“It’s All About the Stories”

“It’s all about the stories.” – Jules

The best part of our journeys is coming back to homebase, to each other,

and sharing the stories.

 It’s Martin Luther King Day – all the banks and government offices are closed. Martin Luther and human rights are dominating the national stories, and terrorism, yet again, is dominating the world stories.

Unknowingly, I am about to get S-M-A-C-K-E-D by a breaking story, and like the world terrorism stories, it makes me want to turn it off –

“Rache, I’m at St Joe’s in ICU. Can you come here now?”

It’s my bestest buddy, Jules.

Twenty minutes later, I’m transported to where it feels to be a million miles away from my desk. I’m staring into Jules’ eyes while she lies in a bed at Barrrows Neurological Institute ICU. I’m listening to her story, and this isn’t our kind of story that we ever imagined sharing.

I was working out on Saturday – I was on the treadmill, and my right leg went numb.  I got off the treadmill and went over in the stretching room and then my right arm had this weird feeling run through it, too.  It isn’t really numbness, but it won’t respond when I try to move it.  I got in my car and drove home. I couldn’t really feel my foot on the gas pedal. That night I made dinner, and I kept stepping out of my flipflops.  I dropped a glass when I misinterpreted how far my hand was from the counter.  I thought about going to the ER, but it had gotten late, so I decided to wait to see how I felt in the morning.  During the night, I thought, I think I may have had a stroke. When I got up, I got ready and went to St. Joe’s {Barrows Neurological Institute,] since I knew it was the best place for neurology.  I could barely walk or stand when checking-in.  The staff offered me a wheelchair, that at first, I declined, but later accepted.  I couldn’t walk – my right foot kept folding over to the left. 

“How could this happen? I’m so healthy.”

“This doesn’t happen to people like me. I’m not sick.”

Hours later, after CTscans and an MRI, we got some answers from her neurologist, Dr. Kaibara.

Dr. Kaibara told us the story of what was going on in Jules’ brain.  Jules listened, asking questions intermittedly, as she heard her story unfold. The story was about her, only she was not the storyteller.

Jules has a tumor, about the size of a golf ball, on her brain.  The tumor has blood and cystic-type matter surrounding it. This is causing pressure to build on Jules’ brain, the upper left lobe that controls mobility.  Dr. Kaibara feels confident that the tumor is on the surface of the brain – this is good – it will make removing the entire tumor more probable. Surgery, although risky, will be performed and will reduce, if not eliminate, Jules’ partial paralysis.

The cliffhanger:

the tumor on Jules’ brain doesn’t appear to be brain cancer.  It appears to have originated in another part of her body.

A full body CTscan and another MRI confirms the neurologist’s suspicions – the brain tumor is actually lung cancer that had spread to Jules’ brain.

Is this a sick and twisted storyline from some random TV hospital drama – a tragic episode of Grey’s Anatomy?

No, this is as real as it can get –

A real life cancer story, unfolding right before our eyes,

starring my best buddy, Jules.

We’d skip this part or turn it off if we could,

but this journey has officially become our story.

To be continued…

3 thoughts on ““It’s All About the Stories”

  1. ….as told by Jeff….a doctor told her she had 6 months. She got up and walked out and said…”I’m not done yet!”. And here it is one year later and we have all had a great Christmas celebration together as a family with many more to come. Xoxo

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