MY STORY

I started blogging in the spring of 2015 as a way to keep my family and friends updated on my medical journey. At that time in my life I was about to start radiation and chemotherapy, due to the regrowth of the cancer cells in my brain. Yup, I have a brain tumor. I've always been open to everyone about my health and thought blogging would keep me occupied during this crazy time in my life. And it did, even more than I expected... 

Rewind back to 2011:

This was the year I graduated from Oregon State and my husband, Carter, was drafted {for baseball} by the Arizona Diamondbacks. That summer while he was playing I started looking at places to live in Arizona. We thought it was perfect since that was where spring training was at and his MLB team was located. I had a degree in Child Development so I was planning to work in Arizona during the school year, be there for spring training and then be able to travel with him each summer. After his season ended that summer we went up to Canada {where he is from, yes, he is Canadian!} and he proposed. Things couldn't have been any better! 
About a week after that we packed everything up and made the move down to Scottsdale, Arizona. We were only there for about 3 weeks when I had my first grand mal seizure. We were driving to look at a wedding venue when I had the seizure and later found out it was from the growth of a brain tumor. It was fairly large, on the left side and in my temporal lobe. Shocked and in disbelief, I didn't understand how this happened. I was just starting my life, healthy and only 22 years young. I never would have thought something like that was growing inside of me. Luckily, I had great support from family and friends which helped a lot, but still, it wasn't easy. 

We later found out it was a grade II Oligodendroglioma. I had my major surgery on January 25th, 2012 at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. I couldn't have asked for better doctors which were able to get about 95% of it out. Since it was done in my temporal lobe it affected my time frame, reading, spelling, processing information, associating events together and most of all my short term memory. The only physical damage was vision in my upper right eye and frequent head pain/migraines.

After Spring Training, in March, we decided it would be better to have family close by. So I moved back up to Portland as Carter left for his first full baseball season. I had regular MRI's and doctor visits to keep track on how things were going. Everything was looking good and we continued to live our lives. We got married on October 6th, 2013 in Happy Valley Oregon. It was, by far, the best day of our lives. I was feeling better than ever.

That next fall {2014} when things finally seemed to settle down it happened, regrowth... the cancer was back. It was still a very slow growing type but there was regrowth. I'll admit it, I was devastated, frustrated and so confused. But I got myself together and was ready to start battle number 2. After a couple months of trying to figure out what would be the best way to go about it I started treatment in March of 2015. It was 6 weeks of chemo everyday and radiation Monday-Friday. After that I took a 21 day break to let my body rest and then I started a 6 month cycle of just chemo {which actually only lasted 4 months}. Despite having to stop the treatment I ended up having great results and a positive outcome. It was harder than I thought, stressful and I even have PTSD from everything. BUT this is life and going through everything has made me realize anything can happen. It hasn't been easy going through everything these past five years, but it has made me appreciate life and everything with it so much more. Always remember, whatever you have or whatever you are going through things can always be worse. Think of those who would do anything to be where you are now. Life is a gift and we need to appreciate every moment.
 

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