Sunday, January 27, 2013


BEST.DOCTOR.VISIT.EVER!!! Went to my neurosurgeon's office on Thursday for a follow-up. Saw the Nurse Practitioner who told me "I have something to show you." As we enter the room, he hands me a skull and tells me it's my skull. He then removed the little piece that had been cut from the top of the skull (bone flap) and flipped it over to show me that my last name was engraved in it. WHOA! This is MY skull! They had an exact replica of my skull made to show their patients how a bone flap works. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! I immediately got really excited and told him that I wanted one, so guess who has a new personalized Halloween decoration now?!?!! He made me hide it in my purse, and as we were walking out of the room he told me not to make eye contact with anyone, LOL!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

6 Years

This post is a little late (by 15 days) but I celebrated my 6 year Tumorversary on Tuesday, June 19th. I wanted to do something meaningful this year to celebrate since my 5 year Tumorversary fell on Father's Day last year, so I thought I would cut my hair and donate it to Locks of Love. After my surgeries I made a promise with myself that I would cut and donate my hair to Locks of Love once it was long enough to do so. Well, come to find out I couldn't donate my hair because I have bleached highlights. I was really bummed because this was the only real meaningful thing I could think of doing to celebrate and I wasn't able to do it. My husband felt bad for me but is also glad that I still have my long hair. He LOVES my hair long. 

Anyway, my family made the day a GREAT one for me. My girls surprised me in the morning with a cake they had made and decorated, balloons and the table set and decorated:

Each of the balloons had a message on them. Two of them said, "Brains!" and the other two said, "Happy 6 Year Tumorversary!"

Then there was this special one sitting at my spot on the kitchen table:
It says, "I will eat your brains!! From: Zombies"
I thought it was really cute cause I love playing Plants Vs. Zombies.

And here's a close-up of the awesome decoration on my cake:
The Pepsi can is cut in half, representing how much of my brain my surgeon removed  during my craniotomy. The confetti inside the can represents my brain, and the 6 is for the obvious- representing 6 years of being cancer free. I love how creative and thoughtful my girls are!!! 
We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse as a family to celebrate:

and after the kids were in bed, Dustin and I watched "A Little Bit of Heaven"

I couldn't have had a better day. I am so grateful for my incredible family, for the love that they have for me, and for the life that I have. I have been blessed in so many ways and feel very fortunate to be doing so well. I am also extremely grateful for my husband and the strength that he is to me and to our children. I'm not sure if I could be as strong as he is if he was the one with the cancer. The last 6 years have been good to us and I can only hope that the next 6+ years will be the same. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"I was thinking today about our brain surgeon.  He's a nice, normal guy.  I can't imagine how it would be to wake up in the morning and go to work knowing that the life of a mother and the fate of her family hinges on the steadiness of his hands.  What a heavy burden that must be, one I'm happy to not have.  We have the utmost confidence in his abilities to do everything in his capacity to perform a successful operation.  I know that beyond that, it is in God's hands.  We feel at peace with whatever the outcome may be."

A friend of mine posted a link to her sister-in-law's blog on Facebook today. Her sister-in-law recently found out that she has a brain tumor and is anticipating surgery. Her husband posted an update and said the above in his post. There is nothing but truth in his comment about brain surgeons. What a burden to have, yet they take it on. I am so very grateful to my surgeon and his strong desire to be aggressive with the removal of my tumor. I will be celebrating my 6 year Tumorversary in 1 week from today. I have been extremely blessed to have had these 6 years so far, tumor free, and I look forward to another 6+ years! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Gonna Love You Through It

As I was driving home tonight I heard this song on the radio for the first time and it really caught my attention. I wanted to know the name of the song and the artist so I used the Shazam app on my phone to get that info.

Anyway, the song is about cancer and SO BEAUTIFULLY (written and) sung by one of my favorite artists, Martina McBride. Just click on the title below and make sure you have a tissue handy.

I'm Gonna Love You Through It

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The truth about having a Brain Tumor

Someone who is part of the online brain tumor support group I belong to just sent this message to the group, and I want to share it here because there's no better way to describe what it's REALLY like to have a brain tumor:

I've noticed (acutely in recent years) that society's pity and compassion for an individual largely depends on the outward signs of their disease and condition.  Oligo patients tend not to have external indicators of their disease, at least not until the end of their course.  We generally don't talk strange (at least after SLP), we don't walk strange, we often appear perfectly healthy, our dominant chemotherapy regimen (Temodar) is quite mild, and a lot of us appear to be perfectly normal, healthy individuals.  But we know what we face: the uncertainty of recurrence, the enormous anxiety before MRIs, certain subtle deficits not easily noticed by others, health insurance issues, the greatly diminished likelihood of enjoying retirement, etc.  That is not insignificant suffering.  And a lot of us are probably in worse of a condition as some people with obvious indicators of their condition who can nonetheless expect a healthy, long life (and no MRIs, which I have come to liken to death row probation hearings).  We miss out on a lot of sympathy, compassion, and pity as a result.  

I want to add that we also fear not being around to see our children get married, or any grandchildren they might give us. Those are my worst fears. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another MRI

And another year of no recurring tumor!!

Father's Day this year (6/19/2011) was my 5 year "Tumorversary" which is really exciting- but getting the news that your MRI after those 5 years still shows no sign of recurring tumor makes it even more exciting.

And because my 5 year Tumorversary landed on Father's Day this year, I thought it would be even better to celebrate on my 6 year Tumorversary because it will be the exact day that I had my surgery. Looking forward to  it!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Before and After

My mom just emailed me these pictures. Brought back a lot of memories.

This is me on Father's Day, 2006, getting my hair cut off in preparation for my surgery the next day. I asked my friend Wendy to give me a haircut that matched Dustin's, so she did. We went to lunch at MiRanchito with my family (parents and siblings included) right after. It was really weird to have such short hair! 

And this is what I looked like right after my surgery. I have never seen either of these pictures until tonight, and forgot that I had a black eye (and swollen face). 
I look so sad! 

I'm glad my mom took these pictures. It's crazy to think I went through all of this and here I am today, with hair past the middle of my back and doing well. I'm very grateful for all of it!