My Mom’s Story with a Brain Tumor and Mine…….Climb Your Mountain!!!
In the summer of 2003, our mother was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor at the age of 67. She went into the hospital for a biopsy and the diagnosis was stage IV glioblastoma. However, this story is not about her death, it is about her life. Especially the way she embraced life all the while knowing well that no treatment or surgery would take away her brain cancer. I often visited her early in the morning at RI hospital to spend alone time with her. I was fortunate, I (along with my six siblings and dad) had time to say goodbye. But mom did not want to say goodbye….she wanted to laugh with us, embrace us, love us, and continue to be the teacher she was to all of us in all things. I thanked her one of those early mornings I had alone with her. I remember telling her how much she had taught me, how she made me who I was today. She looked over at me, smiled with her bright blue eyes, reached up with two hands to grab my face, and told me “and John, I’m not done yet.” No she wasn’t. She taught us how to leave this world with laughter, strength, grace, and yes…..fear and anger at times. All the time telling us all how much she love us. She died four days after entering inpatient hospice surrounded by a family that loved her so dearly.So eight years later, her teaching once again carried me through a rough patch. Diagnosed with a brain tumor almost 3cm large, I was numb when I received the diagnosis from the MRI results. But my mom gave me faith, strength, and courage. My tumor was benign, surgically removed in a ten hour operation at MGH, and I have recovered to full health.
We will ride the metric century Boston Brain Tumor ride on May 18 for a number of reasons:
1) Our beautiful and wonderful mom who loved us all unconditionally and taught us so very much, 2) for those who have lost loved ones to any form of cancer, tumor and their memory, 3) to fund research for a cure, and 4) to let people know that life after a brain tumor/cancer doesn’t mean you are knocked down. In fact, I have found for me it helps you appreciate life so much more and strive to get back up and climb that mountain and push yourself to enjoy life to the very fullest. Each day is a blessing.
Much Peace and love – John and Stephen (team surrender)
www.facebook.com/john.m.killion (my personal facebook page where you can donate for a cure)