summer check in.

summer seems to be flying by!

the kids have enjoyed camps this week. bear was at the nature centre’s camp learning all about bugs and animals, while lion was at an arts camp experiencing the joys of drama, visual art and dance. both boys have been wiped out afterwards, which has been good. instead of fighting as much as usual, they have been looking for a bit more solitude at home colouring or reading after dinner. although, last night after dinner we got into some family soccer action which was a lot of fun!

today is friday and it has been raining ALL DAY! i wonder how the kids are doing at their camps. hopefully they still got outside for a bit!

summer flowers

isn’t this picture gorgeous? i captured it on father’s day at the botanical gardens. just perfect. i have not done any editing to it!

this week i had my annual appointment in the big city regarding my pituitary gland and the removed tumour and hormones. truth be told, i’ve had a kind of a crummy year health wise. i have been experiencing all sorts of yucky things, which after a bunch online research has made me wonder if my hormones are out of whack! on wednesday i was told by my neurosurgeon that there was no signs of a new tumour growing, which is a huge relief! those tumours suck! big time! and, as i listed my symptoms that have arisen this year to my endocrinologist, she seemed to agree that more testing was needed.

i am at a point n my life where i just want to know what’s going on with my body. i AM NOT GOING CRAZY, something is not right, something is off kilter, something to too high or too low or too far to the right… or something. i’ve joined a bunch of groups on line to get more info about hormone deficiencies and pit tumours. it is amazing to me how so many people suffer and doctors just know or don’t care enough to explore more.


anyhow, the weekedn is soon upon us and i am looking forward to spending it with my family!

we have a new car to break in (yes, we FINALLY are getting rid of the rusty, crappy van), a new tent to practice setting up, a birthday party to attend and friends to visit with. 

xo, mama lola

toronto day : MRI results!

a few weeks back i blogged about my sad MRI friday, the worry that i carry before getting my results and the general anxiety surrounding my previous tumour…  read more HERE. well, i got my result mid-july.

on july 16th i took the bus into the big city where i met my mum as soon as i got off the bus. we had some time spare before my big annual appointment at the hospital, so we decided to meander our way there. we strolled along dundas street, weaving through the crowds. on my mum’s suggestion we popped in a some of the small galleries across from the AGO. aaah, we saw some beautiful, breathtaking art. art that makes you stop and really look at the details and soak them in. my mum is an artist and listening to her analyse the art was awesome; her attention for detail, eye for colour and knowledge of art was super educational to me.


then we contunied walking along dundas street heading west, through china town and the construction there, up into kensington market. i took a picture of courage my love, a store i visited regularly as a youngster growing up in toronto. i used to head down there on the spadina bus!!! remember those ol’ things?! in kensington i strolled through memory lane floored that so many of the stores are still there from 20 years ago!!!

we stopped in a tiny cafe for a snack. i was a nervous wreck and couldn’t really eat.

toronto day

1:30pm was my appointment time. once a month the neurology department holds a pituitary clinic, so people with specifically pituitary issues comes for follow ups then. they also have an aneurysm clinic monthly. so n that clinic day  i looked around the waiting room and noticed that everyone is of a very specific generation, they all looked like baby-boomers. there was nobody else like me there.

at 2:30pm we were called in for my appointment. my poor mum came in with me, because i had asked he to, but i’m sure she was just as terrified as me!  we walked into a room with a large table with various people sitting around it,doctors and med students. first my endocrinologist (hormone doctor) said my blood work came in clear and normal, which was a HUGE relief. she asked a few questions about my weight and my periods, finishing that she had zero concerns! woohoo! then it was time for my neurologist to look at my MRI images which they display on a  huge screen for everyone to see. she said calmly that everything looked great, no sign of any re-growth or tumour. she asked about the kids and if i was going to have more kids. she finished the appoitnment by saying she though i looked wonderful! phew! as my mum and i walked out of the office, i threw my arm around her and did a small jig grinning hugely, with tears in my eyes, no tumour, i am healthy and good to go!


after that my mum and i both had more pep in our step as we headed north along bathurst to bloor street.  our shoulders had dropped and smiles were on our faces; the honest kind that come from your eyes and your heart,not just your mouth. finally at spadina and bloor we found a lovely crepe cafe with an authentic french atmosphere. we sipped real espresso and ate delicious savoury crepes.  just as we finished and were ready to head to the bata show musuem it started to pour! so we tucked under a tiny umbrella, walking arm-in-arm trying to avoid the huge growing puddles! at the museum there was an exhibit called “fashion victims” about the history of the dangers of textiles. it was a small exhibit, but wonderfully curated loaded with interesting information and detail.


