Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanks and Giving

I have so much to be thankful for.
I can't possibly start to list them all. I'm scared I would forget someone. The obvious ones:
  • I'm thankful for the power of prayer and positive thinking.
  • I'm thankful for modern medicine.
    • Lung cancer treatments have kept me alive with a quality of life that is allowing me to be brave enough and my body strong enough to tackle this new brain disease battle.
  • I'm thankful for my continued life.
    • I was diagnosed with stage iv lung cancer in August 2015. I was recently diagnosed with an ultra rare progressive brain disease.  But we know from researching my cancer brain scans, I've been living with this for over 2 years.  It's even possible I was born with this disease.  We may never know the cause or the time it developed.
  • I'm thankful for the love and support from my family and friends, near and far.
    • I'm also thankful for the friends that are more like family to me.
    • I only know some of these people from being online.  I know I must have met a few of these distant relatives when I was a child and when I was younger. I'm thankful we found each other and are able to stay in touch thanks to Facebook.
  • I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers.
    • This comes from many places.  It overwhelms me at times to think about the individuals, foundations and organizations that come together to support me, my fundraising, my wellness and my quality of life.
It's the giving season.
Please consider making a donation this Giving Tuesday.
I can't thank the people that have already donated to help me get through my trip to California and recovery from my upcoming brain surgery.  All our savings has been spent on my lung cancer battle.  There is no savings and very limited paid time off work to get us through the next 10-12 weeks.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help collect needed funds to get me through this difficult time.  To make a donation to my Go Fun Me account, click the DONATE button.
Lisa Moran Battles Brain Disease
If you prefer to make a Tax Deductible donation this Giving Tuesday, please consider donating to these charities that are near and dear to me.
This organization has provided me with free reiki and healing touch sessions that's relieved me from physical pain and stress.
Now, on to my Thanksgiving Traditions.
As I'm posting this blog entry, I'm watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. To attend in person is a bucket list item of mine.  I have the mac n cheese in the crockpot. Some of you know my "secret ingredient".  Since moving to Colorado, Thanksgiving weekend 1999, it seems more traditional to have Thanksgiving dinner with friends than family.  Jeremy and I will be joining friends for dinner today. For those of you that have opened your homes and set a place at your thanksgiving table for me,
THANK YOU!  


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brain Disease and Being My Own Advocate

When I was diagnosed with the ultra rare brain disease, Moyamoya, I thought that it was a good thing to treat with baby aspirin.  But after thinking about that for a day, it actually meant, take baby aspirin and wait until I have a stroke before treating with surgery.  The more I thought about it the worse that idea sounded.  Wait until I have a potentially deadly neurological event?  Hell no!

My research for options lead me to the Stanford Moyamoya Center in California.  Dr. Gary Steinberg is an expert in his field and has performed over 1400 Moyamoya surgeries.  I sent my scans to Stanford for a second opinion.  It's a wonderful service.  The Stanford Moyamoya Center and Dr. Steinberg reviews scans and gives second opinions at no charge to the patient.  No insurance, no out of pocket.

This second opinion just confirmed my doubts I had with the Denver neurologist.  He just didn't have experience with and knowledge of Moyamoya.  My right interior carotid artery is 100% blocked.  I'm at a high risk of stroke, aneurysm, TIAs and/or seizures. Although, taking baby aspirin and waiting for any one or more of those things to happen is an option.  Surgery that can potentially keep me from ever having a traumatic neurological event is also an option.  Dr. Steinberg's approach to my case is, let's take care of the problem before there is a problem.  I'm so lucky to have this diagnosed before any serious problems.

Maybe it hasn't sunk in.  Maybe having 2 years of lung cancer under my belt has prepared me for another incurable disease.  It's just another bump in the road of life.
Clipart, not Lisa's actual brain
I started a Go Fund Me Campaign to help with all the added expenses that will go with brain surgery and recovery.  You can read more about my brain disease battle and donate by clicking  HERE.