“As I was about to have surgery to remove tumors due to a deadly disease, my son’s witnessed me having a seizure in front of them. It is a moment I wish I could delete in time. Before I went under I wrote them this letter in case I never woke up.
‘Dear Meatball & Rooster,
One of life’s most precious gifts is that it is fleeting. Everything you’ve ever known can change in a second, a minute, or just a few hours.
On Sunday, June 24th, 2018, I had a seizure on our kitchen floor right in front of you while you were playing together with Play-Doh, and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. You were both so confused and scared and so was your daddy. We found out hours later I had tumors in my brain, ear, and spinal cord. They’d likely been there my whole life, and they have begun to show symptoms.
I was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis II. It means one of my genes is broken and allows tumors to grow throughout my neurological system (23 tumors in all). Two of these tumors are so large (about the size of my fist) and they’re causing seizures, so I need to have surgery to have them removed.
This morning, my neurosurgeon called to say my most recent MRI shows my blood supply could become compromised by the surgery. If my blood supply is severed, then I will have a stroke during surgery and I will not wake up. But, if I don’t have surgery, then my tumors will continue to grow, killing me anyway.
While this is all very new and scary, my decision to move forward with the surgery is intentional, and I’m doing it because of my love for you. I have so much to fight for, and I need you to know I am doing this because YOU are worth it.
As the days have passed and we draw nearer to surgery we’ve had the unique opportunity to look at life through a new lens. Everything is different and yet nothing has really changed at all; we simply have knowledge we didn’t before June 24th and a diagnosis that wasn’t there before.
I’ve never taken our time for granted but still each moment seems sweeter now and its an incredible blessing to experience life this way. For example watching you sleep, and imagining all of the things you’ll accomplish in your lifetime; taking you to a baseball game, holding your little hand as long as you’ll let me, teaching you to ride bikes, and hearing you giggle. The little things are the big things; I find myself staring at you often, trying to capture each memory and hold onto it forever.
My prayer is one day this will all be a distant memory, a thing that happened, a chapter that has closed. Although you are both intuitive I know you are too young to remember all of the details of these pivotal moments. But your daddy and I will remember and when you’re ready we will remind you of how these days unfolded and why we made the choices we did.
I want so badly for this to be a story of strength and triumph that will inspire you to live your best life without fear of the unknown. I want to watch you grow up and face your own challenges head on. I want to see what you wear on your first day of school, who you fall in love with, and what you decide to be when you grow up. I don’t want to miss a moment. I want for you to see life is a beautiful thing that should never be taken for granted.
We are never promised tomorrow and we need to make each day count. There are things that are within our control and things we have to leave to faith. So for now I am simply trusting God’s plan is the same as mine.
If there is one thing I can weave within these words and capture here for you forever it would be my undying, unrelenting, never ending love for you. It is something truly tangible you have the ability to carry with you long after I’ve left this earth.
If I wake up, I will fight every day for you. If I don’t, please, don’t ever doubt the power of a mother’s love for her children.
I love you all the stars in the sky; I love you all the angels in heaven; I love you all of the leaves on all of the trees; I love you all of the fish in the sea; I love you all the raindrops in the ocean; I love you all of the miles to the moon and right back down again.
When I woke up, I felt SO alive. I remember my nurses all saying ‘most people aren’t this AWAKE right after brain surgery.’ I couldn’t wait to see my husband. I kept asking them to go get him. Finally, someone allowed him to come into the recovery room. I tried to jump out of the bed, a nurse held me back (so I didn’t fall and hurt myself as the anesthesia was still wearing off). We held each other for the longest time. Finally, I said, ‘God isn’t done with me yet.’ All of our nurses were in tears, and so were we.
We waited a day before we let the boys come to the hospital as we didn’t want them to be scared by all the equipment in the ICU. When I did wake up my husband and I took photos with the bear they made me to show them I was okay. My oldest was scared at first but eventually he warmed up and let me cover him in kisses. He now wants to be a doctor to cure his momma. Wouldn’t that be nice? ”
Read more stories of families overcoming illness here:
‘I hadn’t even held my baby yet when the doctor came in. ‘We’ve found a growth. You need to come back in 2 weeks.’ I lost it! The happiest day of my life quickly turned into the worst.’ Cancerous growth found on woman’s labor day’
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