No more Christian Louboutin heels. How self-centered was my thinking! I had no idea how life-changing this diagnosis would be. My Stage IV breast cancer metastized to my cerebellum in my brain. The cerebellum is located in the rear brain and sized no bigger than a fist. This little lobe is 10% of the brain, but controls 50-80% (depending on the study) of the nerve cells that make up your brain. The cerebellum receives information from the nervous system (the cerebrum, brain stem, and spinal cord) to coordinate voluntary movements like walking, posture, balance, coordination, eye movements, and speech. The cerebellum modifies movement to make it fine and precise.
The cerebellum is thought to only impact motor control. But it also coordinates language, processing of emotions, attention, pleasure or reward response, and fear response. New studies are investigating the cerebellum’s roles in thought, emotions, and social behavior, in addition to possible involvement in addiction, autism and schizophrenia.
I must say of all my surgeries, this was the most difficult surgery to rehab from. You don’t realize how automated motor and fine motor skills are utilized constantly. I was in a wheelchair for months after surgery and unable to write. In the hospital, via physical therapy, I moved to a walker. The kind of walker that people put tennis balls on the front wheels. Mine had skis 😊. Eventually, my physical therapist saw how much my gait and posture improved when I used the borrowed walker with the seat. Amazingly, the hospital bought me my own wheeled walker with a seat that I use to this day! What a blessing! I also worked with an occupation therapist to recover speech and writing. Yep, I had to learn to talk again! The writing never took off.
I still have lingering effects of this diagnosis. There are so many things that I cannot do now. My balance is still off even though I do my physical therapy exercises and walking daily. I thought I would be back in my heels by now. Wearing cowboy boots with a 2inch heel and flats are my new normal. I’m just happy I’m still here 18 years after diagnosis!