How it feels to have a brain tumor

CHALK HIF brain tumor

Lianna Bartlett is a junior studying flute. She transferred to the University this semester. In August 2018, after weeks of almost constant nausea and dizziness, a brain tumor was removed from her cerebellum. The cerebellum, located at the back of the skull, controls balance and coordination.

In May I had a stomach bug, and that started all the dizziness that I had. It was what I thought was a residual vertigo from the stomach bug.

About a month later, it got better. I drove across the country. I went to the beach, hung out with friends. I was a normal 20-year-old girl. And then, at the end of July or the beginning of August, I started getting a little dizzy again. If I turned my head too quickly, the room wouldn't necessarily spin, but I'd feel off balance for a couple of seconds.

A couple weeks before I was about to pack my life up and move to Kansas to start school, it just got horrible. I didn't feel comfortable driving anywhere. I was sleeping all the time because I was just exhausted from being so dizzy.

The Monday morning we were going to drive out, the car was completely packed, and I jumped in the shower to get ready. I had to get out of the shower to throw up. My mom looked at me and said, “We're going to the hospital.”

I told the doctor all of my symptoms and he said, “It's probably vertigo, but we're going to give you a head scan just to make sure.” Like, why not? So they gave me a CT scan and they found something. It was a large something that shouldn't have been there.

It was a four-and-a-half to five-centimeter mass. Basically it was the size of a small Kiwi. It was in my cerebellum, so at the back of my head.

I kind of panicked. The only thing I could get myself to ask was, “Is it operable?” And the surgeon looked at me and he said, “Yes.” And I go, “Great, get this thing out of me.”

The doctor had cleared his whole schedule for me on that Wednesday, so the very next day. It was a 12-hour surgery all day. It started at nine in the morning and went to 9:00 p.m.

When I woke up after surgery, the painkillers had started working and I could kind of tell what was going on around me. The surgeon had told us by then that it was benign.

I had a headache at first because they had just cut into my head, but it was a different headache than I had had previously. It wasn't so sharp. My neck was super sore.

I went into the hospital on that Monday and I was out the next Sunday, so it was seven days. I was in the hospital for brain surgery. Like, what?

My mom drove me home, and I went with her into the pharmacy to pick up my pain meds. I had to cross the street. As soon as I turned my head both ways, I was like, “Mom, that's the first time I’ve done that in months where I haven't felt like I was going to fall over. I feel normal again.” And I was just so happy. I could tell that I could just live my life.

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad