Melissa’s Unexpected Journey
I was unexpectedly diagnosed with a baseball sized brain tumor in November, 2013. I was so anxious when I heard about the seven hour surgery that I would have on December 17, 2013… risk of preoperative death, loss of vision, memory, language, and smell. As the mother of a 9 year old and 5 year old, I stayed up well into the nights contemplating what they would do without me. I felt guilty- this is not what my husband “signed up for”. I imagined the pain that my parents must have felt. At the same time, I felt tremendous gratitude for the outpouring of support I received. I also felt a tremendous sense of purpose to continue teaching nursing students, advocating for patients who don’t or can’t have a voice, and teaching myself and children about courage and bravery (we called this the “eye of the tiger”). I am blessed to have a successful removal of the entire tumor (we named it Darryl). Darryl was gone! I now live MRI to MRI. But, I have the “eye of the tiger”. On a good note (I have to smile…) I have learned to step over dirty laundry to watch TV with my children, I have an excuse to forget almost anything, a story that tops almost anybody’s, new found purpose, tremendous gratitude for life, and a vanity license plate : LOV LYF.