It was just a lazy Sunday before Thanksgiving; I was recovering from my 4th hip surgery (because clearly I am an 89 year old disguised in a 46 year old body). I had just poured myself a cup of coffee and sat on the couch with my kids (Katy age 13 and Cooper Jr. age 9) to watch home videos. Well over 3 minutes later, I come to and find myself grabbing the vest of one of the first responders…screaming, “Why does it hurt so bad?” Apparently, I had let out a gutteral scream, dumped my coffee on my daughter and proceeded to have a grand mal seizure that had me seizing and planking so violently, it crushed my T-12 vertebrae. I have never had a seizure in my life, so as I am in a brace recovering from a broken back, they start testing to determine the cause of it. An EEG came back abnormal. So they did an MRI on my brain and found a malignant tumor in my frontal lobe on Christmas Eve.
Let me tell you, I was not very merry or enjoying the holiday season of 2016. When they did the brain surgery to remove the tumor in February 2017, they discovered it was an astrocytoma-diffused…meaning it is incurable and will keep coming back probably until it kills me, but I am blessed that my tumor is slow growing (thank you, God, for throwing me a bone here)! Living with a nebulous yet almost guaranteed expiration date is tough. I was scared to death but putting lipstick on this pig like nobody’s business so they wouldn’t worry about me. Every morning instead of being grateful, I felt like I had cement boots on walking through molasses, just trying to get through the day without thinking about this ticking time bomb in my head.
I have just recently felt a shift in me, though; I need to freely feel and walk through my pain and fear – not polish it up for everyone, but face it head on, embrace it and see it as an opportunity to redefine myself at age 46…slow down, be present and truly “in the moment” each day, not future tripping and wasting precious time worrying. Some days I can still feel overwhelmed, but I want my husband and kids seeing me fight through it every single day with laughter instead of doom and gloom. Thank you for reading a bit of my story. ~Kel (the name Kelly means “Warrior” – I never felt it suited me until now!)