The last thing on her mind should be a brain tumor
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Lesson 3: Go with your Gut!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We all have that small still inner voice that speaks to us when things are wrong. We hear it and feel it but we don't always listen to it. Sometimes we put it off as we are imagining things, worrying or being a hypochondriac. The fact is that voice is our body and spirits way of warning us and all we have to do is listen. You can call it mothers intuition or whatever you want but we have all experienced it at one time or another and didn't listen to it and thought later "I should have gone with my gut feeling".

When my son Cade was diagnosed with a brain tumor he was only 12 weeks old, fortunately we had 9 good months with Cade before the tumor began to spread. It was right before Cade's first birthday and his tumor had been stable for 9 months. We had the monthly MRI performed. I always required the doctor to show me the MRI scans and explain them to me. So I had seen the previous scans and knew very well what the tumor had looked like to this point. The MRI report said that the tumor was still stable and had not changed. But when you looked at the tumor on the MRI film it looked different than it had previously. Previous MRI's the tumor had been kinda fuzzy around the edges and an oblong shape. But this time the tumor was clearly defined around the edges and perfectly round. It looked like someone had inserted a green pea into his brain it was so perfectly round and defined. I questioned the doctor about the difference in appearance and how could he say the tumor had not changed when clearly it had changed. The answer I received was the size of the tumor had not changed it had not gotten any larger. I still questioned the doctor and we went back and forth for 2 weeks until finally they convinced me that nothing was wrong and not to worry. Two weeks later my sonCade began having some symptoms and another MRI was performed but this time the tumor had tripled in size and spread down his spine.

Now my gut/spirit had told me that something was not right with that scan. I am not a radiologist or a doctor but I knew something was wrong. And had I listened to my gut and required the doctors to explore this further with different and more advanced diagnostic testing maybe we could have identified the changes in cell structure within the tumor and maybe we could have prevented it from spreading. MAYBE, MAYBE, MAYBE, who knows? 

The lesson I learned from this was to always listen to my gut instincts, my spirit person, my mother's intuition. Who knows your child better than you? Who knows your body better than you? Who knows your husband or wife better than you? The answer is no one knows you better than you, and that is something years of medical training and experience cannot give your doctor.
Posted by Nancy Thomason 

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