because it was wednesday and i was in the mood to celebrate, we heded back down to dundas street via the U of T campus. the rain had stopped and the streets were packed with young people rushing around. the air was fresh. at the AGO wednesdays after 6pm are free admission, since it was only about 5pm we first had a celebratory glass of wine. the exhibit we were going to see was henry moore’s sculptures and francis bacon’s paintings. again, my mum’s knowledge of art cameflowing out as she told all about the artists and their art. the special exhibit turned out NOT to be free, but the rest of the gallery was.


my bus was leaving toronto at 8pm, so slowly we made our way in that direction. we had walked a wonderful loop inside the core of the city that was once my home. i felt energized after a day without the kids, relieved about my health and reconnected to my mum. as the bus rolled out of the city heading down to the highway, i felt very nostalgic; i have memories from so many intersections and corners of this city with all sorts of people.


but, i was ready to go.

to go home.


xo, mama lola

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

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.

this moment comes from this past wednesday when i was told by my endochronologist and neurologist that i am still tumour free! so relieved and happy to share the moment with my sweet dear hubby! those annual appointments really don’t get any easier with time! (photo taken at the hospital with my phone!)

i’d love to see your moment from this week, so share a link in the comments!

xo, mama lola

this is a vent : to all the hospital staff who have been rude…

today i tried to make an appointment for my annual MRI and was treated with blatant disrespect by two different staff members at my local hospital. i am still fighting back tears, because it’s not like i want to be there dealing with this. 
oh how happy i would be if i never had be inside a MRI machine again.

so i wrote this…

 to the hospital workers i have encountered who have been rude and disrespectful to me over the last few years this is for you…

  • i’m sorry i was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumour.
  • i’m sorry i had to make an appointment and called your department, and you answered.
  • i am deeply sorry my brain tumour inconvenienced your day.
  • i’m sorry when you repeatedly use words like “protocol” you assume that i know what you mean. i’m sorry that when i ask you to clarify, you keep using that word, with snark in your tone.
  • i’m sorry you i don’t understand or know your protocols.
  • i’m sorry my health issues and the health issues of others have created your job and many others in your hospital.
  • i’m sorry you chose me as target for your bad mood.

i am so fed up with being talked down to as though i am stupid, irrelevant and worthless. i had a serious health crisis and because of that crisis i will continue on going care and attention from the medical world for years and years to come. being made to feel stupid for simply trying to make an MRI appointment is wrong. i do not deserve to be spoken to in a tone that implies and drips with judgement. 

i am a person. i have worth and value. 
and, just because i don’t know or understand how these massive hospital systems work, does not make me stupid, ignorant or lesser than the person trying to do their job. i empathize that working in a hospital setting must be stressful and exhausting, but i do not think that gives permission for systemic rudeness. i have received treatment at three hospitals in the last four years, two being major centres of research and respected in their industry. all three hospitals have staff that have treated me and my family rudely and disrespectfully. clearly, this is a major issue in the field and not just one or two individuals. 

i have always been supporter of nurses and health care professionals in general, but something has to give. and, taking out frustrations on patients who are sick, vulnerable and already under enormous anxiety is just plain wrong. i no longer have a tumour in my head, but i require annual MRI’s and blood work to ensure nothing is growing back. i am 34 years old, with two small children and making these annual appointments is still a huge stressor for me. i feel anxious just trying to make these appointments, because i am terrified of what may be there. i have a 25% chance that the tumour will grow back and seeing as i was so young when the first tumour was found, in my gut i am sure i will be told one day again that i have a tumour.

and, even if i was stupid, ignorant and worthless i still don’t deserve to be treated disrespectfully. as members of a staff that are trained to deal with people, the public, it should be the norm to be polite and courteous to all. 

that is all.
xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives. 

this is a picture of myself (second from the right  trying to hold back tears) and some of my fellow  brain tumour survivors at our towns spring sprint last sunday. it was a beautiful spring day, a perfect day for a run or walk to raise funds for the canadian brain tumour foundation. we raised over $39, 000!!! wooohooooooooo!!!! so awesome!!!

my parents came, which meant a great deal to me. i think it was very cathartic for my mum, especially, to see so many people involved in such a great cause. people who are living with or have survived a brain tumour surrounded by all of their friends and family! surrounded by so much love!

my kids came and now at 5 years of age bear was asking some tough questions. luckily dear hubby was there to answer them. he told bear we were there to support survivors of brain tumours and that the people wearing blue shirts had had a tumour and had been sick. (there were also people wearing white shirts who were family or friends of a survivor and people in orange shirts were volunteers). 

