It has been ONE year today since I had a Brain Tumor removed. I’m tearing up just typing this. I know that I have been tough and strong, more than I ever expected. But looking back on this long difficult year makes me cry both for sadness and joy. I have had so many family members and friends supporting me through this. I have had God my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ my Savior, and the Holy Ghost with me to give me strength, love, and peace.
Early Monday morning on August 11, 2014 Colt, my husband, took me to the MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX. Doctor Jeffrey S. Weinberg was my amazing Neurosurgeon. My brain tumor had been rated at level 2. Rated 4 is the worst which would mean the tumor was growing quickly. Only the surgery and testing the tumor could show them where the exact tumor rating. After the surgery they told me it was at a 3. I was told that in a few weeks I would have 6 weeks of radiation then a few weeks after that I would start 12 months of chemo. It was an overwhelming feeling.
After waking up from surgery I remember being exhausted. The surgery I think was around 11 or 12 hours. I feel terrible for Colt, my parents, and family having to wait those hours to know how it all went. I was lucky to sleep through that stress.
I had some great nurses and others that helped me out at the hospital. I feel sorry for them because I was a different person on that pain medicine. I was cranky! And I cried a lot. I know that no one blames me for that, but I still laugh and feel kind of bad for acting unlike my normal self.
Soon after waking up the hospital workers started testing me. The worst thing that put me in huge tears was not knowing my 4 boys’ names. I could picture them and remember everything about them except for their names. It was awful! I learned that my more recent memory had disappeared. I could remember my 3 brothers’ and 1 sister’s names, but I had no idea what my sister’s married last name was or any of my siblings spouses’ names. I knew my parents were Mom and Dad, but I didn’t even know their real names. It was like all I could remember was the names I knew as a child. I think I knew Colt’s name pretty quick. We met when I was 17. The plus with that was that I remembered so many friends from my growing up years. The bad was that I had forgotten more recent friends. I still have trouble remembering names of new people I meet, but I’m getting better.
I think I was at the hospital for about a week. Then I went home to my parents’ house. Colt had taken a new job so we were moving out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area down to the Central Texas area. I was so happy to be out of the huge and busy city life.
My mom and I went back up to the Dallas area to live at the home we still rented to go to an amazing brain radiologist. Doctor Choe with UT Southwest in Dallas. It was 6 weeks of living up there with my mom and my 2 youngest boys. Colt and my dad took care of my 2 oldest boys who had started school. I won’t get into all of that. I’ve posted about it before. After the radiation my MRI showed that my tumor was gone so I’m grateful for that treatment. Even though I became half bald, and the radiation was claustrophobic making!
My last chemo medicine will be taken at the end of September. Doctor Carl Chakmakjian in Waco has been great to work with. I am excited to celebrate that last chemo pill day! Plus my hair has been growing back!
Today is my huge celebration! I survived and have been so blessed. I love my Heavenly Father and know that I will see Him when I leave this earth. But until then I am grateful to still be with my husband and young boys as they grow and learn. I am grateful for the good and the bad experiences I have had and will continue to have during my life on earth.