking for help because I'm still recovering from a Brain Tumor, as well as it's profound effect on my body. It's been very difficult making ends meet (medical bills, etc), and I'm not accustomed to asking for help, but my situation's become desperate. I haven't been able to work a 'regular' job... sitting or standing too long hurts... some days I can't walk, or need my walker, and I get worn out easy. The money I raise will aid me in paying down the debts to hospitals, rehab facilities, doctors... keep my health insurance, buy food and pay part of my bills. I'd be very grateful for any help I get... Thank you for your time, attention, and hopefully your help. May you be blessed :) To give you a better idea of what's been going on, I've put a detailed 'Timeline' below... It's long, but for good reason. You can learn more about me, personally, later on the page. 2018 On June 9, 2018, I was in my kitchen, putting food away, and tried to step over a grocery bag. When I tried to lift my left leg, it didn't work... nothing worked. I remember stumbling, falling... slamming my head on my oak table, then hitting the chair, like a pinball, before hitting the floor... unable to move. I don't know if I passed out... can't remember. I do remember being scared I was going to die on my dining room floor. It was like my whole body just... it wasn't there... I couldn't feel it. I live alone & no one heard me yelling for help. I wanted to live. I prayed, then drug my self from the dining room to my phone, in the living room... it was dead. I plugged it in, passed out, and when I came to, called 911... it was nearly 2 days later. I went to the hospital, and they tested for stroke, aneurysm, etc... all negative. Then they said "We see something we don't like", and gave me an MRI. I was diagnosed with a Meningioma Brain Tumor. It was a rare, aggressive tumor that was 3cm & crushing my spinal cord (where the brain & it join). The doctor said it had been growing for about 10 years, and the nerve damage is causing 98% of my medical issues. Then the bombshell... I'd die if it wasn't removed. My body would start shutting down, I'd go into a coma, and I'd die. Needless to say, I completely freaked out. The doctor came back a little later, and explained the surgery would be extremely risky. Because the tumor was tangled with my spinal cord & nerves, as well as pressing on my brain stem, I might be permanently paralyzed. He was brutally honest... I agreed to the surgery. It turns out he was my Neurosurgeon, wrote the book on these tumors, and he was personally performing my surgery. I was admitted to the hospital early the morning of June 12, and kept in the hospital to stabilize me & start steroid treatment for the tumor. Then I got transferred to a Acute Care facility, to get my strength back, about a week later. I was to be released from the facility June 24 to await surgery at home. Big problem... My condo isn't handicap accessible & I live alone. I called my son & told him I was scared to go home, but had to (couldn't pay to stay in a facility). Thankfully, my son flew in from the Seattle area, the day before I was released, to take care of me. He's awesome for dropping everything, and I can't begin to express how much the things he did meant to me. I'm proud he's my son :) He's also the reason I have many of the photos shown below (wheelchair, surgical site (post-op) & the neglect). June/July 2018 I had to sleep in my wheelchair... couldn't get up from my bed, couch or chairs.  The evening of June 29, I was in my wheelchair, when I suffered a massive muscle spasm, and tipped over my chair, hitting my head very hard on the floor. Ironically, the photo above was taken about 30 min before it happened... I was resting while my son took a shower. I was admitted to the hospital, and they finally agreed with me that I needed medical supervision. I was sent to prepare for surgery in a Nursing/Rehab facility on July 1. After a few days there, I experienced being neglected, and started to get sores. Friday, July 13, 2018... Surgery day... I was almost completely paralyzed on my left side, had lost most of the use of my right side, and I could barely lift my head. Graphic Content Warning: There are a few photos that are gross. They show the sutured area of my neck/head, and the physical results of the neglect I suffered in a nursing home (horrific bed sore & sores on my back). I don't name the facilities I was in, for my own protection, or people I dealt with, for their privacy. Post Op My neurosurgeon said he got nearly the whole tumor (99.7%) & didn't recommend chemo... he didn't think it'd grow back. Yay!!! I remember thanking him, and telling him, "I knew it'd be ok, and you'd do great... I had Faith God was working through your hands."  My head was misshapen & throbbing, and I was still very weak, but could move my arms, legs & hands, and was able to sloppily feed my self the next day. I was ecstatic!!! I even took this selfie!!!  I insisted on starting PT & OT, right away, and was sent to a Nursing/Rehab facility to recover on the 15th... 2 days after surgery. It was the same one as before, and I was treated poorly there. GRAPHIC CONTENT I was handled roughly, and neglected... causing the serious bedsores shown below. I could barely move, and they left me laying on a blood soaked pad for several hours (7+), despite my pleas. An assistant nurse was appalled & took a photo.  My son told me sores were starting to form on my back, and took the photo below. Both were taken July 16. I had to get out of there!  My Neurosurgeon saw how badly I'd been neglected & had me transferred to a much better facility the 17th. Thanks for saving me twice, Doc :) The people at the new facility, and at the last facility I was in, were amazing. I came home, with limited ability to walk, Sept. 9, and was assigned a Visiting Nurse, PT Specialist, and OT Specialist. I was deemed to be doing well enough to be on my own Oct 5, 2018. My spirits are high, and I'm healing... I'm having rough time due to nerve damage, and the lingering effects from the whole ordeal. I'm trying to get disability, but may not be able to... I need to pay bills. About Me I'm a self-employed Artist with 40+ years experience crafting jewelry, weaving, wire wrapping... using my hands is my life. Here's a photo of me selling my jewelry & crafting supplies, at a Spring Bazaar, in April 2016. Creating things & teaching are my passion & livelihood :)  I'm stubborn, from sturdy stock, and have Faith, Grit & Determination to be good as new. Here's a photo of me on September 14th... Standing... A triumphant photo :)  I'm weaving, doing macrame & started beading, again... it's great OT. I also do a lot of PT exercises daily, and am walking more. My face & head are shaped different, I get pains in my body & headaches, and my vision for reading was affected, but I keep on truckin'. Here's a pic of me on 5/6/19, with a new macrame project draped around my neck.  I hope to be able to create my intricate Hand Crafted Jewelry soon... hands still have issues. I'm working diligently to get better, and am looking for a job that works with my limitations. I'd love to get my jewelry & craft business going again... It would work perfectly with my recovery. It'd also enable me to teach crafting, again, and to branch out to helping patients with brain injuries (stroke, trauma, etc)... I call it Artistic OT. Thanks for reading my page... I'm humbled. Beth

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Organizer

Beth Jessup 
Organizer
Rockville, MD
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