On May 7th, 2006 – just 11 days after turning 29 – I woke up and was unable to speak. After a multitude of tests, it was determined that I had a 10 cm oligodendroglioma brain tumor that sat directly on my speech functions. I was told I might only have 5 to 7 years left to live. It was beyond shocking to receive such news. It was scary to think that I might only have a few years left to live. Fortunately, many years before, I was able to understand that the God of my salvation was also the God who ordained all things and so I could rest in knowing that even something as frightening as this was from Him and for my good.
People from all areas of my life (past and present) surrounded me, my husband and my two children (a two year old and a 7 month old) as we walked through those dark days. My very skilled brain surgeon (Dr. David Andrews from Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia) was able to remove one third of the tumor – any more would have cut into the brain and caused me to lose my ability to speak permanently. I also underwent 6 weeks of radiation treatments (which did not change the size of the tumor).
After that, all that could be done was to watch the tumor that remained. Here I am, 5 years later, with two-thirds of the tumor still in my head. But it has not grown at all and has remained stable. I am in good health (with the only side effect being partial seizures that take away my speech for several minutes.
They are more embarrassing than life altering.) Still the doctors say that the tumor could begin growing again, but I am thankful for the years that I have had. I praise God for giving me five healthy years since my diagnosis (which also included the birth of 2 more children.) He has been kind to me and I trust Him with whatever the future may hold.