bear saw me in my blue shirt all day, but never made the connection. 
not yet anyway
one day soon it’s a conversation we will have to have with the kids. 

anyhow, let me hear three cheers for all these survivors in blue shirts…

i would love it if you left a link to your { this moment }. 

xo, mama lola

brain tumours suck :: a tale by two sisters.

today i am sharing two stories by two sisters. this is their response to the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour for one of them in their youth. please take the time to read their stories and help spread awareness about brain tumours.

brain tumours are common, terrifying and each tumour is completely unique to each person. there are links on how you can help at the end of this post. please see the tab above for more info and stories about people living with or surviving brain tumours!

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(first, we hear from the sister who received the scary diagnosis)

I was 11 years old when I was told I had a brain tumour It all went by so quickly. One day I was a normal kid and the next I was sitting in a hospital bed.
I started getting really bad migraines and the doctors did not know what was causing them. Were I older and it was simply a standalone issue, I could have had botox applied to help relieve it. Whether you choose to do so knowing that is an option is up to you. Meanwhile, I had an eye exam scheduled and that is when they found out I had a brain tumour. To be honest, at the time, I think I was too young to comprehend the magnitude of what the doctor had just told us. Although, I vividly remember my parents breathing a sigh of relief that someone had caught the tumor before it had a chance to grow even more. To this day, we are so grateful for the doctors, the eye care associates, and all the equipment they had on hand to help give my eyes a thorough inspection and diagnosis. Quite frankly, it saved my life. And we thank them every day. During the exam, the eye doctor could see the swelling behind my eyes and immediately sent me to a pediatrician. Next thing I knew we were racing to the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto.
The tumour was benign and was the size of a golf ball. With the help of some fancy equipment from somewhere like Medicalexpo, the doctors were able to remove 95% of it. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and many months afterwards recovering. The remaining 5% of the tumour has stayed the same size and I go for annual MRIs to be sure it does not change.
It is so crazy how quickly your life can change. Today I am a healthy 22 year old woman planning my wedding with the man of my dreams and living a great life. I am so thankful for every single person involved in saving my life and I am happy to be taking part in the Spring Sprint to support brain tumour research and everyone affected by tumours.

(now, we hear from the big sister who was told her little sister had a brain tumour)
The day I found out that my little sister had a brain tumour was a day I will never forget. At just 11 years of age, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and had to have it removed immediately.I was working the evening that I found out this life-changing news. My Mom called and asked that I come home as soon as I was done my shift, as they had something important to tell me.
Shortly after 11 pm I got home to find my sister sitting snugly between my Mom and Dad, all three of them had a devastated look in their eyes. Immediately, I knew something was wrong with my sister. I can still picture every single detail of that moment, the fear in my mom’s eyes, the pain and anguish in my dad’s, and the sadness in my baby sister’s, I was also shocked to see how brave she looked at the same time. I can also remember the overwhelming thought of wishing it was me instead of her. I would have given anything to keep her safe and healthy.
The next morning we rushed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and spent the day speaking with doctors and preparing for all that was to come. They scheduled her surgery and told us it would take approximately 8 hours. It took longer, over 9 hours. The last hour being the absolute worst, waiting and worrying that something had gone wrong. The surgeon came out and informed us that they were able to remove 95% of the tumour the tumour was located at the stem of her brain, on the pituitary gland, and they were unable to remove the additional 5%. This was fairly good news to us, but it was still hard to wrap our heads around the fact that 5% still remained. Even to this very day, I find it hard to believe that it’s still just there…
My sister’s recovery was a tough, and surprisingly amazing adventure. It taught me a lot about life and what’s important and what’s not, it put everything into perspective for me. There were so many things she had to learn to do again, imagine helping teach your little sister to walk again, I can still recall the feeling we had when she took her first few steps!
I learned a lot about my family during this process. I learned that my big brother would always be there to protect us and do whatever he could to keep us safe. I learned that my Dad loved us kids more than he could express, and that he didn’t always know the right words to tell us that. I learned that my Mom would do absolutely anything for us and that it broke her heart to see her youngest baby go through this. She refused to leave my sister’s side throughout this whole process. She was the rock that held us all together.
I am so very proud of my sister for all of her strength and courage throughout her 22 years. She is a kind, beautiful and vibrant young woman who loves life and lives it to the fullest!
We are so excited to be doing the Spring Sprint together!

