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My Mom’s Story..Marilyn Holland

Published on April 9, 2016 in Share Your Story

My brother & his wife Jen are running in their 1st 5k walk/run for brain tumors today in California in honor of my Mom who courageous fought through a total of 3 brain tumors in a 25 year span..I was only 6months old when she had her 1st brain tumor, they operated, gave her chemo treatments & she beat that tumor only to discover a short 4 years later another but more deadly grade 4 glioblastoma had developed. Doctors told her she had a zero percent chance of living through this type of tumor. My brother was 7 & I was 4..she was not ready to leave us, my Dad & her family.

They operated again & she signed up to be a test patient using experimental drugs so hopefully the medical field could learn from her illness. She was in the hospital for 6 months!! But it paid off..she lived through those horrific treatments then managed to live a fairly normal, healthy life being a wife, nurse & incredible mother. She had a couple of seizures every now & then.. Which were scary to witness. Then came the 3rd tumor which was found after she had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage & was rushed into surgery. She had a devastating stroke on the operating table..they told us she wouldn’t make it through the surgery..but she did! Then they said she’d never walk again because of the debilitating stroke.. But SHE DID!

They told us the 3rd tumor was inoperable & due to her stroke & health at the time that doing treatment (chemo) wouldn’t be good for her quality of life. They said she could live up to 10years with no treatment for that particular tumor. They put her on hospice care & she still managed to be such a fighter. So they took her off hospice in total amazement that she didn’t die after all that! A few years later my Grandma noticed my Mom had bruises all over her. She said she would develop a bruise just by looking at her..They went to the Dr.’s and discovered she had acute leukemia. My Mom knew, being a nurse, that this was a death sentence for sure. And she was right..her body couldn’t fight this final disease.. It was just too much. She was a 27yrs old when this all started..

She passed away in September 15, 2000 at the young age of 52.. Through all this she was never bitter & never asked why me..she over came these obstacles with grace & a wonderful sense of humor. She just fought long & hard to stay with us as long as she could. Even at the very end being the nurse & incredible person that she was, she STILL wanted to do something positive & help the medical community find a cure so others don’t have to go through what she did & so their families don’t have to suffer this incredibly painful loss of their loved ones. She did her final selfless act & donated her body to science so they could learn from her. When I say my Mom was AMAZING….I mean she was a true medical miracle & unlike anyone I’ve ever known. I am in awe of her & her super human strength..She is my hero. I think about her everyday & talk about her to my girls & anyone who will listen to keep her memory alive. I will miss her for the rest of my life. Thanks for reading my Mom’s story. Please, if you can, think about making a donation to help find a cure for cancer & to honor my Mom. Thank you! ❤️

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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