On the Sunday before Thanksgiving last year, we received shocking news. My husband’s sister, Melanie had a seizure in bed and was rushed to the emergency room. After a few tests, they found a tumor. In her brain. We were floored. As we scrambled to catch an airplane to San Diego, a hospital worker told her the kind of tumor she had. The prognosis? 18 months to live.
My husband and Melanie are only 18 months apart in age and are very good friends. As we drove to the airport in Seattle and took a flight to San Diego – we were devastated. To lose a loved one, at such a young age, is heart breaking. My husband barely spoke at all.
Thankfully, when we arrived and spent time in the hospital and met new doctors, we found out that she was misdiagnosed. She did not have that particular tumor. But it was brain cancer. Stage 2 Astrocitoma mixed Oligodendroglioma to be exact. This brain cancer has a 3-8 year life expectancy.
After two brain surgeries and an experimental vaccination, we are hoping the tumor does not grow back. A recent PET Scan was done as a 6 month follow up and showed a “glob” and we are praying it is just scar tissue. With 4 children (3 of them under the age of 8) and a large family who loves her – we want her to live much longer than the 8 years.
My sister in law Melanie has stayed so strong during this time. Not even a year has passed but she joined a half marathon, bought an RV, traveled our country for 7 weeks, and just finished a walk for her brain cancer support group. She alone raised $4K for the walk. They have switched to an organic, vegan diet, and the improvement in their life spiritually, physically and as a family has been phenomenal.
This is why I nominated my sister in law Melanie in the Yahoo! Women Who Shine contest. I nominated her in the survivor category. Because no matter what, she is a survivor. Even if brain cancer takes her one day – she is the ultimate survivor. Please take a moment of your time and vote for Melanie. You can vote one time per person, even if you voted for someone else in the contest you can still vote for her. (You must be logged in to Yahoo! to vote.)
This is a guest post by Seattle area family blogger, LaVonne, author and owner of Long Wait For Isabella.