Please help me bring attention to this cause by sponsoring my friends and I, MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS, in the Spring Sprint.
xo, mama lola

a child with a brain tumour.

a friend of mine has a son with a brain tumour and she wanted to share their story here, as a way to create awareness about brain tumours. please read her story, their story and donate to the spring sprint!

* * * * * * * * *
(This post was submitted to bear & lion by a mother of two beautiful children ages four and eighteen months old. She chose to omit identifying information regarding her son and his specific diagnosis because of her son’s young age. She feels that he should have some informed consent when sharing his story.)

be·nign (b-nn)
1. Of a kind and gentle disposition.
2. Showing gentleness and mildness. See Synonyms at kind1.
3. Tending to exert a beneficial influence; favorable: a policy with benign consequences for the economy. See Synonyms at favorable.
4. Having little or no detrimental effect; harmless: a chemical additive that is environmentally benign.
5. MedicineOf no danger to health; not recurrent or progressive; not malignant: a benign tumor.

My nearly five year old son has a benign tumour growing in his brain, on his pituitary gland to be specific. and most of society will tell you that a benign tumour is “of no danger to health”. I am here to tell you that there is nothing “benign” about brain tumours.

My son is my first born and it was apparent to me, his mother, that something was not quite right from the time he was six weeks old. He was not smiling when he should have been, holding his head unsupported or making eye contact. His growth was slow despite nursing around the clock and his interest in his environment did not match his same age peers. I discussed my concerns with his pediatrician and was brushed off as a nervous first time mother. My son’s delays continued. He was not able to sit unsupported until he was eight months old, could not crawl until he was 15 months, and took his first steps at 17 months. He spoke his first word at 21 months, “more” and struggled to communicate. His pediatrician again, brushed off these concerns. My little boy had referrals and support from Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Resource Consultants, Infant Development experts and Speech and Language Pathologists, but no diagnosis. At two years old I demanded action, knowing that something was not right.

We received a referral to a genetics department in a leading pediatric hospital some ways from home. We spent hours discussing my son’s development and growth, and had blood work and x-rays completed. This typically would be done using such equipment as a centrifuge to separate the blood and plasma for testing. We were told that you may need to use this equipment for other blood work, etc. so it was a lot to take in. Nothing was confirmed, no diagnosis was made. Benign brain tumours typically cannot be detected though blood work. We waited and continued our battle to find the cause of my son’s delays. We requested another referral, this time to a Developmental Pediatrician. Another long meeting where development was discussed and concerns with growth were raised. We reviewed all the test results from the genetics department and moved forward with a brain MRI.

My son was two and half years old when he had his first MRI. The results were inconclusive, but it pointed toward an issue with his pituitary gland. It appeared that there was a “dark spot” that would require further investigation. A referral was made to a Pediatric Endocrinologist at another pediatric hospital and our wait for answers continued.

My son started testing for hormone deficiency when he was 3 years old. Multiple trips to a hospital not so close to home for IV’s to be set and blood withdrawn every 30 minutes for hours at a time. Extended fasting tests to evaluate his ability to control his blood sugar levels with blood taken at 30 minute intervals. These tests went on nearly every six weeks for a full year. He failed every test they administered and he started nightly injections when he was four years old. Shortly thereafter he had his second MRI, this time with contrast. A brain tumour was found.
We now had an answer, but no solution. Removing the tumour would mean removing his pituitary gland. He will be followed with regular MRI’s, but at this point surgery is not an option. And even if it was, it would not be a quick fix. The pituitary gland regulates hormones that control growth, not just liner growth, but that of muscles and bones. Muscles for example like the heart, tongue, and limbs.

My son is below the first percentile in both height and weight. That means that over ninety-nine percent of his same age peers are bigger than him. His speech is difficult to understand, most strangers will only pick-out twenty of every hundred words he says. He has difficulty holding a pencil, but has a lofty goal of writing his first name by the time he is in first grade. He continues to have as many as four appointments a week to address his developmental delays.
My son is a bright boy; he is just as smart as his kindergarten friends. He knows he is different. He knows that he struggles in ways his friends do not. He knows that has more professionals involved in his young life then most adults do in a lifetime, and he is tired. He is tired of therapy, he is tired of doctors and the tests they request, and he is tired of being different. He is tired of having to try harder then all his friends. He continues, he fights, and he tries hard every day to reach his potential.

His brain tumour may be benign, but it certainly has an impact on his life and his health. It is definitely dangerous and needs to be addressed and treated. You see, no two brain tumours are alike, and the signs of symptoms in one individual can vary drastically from the next. We have had many therapists, doctors and specialists evaluate our son over the course of four years without a diagnosis. Education and awareness needs to happen in our community today to ensure that other children are not misdiagnosed, and that Mothers are not brushed off as nervous first time parents.

