my emotional MRI and more.


on friday i had an MRI done. it’s an annual one that gets done to see whether or not the pituitary gland tumour that was removed almost four years ago has returned. pituitary gland tumours are typically cancer free, as was mine, and usually quite simple to remove. my situation had a catch though, as i was pregnant with lion when my tumour was diagnosed, so i was treated at a special hospital with fancy specialists and had a nightmare c-section. all because of this dang tumour.

in the brain tumour community cancer free tumours are not described as benign. all brain tumours reek havoc on the lives of people living with them and their families.


my annual check-ups for my tumour always fall right around lion’s birthday, which makes this time of year especially emotional for me. this year i was trying to push away all of the scary memories and focus on all of the good that we are surrounded with. but, then on friday as my MRI time got closer, my anxiety started to increase, my throat got tight, and i felt completely alone in my memories and fears.  DH hadn’t acknowledged anything before heading to work that morning, so 45 minutes prior to my appointment i texted him an angry message “today is not a normal day for me“. and, maybe he was taking cues from me to be chill about the day,but regardless, i was hurt.


so, i arrived at the hospital, nervous as heck only to see DH sitting there in the waiting room. he squeezed me tightly, kissed my forehead and whispered sweet words into my ear . he left the hospital once i was checked-in as the kids were with various friends, so someone had to be available as our phones didn’t work inside the hospital.


i sat in a horrible vinyl chair listening to a conversation between old  friends who had randomly crossed paths there at the MRI waiting room.  they shared stories of the heartbreaking medical ailments that had brought them there. as i sat there my throat was still tight and i was fiercely fighting back tears. i was remembering my family’s own heartbreak on lion’s birth day; a day when he entered this world in terrible stress to strangers taking him and whisking him away to the NICU. i was under a general anaesthetic for his birth, because there were concerns about my tumour literally exploding and killing me if i pushed him out during a vaginal birth, or if i had an epidural for a c-section like most women.  so i was out cold. because of this DH had to wait outside the operating room for the birth, so that meant our wee baby was born alone. lion had complications and was kept in the hospital for a week. all because of that dang tumour.


four years ago when we got home, i had a baby, toddler and a tumour to deal with. i have never wanted others to think i was looking for pity or attention; so instead of sharing my situation and asking for support i have been very internal about most of it. after my surgery in november 2010 to remove the tumour i was back home mothering within days without the necessary recovery times. i never asked anyone for help, because i didn’t want to be seen as weak.  i was so tired, in terrible pain and overwhelmed, but i tried my best to hide all of that and just kept on trucking. part of it was  i also felt like a fraud; like our experience with my tumour wasn’t bad enough to warrant attention or support.


so, back to friday when all of these memories brought with them deep waves of emotions that came rushing through me as they prepped me for the MRI. my IV was placed, painfully, my contrast liquid tubes set, the mask to trap my head during the MRI was locked into place and then with a push of a button they put me into this dark terrifying tube. if you’ve never had a MRI here’s a link to what it sounds like… CLICK HERE.  i don’t suggest listening to the whole thing, but i do recommend turning up your volume and jumping ahead every so often to see the range of horrible sounds and noises that machine makes! my MRI’s last about 30 minutes. during those long  minutes in the machine on friday i cried. tears were gently streaming into my ears. i thought of my lovely boy; he exudes love and shine. he giggles easily and cares deeply for others. i thought about him when he was first born, how fragile he looked all wrapped in tubes that were attached to various beeping machines. i also thought of my bear, who in those early days of lion’s life was shuffled around from one house to another, to the hospital all in a blur of confusion and fear. he was only two-and-a–half. and, i was also thinking of my sweet DH who in those months and days was trying so desperately to hold it all together. he never showed his fear to me, always trying to put on a brave face even if i did see right through it. he had been standing outside the room where his son almost died watching the red lights flash in the hallway, listening to the alarms and then seeing the staff intubate him and rush him away. how completely terrifying. luckily today lion is healthy,vivacious and read to roll!


after i was done on friday, i got changed and walked to my car. drove home and didn’t want to see anyone. i sat on my couch and cried. i sobbed. my body shook as huge tears rolled down my face. i had to let it all out before the kids came home with DH. when they walked in the door they held a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me.




