In November of 1999, I had a baby. After I had her, (she passed away after 28 days) I was having seizures (not grand mal ones, just where I couldn’t talk). So they did a MRI and told me I had a stroke. They said my brain was damaged and there was nothing they could do about it other than take medication to control my seizures. In 2005, I had another MRI and they also told me that it was a stroke.

In July, 2006, I went down to United Hospital to the MN Epilepsy Group in St. Paul, MN, to see if they could get my seizures under control. I had been into the ER twice to get my seizures to stop; I was having so many. Once I was down there, they did their own MRI and on July 18, 2006, they told me that I had a brain tumor, the size of an egg, in my left frontal lobe. They said that it was never a stroke. I was so devastated because I went through 7 years of seizures that could have been fixed. They compared it to my MRI that I had done in 1999 and it looked the same, which was good, that means it is a slow growing tumor. They told me they wanted to take it out, but since it hasn’t grown in 7 years, I could pick my surgery date. So I picked Oct. 30, 2006. But after I went home, I had more seizures and they had changed. They told me to come back down and they did another MRI and found out that the tumor had grown 20% in just a month, so they wanted to take it out right away. They let me go home over the weekend, but Monday, September 11, 2006, I had my brain surgery. They got 80% of the tumor. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Oligodendroglioma. I had 30 days of radiation while taking a chemo pill (temodar) at the same time. I was also supposed to take that temodar for up to a year (1 week on and 3 weeks off) but it made me so sick, I had to stop after 2 times.

I have been cancer free now for over 2 years. I have been working at NDSCS for 30 years now. I am so happy to be alive and I pray every day that I continue to remain cancer free so that I can watch my boys grow up and enjoy a happy life with my husband, Greg, who I have been married to for almost 25 years.