My Week With a Brain Tumor

UPDATE FIRST:  So I had written this post last night but it wasn’t publishing, so I was just going to try to post it this morning. Little did I know that around 4:30 or so I would suffer some major seizures. I just remember yelling for Eric as loud as I could, then I remember all these strangers in my house staring at me and asking questions then putting me in an ambulance. I couldn’t remember anything, and the questions kept coming. They weren’t being rude or annoying, just trying to figure out where I was at mentally. We got to the hospital, got settled in, and then I had another one. Next I know I wake up at Penn! Still trying to get my brain together, everything still seems foggy, but otherwise feel pretty good. I will have to stay here for a few days for observation, stay on anti-seizure meds forever, and maybe never drive again (but definitely not for 6 months). So that’s where we’re at! Now back to regularly scheduled programming lol

Ok, so I know I’ve technically had the tumor for more than a week, but, as they say, ignorance is bliss and I was sure none the wiser! Until my episode last Tuesday, I was fine. That’s what I cannot get over. I felt good overall, was capable of doing what I needed to do, and I was able to not feel like a “cancer patient” in life. I was comfy and happy in my little stage 3 bubble, just enough cancer to have a leg to stand on in discussion and ministry, but not enough to be “prognosis worthy”. If that makes any sense! Stage 3 really did become a comfortable place for me,  and I had no reason to believe I’d be anything but for a very, very long time.

Then. Came. Tuesday.

The day everything changed in huge and unrectifiable ways. (I don’t know if “unrectifiable” is a word…) The day that I was catapulted out of my safety net and thrust into the reality of what stage 4 cancer feels like.

Hollow. Empty. Unnerving, for sure.

Like everything was just one the verge of shattering. These feelings have crept with me all week, but praise the good Lord, I do believe I am gaining little bits of perspective here and there as I open myself back up to Him. At first I felt really numb to Him, honestly. I wasn’t mad at God or bitter, just didn’t really want to acknowledge Him or seek Him. That’s a sad place to be. As things sink in better, I’m more able to seek Him and, of course, in seeking- we find!

*Let me just pause here and say, I am in no way trying to just get tons of attention or pity or anything. Blogging has proven to be a very therapeutic outlet for me and oftentimes helps me sleep better and gain clarity. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be blogging more or less in the coming weeks, not that you are all waiting with bated breath for my next few syllables haha, it’s just that while my thoughts are many, they are scattered. So we’ll see what happens! Ok, sorry, disclaimer over*

So most of you know by now that my tumor was diagnosed a week ago after I had an episode of vision loss and had to go to the ER. I was proclaimed stage 4 and my whole life changed. It wasn’t thinking ahead in years anymore, it was months. I’m not limiting myself or my God, but there’s definitely something in you that says, “well if you were gonna do it, now might be a good time!” Not anything silly like vacations or bucket lists, but just things you’d like to get in order, just in case.

Unfortunately, the tumor left me feeling pretty nauseous and dizzy and without sleep (also attributed to stress! Don’t want that turd getting too much credit). So my week looked a lot like this:

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Puke bucket Selfie!!

There was a lot of crying, a lot of moping, and a lot of pity parties! No fun, there’s not cake at those…

But there were good things too! I would actually venture out on a limb and say the good outweighed the bad this week. I didn’t feel good, so I had to slow it down. I can’t drive or be alone with the kids for fear of another “episode” at this point, so that meant: company! I always had someone here with me and the kids, whether Eric, or our family, or friends stopping by. It was nice! And since the kids weren’t feeling great either, there was a lot of this:

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Ok, I know they're not my kids, but look how cute they are!

Then today [yesterday now] I got to go and get the gamma knife procedure which was…interesting! The procedure itself wasn’t painful or anything, but it did involve getting this contraption screwed to my head:

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Mmm yup, big scary spiky screws all up in my skull! 4 of them, to be exact. I was sedated while they put it on, but was fully awake for them to take it off! The tools, the sounds, the cracking…I almost passed out! So I have these painful spots in my head now (not horrible, but definitely there), and I’m so over tired and out of it. Which has me feeling a bit like grumpy cat at the moment…

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But here’s the really cool part about today, and actually the whole week, we found out in a huge way just how enormous and loving and faithful our support group is! People we know and people we don’t! There were people all day, lots of people, praying and fasting for me. That is wild. So many people reached out to us in various ways and have offered to help or offered encouragement or whatever. And every bit of it has been appreciated! I haven’t thought of a good way to thank everyone, but I wish I could. Because we are sincerely, truly, humbly grateful for everything ❤

I know this post is random and not carefully written by any means, but, meh, what can ya do?

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11 thoughts on “My Week With a Brain Tumor

  1. Kim, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now & praying for you. Found out about it through Wendy & Rodney. Friends of their family for years now. I have not been on the road you’re on, but have been battling health problems for over 17 years now. A lot of mystery in what is wrong. Still searching for answers. My heart goes out to you & your family! Praying God gives you grace for each day & brings healing to your body! Thanx for being so real & sharing your story.

  2. I just recently went through a minor surgery and am still healing up. Even though I too know our Lord and Savior I completely understood what you meant by not wanting to acknowledge or seek the Lord (during that brief time). He showed me that his grace was there for me during that time.
    It’s frightening how quickly loss of hope can set in. But He’s always there.

    Precious sister-in-Christ keep blogging. Keep loving on Jesus and resting in His promises.

    How can we find out more about how to help you and your family? Is there a church group that has organized an outreach of such…meals, gifts, etc??

    1. Helping hands fund at new holland church of the Nazarene, accepting checks in Kim,s name etc to help with medical bills

  3. Kim, you are truly amazing and inspirational. The beauty of your spirit shines so very brightly in the midst of the darkness. No doubt that God has blessed countless others through you. I hope that God, with that knowledge, brings you peace in the midst of this storm.

  4. Kim,
    I have not met you however I know Eric and his family from our time in New Holland. My husband James was actually on staff at the church back then (1999-2004).

    God continues to bring you and your family to my mind multiple times during the day with specifics. So while I have not met you, you ARE my sister in Christ. God and I have discussed the healing and miracles for your body.

    Dear heavenly Father – Please wrap your loving arms around Kim and her family (including her furry family members) and give them peace. Let them feel YOUR presence. Lord, you are the great healer, warm Kim’s body to ease the pain and please take away the nauseousness. We know you are the mountain mover – I pray that you move the mountains for Kim, according to your will. Be with the doctors and give them wisdom and guide their hands. Let Kim know that she has a whole army of prayer warriors that are lifting her name to her Heavenly Father. We love Messiah and I ask all this in your precious, holy name!

    Your sister in Christ,
    Susan Leatherwood

  5. Kim, my husband and I lived in Ephrata for three years, and the Andrew family became dear friends of ours. Like family. I’ve been following your story through Michelle’s Facebook links to your blog. And I read every. Single. Word. (You are a very talented writer.) I feel like I know you personally, and your cheerfulness, honesty, bravery, and Godliness have been such an inspiration to me. I find myself checking Facebook just to see if there is an update on you. I think and pray for you several times each day, and I’ve got our church, Concord Community Church of the Nazarene in Nashville, TN, praying for you. Just wanted you to know that your words have reached far and wide. You are loved, and you are not alone.

  6. Hi, my name is Kristin and I am experienced with grade 4 brain tumors….lived through a journey myself. I would love to reach out to you, to be anything that might be helpful. A friend of mine stumbled upon your blog and shared it with me, and I just wanted to extend an invitation to listen if you ever need to talk to someone outside of your bubble of people. I am someone who can listen and understand.

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