My battle started 10 years ago when the doctor said ‘brain tumor’. The next word I heard was ‘surgery’…four days later I went under the knife. I was petrified, but I knew God was with me. After an 8 hour surgery I came out into recovery; a tumor and my memory gone. The worst part was when my mom came in and set my 3 year old daughter on my bed and I didn’t know who she was. I praise God that the memory loss only lasted about three days. That girl was and still is my life; my world and my reason for waking up each day! But on the bright side, I had my appetite! Just minutes after being checked into my room in the ICU, I was eating a roast beef sandwich and drinking a cup of coffee!
I’ll keep this part of my story short (yes this is just the beginning). I’ve worked hard over the past 10 years and today my brain is working in different ways than science claims it should. I use different parts of my brain to remember my life, my daughters life, my family. But I am also struggling with epilepsy caused by the trauma of the brain surgery, and severe bi-polar that was just accelerated by this surgery. I also have chronic migraines. I have not worked in 10 years due to the headaches and severe anxiety that the bi-polar causes.
Let’s jump to the year 2008 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 malignant melanoma. My first surgery was in August. The wide excision came back positive for cancer. Next came blood work, CT scans, MRI’s, PET scans, more biopsies and finally in October, the removal of all the lymph nodes in my left armpit. That was a pretty tough on my family. My mom moved in with me just to change my bandages and care for my 12 year old princess. My next surgery was scheduled for January 3rd, 2009. About five days before Christmas 2008 while standing in the kitchen stirring a bowl of gingerbread cookie dough and making Christmas cookies with my mom, daughter and sister, I collapsed to the floor and curled up in a ball holding my stomach, screaming, in excruciating pain! So off to the emergency room where I sat for 8 hours having pain medicine pumped into me, until they transported me by ambulance (in a blizzard) to a trauma center. No one could figure out what was wrong and I laid in the hospital before for a full week before they found a volleyball size tumor on my cervix that had twisted. January 3rd, the day I was scheduled to have my nodes removed from under my right arm, I underwent my longest, hardest surgery. In that one session on the operating table, I had my lymph nodes removed while at the same time was having a complete hysterectomy. Praise God the multiple tumors they removed were all benign! I spent the next 2 weeks on a morphine pump. Once again, when I came home, my mother and daughter did all my care; changed my bandages, fed me, neoprened my incisions, and just overall loved me unconditionally.
Today, 3 1/2 years later, 5 rounds of chemo, every one of which landed me in the hospital, I am still fighting. I’ve had no remission, no break, nothing good to report. BUT WAIT!!! I lied! Last week, after my normal 3 month scan, I heard the word……SHRINKING!!!!!! Yes, the lesions in my lungs, tissues, and on my skin are all shrinking!! Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!!!
That’s my story..please keep me in your prayers, I need more good news! I need a break. I need remission!
But until the day that happens…I’m going to fight, fight, FIGHT!!!!!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.