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Author Topic: Katalyn Schoppen - Living with the Void  (Read 760 times)

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Katalyn Schoppen - Living with the Void
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:55:30 AM »
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What is a brain tumor?
Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children. Approximately 3,140 children under age 20 in the US are diagnosed with primary brain tumors each year. Primary brain tumors start in the brain and generally do not spread outside the brain tissue. Brain tumors, either malignant or benign, are tumors that originate in the cells of the brain. A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue.

A benign tumor does not contain cancer cells and usually, once removed, does not recur. Most benign brain tumors have clear borders, meaning they do not invade surrounding tissue. These tumors can, however, cause symptoms similar to cancerous tumors because of their size and location in the brain.

Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells. Malignant brain tumors are usually fast growing and invade surrounding tissue. Malignant brain tumors very rarely spread to other areas of the body, but may recur after treatment. Sometimes, brain tumors that are not cancer are called malignant because of their size and location, and the damage they can do to vital functions of the brain.

Brain tumors can occur at any age. Brain tumors that occur in infants and children are very different from adult brain tumors, both in terms of the type of cells and the responsiveness to treatment.

Katalyn layed on her lumpy matress in the ladies rest, staring at the cieling and listening to the rain patter on the roof. Musical notes poured under the cracks of her door and window, winking with the promise of sound and motion. She closed her eyes and covered her ears, trying to shut the music that kept pouring into her mind out. She had learned long ago normal people didn't hear like her, didn't see like her- they couldn't hear the music in everything or see the notes. Katarkan lore said music was inherent in nature, and she did hear the sounds no one else heard in the world around her. Saw them too. Had since she was a child. And as always, just at the edge of her perception was the hole. That gaping void in everything, she could feel it calling to her. Once when she was very young, she let herself slip into the hole. She slept for a whole month while her worried family kept her alive by feeding her sips of broth. The village doctor called it a Coma.

There were other differences, too. She knew she wasn't normal. She had her queer fits, her sudden mood swings. No one could explain it, but she knew it was because of the hole somehow. It made her different. And she didn't like to be alone with it. Sometimes it would go away and she'd be fine, but usually she hated to be alone. Of course no one understood, they couldn't see the hole.

Only her...
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 12:57:01 AM by Kung Fu Orc »

Daciana Varzaru- "If fate is a principle beyond Human comprehension which capriciously torments man, then it is karma that man confront fate with sorcery."

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Re: Katalyn Schoppen - Living with the Void
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 01:00:47 AM »

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Anatomy of the brain:
The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord. The brain is an important organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, respirations, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates our body.

The brain can be divided into the cerebrum, the brainstem, and the cerebellum:


Enlargecerebrum (supratentorial, or front of brain) - composed of the right and left hemispheres. Functions of the cerebrum include: initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature, touch, vision, hearing, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, emotions, and learning.

brainstem (midline, or middle of brain) - includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla. Functions of this area include: movement of the eyes and mouth, relaying sensory messages (i.e., hot, pain, loud), hunger, respirations, consciousness, cardiac function, body temperature, involuntary muscle movements, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.

cerebellum (infratentorial, or back of brain) - located at the back of the head, its function is to coordinate voluntary muscle movements and to maintain posture, balance, and equilibrium.


Katalyn smiled, listening to the rain patter off her umbrella and the sounds of the sun rising, it's warm rays searing through the dawn air with an audible hum only she was able to hear. Barovia always played a moody symphony, the bright peel of the sun offset by the percussive rythmn of the rain. It made every morning feel like one of dire intention, rising action. Occasionally a peal of thunder would ripple through the air, like the chords of a piano. She found a dry place to sit and began to take notes, copying down the song so she could play and fine tune it later. People always asked her where her music came from. She told them from the sun and the rain, the frogs and the tree's. They always laughed and told her she was being modest.

And she always smiled, and didn't bother to correct them.

Daciana Varzaru- "If fate is a principle beyond Human comprehension which capriciously torments man, then it is karma that man confront fate with sorcery."

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Re: Katalyn Schoppen - Living with the Void
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 01:05:46 AM »
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What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
The following are the most common symptoms of a brain tumor. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms vary depending on size and location of tumor. Many symptoms are related to an increase in pressure in or around the brain. There is no spare space in the skull for anything except the delicate tissues of the brain and its fluid. Any tumor, extra tissue, or fluid can cause pressure on the brain and result in the following symptoms:

increased intracranial pressure (ICP) - caused by extra tissue or fluid in the brain. Pressure may increase because one or more of the ventricles that drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) has been blocked, causing the fluid to be trapped in the brain. Increased ICP can cause the following:
headache
vomiting (usually in the morning)
nausea
personality changes
irritability
drowsiness
depression
decreased cardiac and respiratory function and eventually coma if not treated

Symptoms vary depending upon which part of the brain the tumor is found. Symptoms of brain tumors in the cerebrum (front of brain) may include:
seizures
visual changes
slurred speech
paralysis or weakness on half of the body or face
increased intracranial pressure (ICP)
drowsiness and/or confusion
personality changes


Symptoms of brain tumors in the brainstem (middle of brain) may include:
seizures
endocrine problems (diabetes and/or hormone regulation)
visual changes or double vision
headaches
paralysis of nerves/muscles of the face, or half of the body
respiratory changes
increased intracranial pressure (ICP)

Symptoms of brain tumors in the cerebellum (back of brain) may include:
increased intracranial pressure (ICP)
vomiting (usually occurs in the morning without nausea)
headache
uncoordinated muscle movements
problems walking (ataxia)
The symptoms of a brain tumor may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

The hole was very deep, that day. She decided to find someone and tease them. That would take her mind off of the hole. It always did, even when the music couldn't. People took things so seriously. She understood the big joke of life though, how the void was always hovering over your shoulder. She could feel it, taste it, understand the peace and quiet it promised and the oblivion it meant. In the face of non existance, absurdity was the only sane response. Anyway tormenting someone relentlessly was -always- fun. Maybe some day she'd find someone who could take a decent ribbing and marry them, too. But she doubted it. That was alright, she had the worlds music to keep her company.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 01:11:59 AM by Kung Fu Orc »

Daciana Varzaru- "If fate is a principle beyond Human comprehension which capriciously torments man, then it is karma that man confront fate with sorcery."