May 31, 2013

Go Gray in May

I've had some question about the whole "Go Gray In May" posts so I've decided it deserves some explaining, why this cause and why this year, here's why.
Those of you who have known me for years know why, but more recent friends may not  so here is the story.  Thanksgiving of 2008, I had a seizure and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.  I had never had a seizure before so obviously there was quite a deal of concern.  At the hospital they ran a lot of tests; blood work, CAT scans, MRI’s, etc. and while we waited for some results my family started to gather.  Finally a stiff, almost indifferent ER doctor came in.  With my Husband and several other family members standing there; he just looked at me and bluntly said “you have a brain tumor.”   I think I was still in a fog from the seizure, but as I watched my Brother who was standing at the foot of the bed immediately start crying the words sunk in.
Several neurosurgeon and neurologist appointments later I knew that this tumor would stay with me for as long as I could live a full life with the symptoms.  Due to the location of the tumor, the risks of the surgery were quite significant and far outweighed any symptoms I was having.  I have frequent MRI’s to watch for any substantial changes that might alter that decision, but for now I’m content with my choice.
Now let me tell you about a little nine year old girl named Aspen.  She has family that lives next door to us and has been to our house a several times to play with Sophia.  From my interactions with Aspen I find her to be a sweet, soft spoken, precious little girl.  Last summer I let the girls pick flowers from my garden and use some old vases and ribbons to make arrangements.  Sophia was so excited to have flowers in her room, but Aspen could not wait to give them to her Mom.  
A couple months ago I was perusing Facebook and read a post about Aspen written by her Aunt.  She wrote that one day Aspen was fine, the next day she had a crooked smile, a few days later flu like symptoms.  The doctor wasn’t concerned but after doing some research online, her Mom insisted on a MRI.  Unfortunately it was the worst case scenario, she had a brain tumor.  For Aspen and her family the choice to remove the tumor proved to be right, as it was malignant.  The tumor may be gone but that does not mean this horrible disease ends there for Aspen.  She’s still fighting, trying to get better.  Her family is still making tough medical decisions about her treatments.  Not to mention the growing medical costs.

That is why this May I’ve pushed the Gray, I’ve reminded you about brain tumors and brain cancer and I’ve invited people to fundraisers.  May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month; because of my tumor I’ll always be aware even though I try to censor it from most.  But it is now time for me to say something, time to make you aware, time to ask for help for Aspen and all those others who are struggling, trying to heal from this devastating life altering disease.
If you’d like to help Aspen and her family with medical expenses, please visit

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