Don't Take Life for Granted
3 Minute Read
How many times have you been told or have heard live everyday to the fullest because tomorrow is not guaranteed? I myself have heard that quite a few times but never thought much about those words until this past October when my husband and I were at a second option for his Brain Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). An AVM is a mass of tangled abnormal blood vessels that connects arteries and veins in the brain. Due to the size and location the AVM is inoperable and his chance of a brain bleed(Hemorrhage) is 50-100%. The chance of a brain bleed in a person who doesn't have an AVM is 1-3%. The doctor continued on to say that there was a spot that had become weak and is shown signs of recurring bleeding and healing over and over. They have basically told him he needs to sit in a chair and do absolutely nothing. The doctor referred us to a neuroradiologist as our only option.
His AVM causes stabbing and dull headaches everyday all day. His vision is his right eye is showing signs to vision loss and his speech and memory has begun to show problems. As I go home and try to let all this news sink in all I feel at this time is completely numb. I could very well become a widow in my 30's and my children would have to deal with the loss of their father. This AVM is an unstable ticking time bomb completely out of anyone's control. So I started to worry about a sneeze, a cough, walking, bending down, taking out the garbage really anything he did. I was a nervous wreak and my rock, best friend and love of my life was the one I needed but I felt I needed to try to be strong for both of us. As the month went by I was exhausted, not sleeping and defiantly needed to find a positive in all of this. The appointment grew closer to seeing the neuroradiologist and I knew I needed to try to see a light at the end of the darkness.
It was the morning of the appointment and tensions were very high today. We barely said two words to each other as we were both so nervous but we were trying to stay strong for the other. When your with someone for a while you don't always need words to know what the other is trying to say! We finally arrived and sat in the office and waited. Felt like hours and finally the knock that would determine the rest of our life together. We're putting my husband's life in this doctors hands, our last chance and hope. "Okay here we go" I tell myself. My husband placed his hand onto mine and held on for some good news. The doctor enters the room shakes our hands, sits down, grasps his hands, looks us both in the face and had the same look as every other doctor that had seen my husbands AVM. It's a oh my gosh how are you alive and you could have a brain hemorrhage at any time.
He begins by apologizing to my husband for having to go through this. That made us feel that he was very sincere and he really wanted to help us. He told us the only option was what is called gamma knife radiation; that is high targeted radiation. It's not the best option and he really would have preferred to have it surgically removed, but that is not an option. Since the mass is so large the radiation has to be done in two treatments instead of one. It will take 2-3 years for the mass to be gone and during those years the hemorrhage risk is still there. As his only option and a chance to get his life back he agrees to have the procedure. We will go in April to have the first treatment and and new beginning at life. I can't sit around and worry because I don't want to waste another moment. We have decided to try our best to live each day to the fullest and spend it happy and enjoying life. The thing I have learned the most while going through this is that you can make anything a memory. It doesn't matter if the pictures lighting isn't good, or your hair is messed up, or the kids are crying just take the picture and when you look back on them they will tell a story of your life you have created. Tomorrow is a blessing so we should treat it as such!