Please help me bring attention to this cause by sponsoring my friends and I, MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS, in the Spring Sprint. DONATE HERE!
The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada supports many positive programs in our community including community awareness, support groups, research and information sharing. Lets fight together to support those like my son who are impacted by brain tumours, so they don’t have to fight alone.

* * * * * * * * *

thanks for sharing, mama. it means so much to me that this story is here, maybe it will provide support and inspiration to other’s out there.

xo, mama lola

themed thursday :: brain tumours.

well, it’s that time of year again, when i am looking for donations for the brain tumour foundation of canada.

here is a picture of me and my survivors rose.

as you may know, i survived a non-malignant macro-adenoma on my pituitary gland. in most cases such a tumour is quickly removed if it is growing, as it may cause blindness if the tumour presses on the optic nerves. of course there are other complications, but these kinds of tumours are generally not cancerous, however, they do cause a lot of pain. after finding out my diagnosis, i was constantly depressed and anxious and nothing seemed to be going right. i came across some of these CBD oil UK brands and after consulting with my doctors, they said i could try them to help treat my drepression and anxiety. they lifted my mood and helped my continue living my life. they also helped me get some much needed sleep too. <

what made my situation complicated, was the fact that a few weeks after my tumour was diagnosed, i found out i was pregnant for the second time. it was an unplanned, surpise, but we were thrilled regardless. but, once the tumour was found i had to throw away my dreams of a home birth, as i was labelled high risk. so, my care was transferred from my midwives to an obstetrician at a fancy hospital about an hours away from our hometown. as my pregnancy progressed, it was determined that the tumour was growing (through regular MRI’s) and that i couldn’t even have a vaginal birth. i was told i had to have a c-section, but to make things worse, i had to be put under general anaesthesia, because the epidural could have ruptured my tumour and killed me instantly. man, hearing that really shook the earth under me.

the time leading to lion’s birth was all very upsetting, scary and stressful. i tried to mother bear, but i suffered from debilitating migraines daily and was taking very strong pills for pain management, which came with their own side effects. i was always exhausted, always in pain and always on edge. plus, i was forced to face my mortality at a very young age, which was difficult for everyone. /span>

then july 8th rolled around, and it was lion’s birth day. his birth was awful, and you can read more about that HERE. there were mistakes made that almost killed him and brought even more heartache and worry into our lives. then, four months after he was born, i had my tumour removed. it was actually the day before my mum’s birthday. they went up my nose and sucked it out, kind of. it was very painful after the surgery, but i was not given much recovery time as dear hubby had to work and i had to mother a baby and a toddler. i was desperately trying to hold it all together, by ignoring the stress that was my life. i carried on breastfeeding, cloth diapering, shuffling bear to play dates and preschool, while still getting regular check ups with various doctors.

but, even though life threw all of this stress at us, we survived. i survived.
i received wonderful care from my neurologist and her team, my family doctor has been a wonderful support and, my family and friends have been there threw all of it.

a year ago, three days before the event, i found out about the spring sprint, an annual fundraising event hosted by the brain tumour foundation of canada. they have walks/ runs through-out canada in the spring, in an effort to raise money and awareness for brain tumours.

brain tumours do not discriminate. they affect people of all ages, all sexes, all races, all classes, all walks of life. you may have heard that valerie harper recently announced that she has an incurable brain tumour. mark ruffalo, another hollywood star shares about his survival of a brain tumour here.

so, here it comes, please, please, please hear my plea and donate to this amazing foundation, to help support people dealing with these hidden beasts, these terrifying things called a brain tumours.

i am on a team this year, we are called MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS! please follow this link and donate to our team.

here is a handful of brain tumour survivors in my small town from last years event. some still have tumours growing in their heads, others don’t. but, we are all together supporting one and other.

here’s a blurb and pics from last years event.

also, i will be sharing stories of other people who are or have been affected by brain tumours, in the next few weeks.

xo, mama lola

october is brain tumour awareness month.

this is a cause close to my heart and my brain. i was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumour three years ago and had it surgically removed two years ago, this november. to read about how and why it complicated our life go here and here.

even though my tumour was non-malignant, and i am perfectly healthy now (at least in that regard), i feel obligated to spread the word about brain tumours. they are more common than most people think, and with advancements in the medical and technological world, recovery rates are better than ever. it’s all about listening to your body, having a good doctor to relay concerns to and knowing the signs and symptoms of brain tumours.

please spread the word!


xo, mama lola
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