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4 Brain Surgeries – 1 While 7 Months Pregnant

Published on August 12, 2014 in Share Your Story

4 Brain Surgeries – 1 While 7 Months Pregnant


With two children, two dogs and a husband who traveled for work two weeks a month, with a full time demanding career and a big mortgage — life was challenging. I had to be organized and on my game in order to do everything that needed doing. And I was, and I did it well. And I often thought that sleeping in late or for 8 hours a night would be a huge luxury. My schedule was so tight that if anything went wrong it would be almost disaster so I kept everything tight. I was wound just as tight. We were trying to have one more child. I got pregnant, we joked that I’m “fertile Mertle” because we didn’t try hard at all.

Then something odd started to happen. I started tripping, Fast forward and my OBGYN said, I think you should go see a specialist. Still not suspecting anything — I went. After some simple physical tests he ordered an MRI. The call came while my husband was in town. Within a few months I was wheelchair bound and my doctor said, you must go now before it kills you! It was growing fast The hormones of pregnancy were making it grow. At seven months, I flew to LAX; they could not do it in Hawaii. The galley was full as they wheeled me in. No one wanted to miss seeing 16 hours of brain surgery on the pregnant girl. There were 26 doctors and they had to bring in special equipment in case the baby “came” while under. No, he slept — well, like a baby through the whole thing. The Pediatrician and OBGYN there “just in case” and all the equipment not usually in a Neurosurgery room was for naught. I was determined to have my baby at home in Hawaii.

One month later I was cleared to fly. I didn’t tell the airlines I was pregnant or they probably would not have let me fly. Two weeks later I gave birth to a healthy 6 lbs boy. Ikaikolaakea “Strength of the Sacred White Light”. Another surgery when he was 3 months old, gamma knife and 16 years later it would come back. Two more surgeries in 2012, Radiation, new medication and “It’s gone”, I was honestly never afraid I would die, I was never unsure if I would “make it”. It was always just “okay, another thing to do-check-done, next?” I was a working mom, I didn’t have time, I had one son graduating high school going into the Airforce, one daughter going to college and a baby!? And did I mention a big fat mortgage? I did insist that the doctors never said the word Cancer around me or my family or wrote it on our paperwork. I don’t like what that word makes people “see” and “feel” and vision. So, it became “just a growth they have to cut out, If it grew out of your leg, it would be no big deal but it’s in your head so everyone freaks out.” I literally said that to everyone. “Just a growth they are gunna cut out and it will be over.” So everyone had the same vision and I mean everyone. The kids, my brothers, sisters, parents, husband. EVERYONE saw that. “Just a tumor, they will cut it out and it will be over.” Well, it was a little more involved. Total 4 brain surgeries to date. But now, its gone, the nightmare is over.

Next? VISUALIZE the perfect end result only. See yourself in good health playing with your family. Don’t hold the vision of all the sickness and pray. Pray. I will pray for you too.

Opinions expressed within this story belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views or opinions of the National Brain Tumor Society.

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