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Published on April 10, 2019 in Share Your Story

In late 2009, I noticed that my reoccurring headaches were becoming more frequent and severe. After dropping off my three children at school one morning with my husband, I was overcome with extreme pain and was rushed to the nearest emergency room. After several tests and scans, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, an Astrocytoma. Although benign, their tentacle-like projections caused numerous issues.

The tumor was located in my cerebellum and required immediate treatment. “The tumor was so big that it broke my top two vertebrae,” I was sent to a hospital that was a couple of hours away for surgeons to remove as much of the tumor as they could. I have had five surgeries since 2009.

The initial surgery left me in intensive care for 21 days, but nothing could compare to the recovery process of my fifth and final surgery in June of 2015. My final surgery left me in a wheelchair for almost five months. I couldn’t do anything for myself; I was dependent on everyone else,”
said Gray. My husband worked 60 plus hours a week and would have to bathe me, take care of all of my hygiene, feed me, dress me, take me to the restroom, cook dinner and clean the home, all while caring for our children.”

I face many months of painful physical therapy exercises to help me relearn to walk and strengthen balance and coordination. I also faced the reality of additional treatment for my tumor. After the fifth surgery, my doctor said he wanted to follow-up with me in six months to a year and send me to radiology where they would try to use radiation to remove the remaining tumor. The night before my appointment, my husband laid hands on me as he was commanded by the Lord in prayer. The next morning, I had my MRI and waited to see my neurosurgeon for the results. The neurosurgeon was baffled because he did not understand why there was no tumor to be found and said that I would not need radiation treatment after all.

My husband and I rejoiced in their answered prayer and give all praise and honor to the Lord for the miraculous healing work He has done in her life. My faith is what kept me going. God is good, and I have learned that He will fight for us; we just need to learn to be still.”

While I still suffer from some residual impairments from surgeries, including issues with double vision, balance and coordination, hydrocephalus, partial paralysis and left sided weakness, I cling to victory in Christ. We have seen GREAT things come throughout this journey. My family has become closer, and we have all learned so much from it. It is my faith that taught me to never give up. Push until you think you can’t, and the push some more. He will fight for you. God’s got this!

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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