Kelly Fattman, non-malignant brain tumor

I am one of “those people” who will run in freezing temperatures. I know that makes me sound crazy but it helps keep me sane on my busiest days. A hot shower after a cold run can give you a weird sensation—if your skin is cold enough, you can feel the water temperature drop as it hits you. After a cold run one morning, the sensation became quite extreme; it felt almost like I had been electrocuted.

I thought it was odd but figured there must be a logical explanation. Honestly, I was too busy to worry about it, until two days later when it happened again. This time, when I touched my head to wash my hair, I felt that startling sensation again—in my lips, mouth and teeth.

My health changes were not subtle so I didn’t wait two weeks. I called my primary care doctor.

I told him what happened, but because my combination of symptoms was not typical, he said that they didn’t make much sense. 3 Steps Detect came to the rescue. As he was thinking about my symptoms, I didn’t worry if he thought I was crazy or overreacting; I trusted myself and continued to tell him exactly what I felt.

He told me to take Aleve for the pain and prescribed Ativan for anxiety. (Anxiety? OK, not out of the question with a demanding job, two kids, a dog, a cat and odd sleep habits). What he said next was great “call me if your symptoms get worse.” They did, so I called. He immediately sent me to a neurologist.

The neurologist quickly diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia, which in general terms is an irritated or damaged nerve. He explained that it is painful and annoying, but treatable. He prescribed medicine, but because the pain I felt in my face when I touched my hair didn’t make sense to him either, he also ordered additional tests.

One of those tests revealed a brain tumor. I learned that tumors can work in mysterious ways, and because mine was connected to several nerves it made my symptoms unusual. I soon had surgery and the news was very good: The tumor was a benign meningioma, not cancer, and no further treatment needed.

I was lucky that I was diagnosed with a brain tumor early. It beat all of the alternatives. If I had waited or not called my doctor back, the tumor would have grown and could have left me with lasting and painful side effects. Neuralgia would have meant a lifetime of medicine, pain and weight gain just to treat the pain. I’ll take early detection of a brain tumor and moving on with my life.

To catch any illness early it takes two—you and your doctor, collaborating, sharing and finding answers together. 3 Steps Detect helped change my outcome.


  • feeling of extreme body temperature change
  • sharp tingling in lips, mouth and teeth