When I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor at the age of 22 to say I was scared would be an understatement. You can read plenty about the diagnosis, my thought process, and telling my friends here but there is one thing that until this point I had left out. I never told my parents. Now all things considered, they should have been able to figure it out, however I have a history of being brutally honest with my parents about my medical history and then having it bite me in the ass and so this time around I decided to settle for the bare minimum.
My parents were well aware of my costly trip to Neurology, the MRI I had done in January, and the “mysterious thing they found on the MRI that I didn’t need to be worried about”. They knew I had been placed on some kind of mysterious medication that when googled didn’t say much about what it was FDA approved for and they knew I needed a follow up trip to Neurology. What they didn’t know was that the MRI I had done in January was the first of at least 3 that would be happening this year (today was number 2 and it is thankfully being billed as part of my appointment costs so my parents don’t flip shit about it).
My follow up appointment with Neuro went well. My second MRI showed that my tumor isn’t growing (however it also isn’t shrinking) and my medication was increased significantly in dosage (from 50MG once a day to 300MG three times a day). Because my Neurologist is in Nashville (where my parents live) and I live a few hours away when I am at school I am staying with my parents this week while cramming all of my doctors appointments into spring break (hell yeah!). I fully expected both of my parents to be at work today and was surprised to find my dad’s car in the driveway when I returned home (he had come home from work sick). I set down my paperwork next to my keys and wallet to prepare my lunch when he walked into the living room to pick up the copy of the bill I had gotten from my short trip to the hospital this morning.
Unfortunately my dad picked up more then just the bill, he picked up all of my Neuro paperwork, including the packet explaining my brain tumor (oops). So then I got to casually explain to my dad that I have a brain tumor, its benign, they have me on new medication, 4 Neurologists have looked at my MRI (so they know for sure that it is benign), that surgery isn’t necessary (at least at this point in time), and that the brain tumor is the reason for my chronic migraines (and that I may have had this brain tumor for close to a decade so like maybe my parents should have listened the first time they were told I needed an MRI).
So overall, I’m fine. I will be guarding paperwork a little closer from now on and I am terrified of having to tell my mother later today, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Until then, I have a brain tumor, and for the first time in almost 2 months I am beginning to feel comfortable saying that out loud.