I was diagnosed with level III anaplastic astrocytoma this past July (2010).
In 2007 I had some really mild "zone out" type activity. It only happened a couple of times and then went away. When I mentioned it to the doc he said, "If it comes back we have to look into it". 3 years later, in April of 2010 they came back. It only happened 3 times in 1 week and went away. Friends & family said, "Just go get it checked." and so I did. I aced the physical exam. I showed absolutely no physical indicators. My neurologist said, "I fully expect to see a normal brain."
The MRI was abnormal. What the MRI showed was an area in the temporal lobe that had abnormal cells. It also showed those abnormal cells spread from the temporal lobe into the frontal lobe and then also spotted throughout the brain.
I was diagnosed with level III anaplastic astrocytoma.
I had surgery on 8/6. My surgeon took out a chunk of my right temporal lobe and did a resectioning.
I read the discussion boards, and I'm envious of those of you who have had the entire tumor removed. Mine is spread throughout my brain. Diffuse I was told before chemo & radiation started that the goal is not to get rid of this tumor. It's to stop it from growing. 2nd MRI is better than first. No pressure on my brain. No swelling. The tumor is not growing and may actually be shrinking. It's great news.
I have long understood that this is something I'll just have to "manage". It's obviously very slow growing with only presenting itself once in 2/07 and then not again until 4/10. My surgeon said, "I expect this will eventually take you but not for a very long time." I agree with her, but I find myself sad and scared. I'm so sad that I've had no connection on this website. A couple of people have reached out but never replied to my replies. My brain tumor support group was canceled in Dec. I've only been to one meeting, but it felt so great to be with others going through what I'm going through, and now I miss them. I'm back to feeling alone in my battle. New to me are mini & deja vu seizures. I'm so thankful to my friends and family who know they do not "know" what I feel, but they are present and loving. I could ask for nothing better.
I have hit a wall.
My attitude has been so upbeat for so long. Now I'm frustrated with the ear thing. I'm ready to be me again. I'm ready to return to my job and my normal life. This ear thing is making me batty though and sad.
I would really love to hear some input from someone who is much farther along living with this disease.
Thank you so much,