sharing my story here is a form of therapy for me. i think of my blog as a journal where i record our favourite recipes, craft projects, summer camping trips and also some of the not-so-fun or glamorous health experiences. i hope that talking openly about my dang tumour will open the doors for other’s to share their struggles, even if they are not medical.


fingers crossed for wednesday! that is when i head into the big city to see my neurologist and endocrinologist toreceive the results of this emotional MRI and blood work done a few weeks ago.


xo, mama lola
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  1. says

    Oh, mama. I’m sorry you have felt so alone with fear so many times. I remember clearly when E was born – all went well but it’s still such an emotional experience, and I tried to imagine how those parents must feel whose babies have to go straight to the NICU. And you know that terror. And… Ain’t it a kick in the teeth to cry lying down and have your ears fill with water? That always seemed unfair to me. Looking forward to giving you lots of hugs in the near future. Xoxo
    Dilovely recently posted…Three Years.My Profile

  2. says

    I am so so so sorry you felt this all on your own. You are such an incredibly brave and strong mama. What a tough day to go through. I cant even imagine being in your spot.

    I know how tough waiting for test results are. My only advise is to enjoy time with your loved ones, and try to do something fun to take your mind off of it until Wednesday.
    Kristen recently posted…Sore Muscles & DirtMy Profile

  3. says

    What a lovely and emotional read. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I am sending positive thoughts and wishes to you that Wednesday will be a good day. The bouquet of flowers that you received at the end of the day gave me goosebumps. You are truly loved.
    Thea recently posted…How To Make A Fabulous WreathMy Profile

    • mama lola says

      yes, aren’t the flowers gorgeous? and, you are right, thea, i truly am loved. thanks for stopping by the blog! XO

  4. Kathryn says

    Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. Having a place for people to share and be real is so valuable. I wish for the best on Wednesday!

  5. says

    I am left speechless…Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure you will help so many others who may be going through the same circumstances as yourself and they will not feel as alone.

    • mama lola says

      noelle, i am happy to email you. i am going away for a week or so, but when i get beack i will contact you and you are welcome to ask all of your questions. i am happy to help if i can. XO

  6. says

    I will be praying for you. Medical conditions can be so overwhelming, especially when you are a mom. You don’t have time to be “down”; you need to be the strong, reliable one. But you also need to take care of you! Please remember that.
    Athena recently posted…Blue Man Group GiveawayMy Profile

  7. says

    Hugs! I know the feeling of sometimes thinking that what I’m dealing with isn’t as tough as what others deal with and feeling like I have to be superwoman. But nothing about how much more horrible someone else’s pain is can take away the reality of yours.

    Believing in good results again, anita
    Anita Davis Sullivan recently posted…Showing UpMy Profile

  8. says

    That is a bad feeling to feel on your own.. It really sucks to have to go through that… Hope everything turns out ok.

  9. says

    Well done for sharing your story here. I hear you, and I’m sure many others do too. You’re obviously an excellent mom, your boys are so lucky and it looks like they probably know it. Prayers for Wednesday’s results.
    Andrea@personallyandrea recently posted…Easy Caprese PastaMy Profile

  10. says

    Honey. Life can really throw a lot at us. Too much sometime. We’ve all cried alone on our couches. It’s so brave to get this out in the open, and I think it’s the best way for the emotions to loosen their grip. You’ve handled this all with grace, under a lot of pressure. Be really proud of yourself. I can only imagine the stress and anxiety you feel. I’ll be thinking of you on Wednesday and sending positive thoughts your way! Hugs.

  11. says

    Beautiful, strong, and amazing Lola… I wish I could reach through to you right now and hug you. I am in tears, hurting from the thought of you facing so much in silence. Thank you for sharing such a hard and emotional memory. I will be thinking of you and praying for you my beautiful friend.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…Three-Years-Old?! No Way!My Profile

  12. Sarah says

    I am sobbing in front of my boys like a loser right now. I found this blog trough searching for camping food recipes and I CANNOT BELIEVE I FOUND YOUR STORY!!!!
    I went through the same thing 4 years ago this August, but it was found a couple days after my son was born…I don’t remember much if it…I still struggle…I have had no follow up care…I have never found anyone else who has had this happen! I’m sorry, I am just overwhelmed right now…I want you to know I get EVERY feeling you have described…down to not getting help after coming home too soon with a newborn and toddler and more…sorry…you are in my thoughts and prayers now…best of luck