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How I became my hero

Published on November 14, 2016 in Share Your Story

August 27, 2013. My wife’s 35th birthday. I was at work planning a nice family dinner to celebrate. My cell phone rang and the next thing I know I am laying in the hospital hooked up to an EEG and an EKG trying to determine why I passed out at my job. Urine tests, blood tests, the EEG and the EKG all came back good. The ER doctor said he wanted to do a CT scan just to make sure I hadn’t experienced a seizure to rule out epilepsy.

After what seemed like hours the doctor finally came back and gave me and my wife the news that would change the course of our lives.

“I’m not a doctor that can say yes or no on this but you need to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.”

August 27, 2013. The day I became the owner of a 15mm pineal gland tumor. The neurologist recommended the “wait and see” approach. It was benign. I trusted his advice.

Slowly and unnoticed by the people I was around, my personality was changing. By 2016, I began having problems with balance, memory, and my normal easy going persona has been replaced by an irrational anger that cost me my job with two different employers. Then on June 4th, 5 days before my neurologist appointment to get a second opinion, a friend’s dog got out of my house and as I was trying to get the dog back in the house I collapsed on the sidewalk. Now being treated as post-stroke at 40 yrs old, I was instructed that I could not return to work.

At some point during the last 3 years, I have found a strength I had no idea existed. A strength that was stronger and more determined than the strength I had found as a soldier in the U.S. Army. I realized that I could not give up….ever.

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat.

Now I am heading for disability after losing some dexterity and strength in my left (dominant) arm as well as loss of feeling on the left side of my body. Until my claim is approved, I am unable to seek medical attention due to lack of insurance.

My tumor is 15mm x 9mm x 11mm and is in one of the hardest to reach areas of the brain.

My hope wavers, I cry, and I’m angry most days… but I fight. I fight for my family, my friends, and everyone else who has been affected by a brain tumor. #gogray365

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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