Christmas Day of the year 2006, was approaching, and the excitement that always lingers prior to December 25, was surging through my every vein. We had already picked out a towering Christmas tree that filled the house with that pine tree scent commonly associated with the holiday. In my ideal world, I would wake up to the gifts neatly surrounding the base of the elaborately ornamented branches above them. My entire family would then gather around, taking turns demolishing the wrapping paper and revealing the long-awaited gifts that came to cause that special gleam of happiness in the eyes of…
October 15th, 2007 was a day my husband and I will never forget. I had run my first marathon the day before and was on a high. Ben was having a MRI done on his brain. Nothing to worry about we had been told by my doctor, "it will be fine." Little did we know how the day would end. Ben was 5 ½ years old and a month into kindergarten. One day in early October he came home with a headache--nothing to worry about. He felt fine a short while later. Next day after one hour of school he…
Christmas vacation had just ended and it was the beginning of a new year, 1993. I was fourteen-years-old, a freshman in high school, and had not been feeling well for some time. However, my physical complaints were quite vague which made it difficult for my pediatrician to identify the problem. Supposedly many things can cause headaches and as for the "aliens talking to me," no one quite understood what I meant. In January, the end of the junior varsity basketball season was approaching, and our team was going to be in the championships. Unfortunately my symptoms would not disappear. I…
It was hard to believe that a baby could be diagnosed with such a serious condition a brain tumor. Russ was a happy infant who developed normally but by age one he was very thin for his age and had some slight jiggling in one eye. After two days of tests, a CAT scan revealed a large tumor in the optic nerves (affecting vision), and the hypothalamus (affecting sleep, appetite, mood and water balance). We were told it was benign because it was slow growing. I remember how traumatic it was to see such a little body put into such a…
All I ever wanted was a healthy child. Justin seemed to be the healthiest of all the nieces and nephews. He had the heartiest appetite, loved sports even as a toddler, and he was even referred to as the "bruiser." He was such an easy baby. His laid back demeanor, and his warm smile could warm up anyone's heart. Although he was doing well in his last year of preschool and was his usual cheerful self, I noticed some changes that really bothered me. He started to have random vomiting throughout the summer of 2004. My husband and I thought…
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