Hi everyone, this is the quick rundown. In 2007 at the age of 25 I was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. After months of dealing with intense headaches, neck pain, fatigue, and finally double vision I went to see my doctor who immediately sent me in to get an MRI. Within an hour of finishing the MRI, the doctor called and sent me directly across town to a neurosurgeon. When I was first shown the picture of my brain I could hardly believe it was actually mine, and that somehow I was still functioning. A huge white mass (turned out to be about the size of a racquetball) was taking up what looked like ¼ of my brain. Within the week I was having brain surgery, and soon after that I got my lab results back telling me that my tumor was indeed cancerous and aggressive – an anaplastic oligoastrocytoma if that means anything to anybody:)… and I would need to immediately start treatment. I was told that the average life expectancy for my type of tumor is 4-7 years.
I completed 6 weeks of radiation treatment in Seattle at U.W. Medical Center and then was able to move back home to Portland. The next couple years were a lot of fun. Working, traveling, roommates, new & old friends, discovering the oncology massage world, starting my nonprofit, moving into a beautiful apartment for my first solo living experience. It was non-stop adventure, that’s for sure. The tumor decided to make a comeback in the fall of 2010. That January I had surgery to remove the tumor. Recovery was an entirely different experience than the first. I came out of the surgery with some deficits, experienced depression, and felt like it took months to get back on my feet. It turned out though, to be the most surprising year of my life!
I started chemo, some crazy guy named Doug started to pursue me, I moved home, lived with a best friend, got engaged, finished chemo and was married in November.
That March we became pregnant and late summer of 2012 the cancer returned. November I will be undergoing both an early C-section and a brain surgery, having no idea what lies in store – especially with the added element of a sweet husband and precious baby in the mix.
Here’s the thing. I have an incredible God! He has carried me through this entire journey and has no intention of ever letting me go, no matter what may lie ahead in my future. God never promised us a painless life, only that he will never leave us. He alone will determine the number of my days, and there’s no one else I’d rather put in charge. He’s provided me with the best family in the world, and friends that totally rock my socks off! I have never ceased to feel everyone’s support through so many prayers, especially made possible through this website. As far as life goes… I am thankful to be alive and loving every day that I am blessed to dance around on this earth with you. I continue to get MRIs every 3 months to watch for tumor re-growth and am learning to deal with all the accompanying emotions. There are lots.:)
The update page carries the whole story… beginning to end (although all the comments got erased at one point when I changed accounts… very sad), and I continue to add updates when I can (working on doing that more frequently). The most important thing you need to know about me is this – I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart, soul, and mind. My life belongs to Him alone and there’s no other way I would have it. Life doesn’t get any better than that… cancer or no cancer. I pray that you also, wherever you’re at in life can experience the ultimate peace and deeply transforming joy that only comes with an intimate walk with Christ.
Love to you all,
Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.”