Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Little Sister

**I was planning to stay quite on this subject, but my little sister has let me know that it is okay to tell you all the details of what has been happening in our family over the past few weeks. So here is her story. She is the bravest, most amazing person I know. Thank you all for your constant prayers and support, even while being in the dark about our situation. It means more to me and my family than we can ever say.**

My little sister Missy had been having a terrible headache for weeks. It began on the way down to Florida for our family vacation, and never truly went away. It hit a peak when we were out of state to meet Cici, but she called her primary care physician and he told her to take Excedrin Migraine. We picked some up and she began feeling much much better. The headache was still there, but she was able to function. She was able to enjoy the weekend with her new niece. Everything seemed better.

Over the next few weeks the headache lingered on. She went to the doctor. Several times. They thought it was a sinus problem. They thought it was migraines. They just weren't sure. Finally her PCP sent her to a neurologist. She thought it was a pinched nerve. She thought it was migraines. She said the Excedrin was causing part of the headaches and she needed to go off it. At no point in any of these visits did they actually scan her head.

On Friday, August 27th she was at work (she works at the hospital) and her head was hurting so badly, and she knew when the Excedrin wore off it would be unbearable, so she went down to the ER. The doctor was positive it was a migraine, but said nobody should have a headache for seven straight weeks and not have a CT scan. That is when they found it. A large brain tumor in her frontal lobe. At first he didn't think it could be cancer because it was so large, but once an MRI was preformed he became pretty positive that it WAS cancer. She was sent home Friday afternoon with surgery scheduled for first thing Monday morning.

Monday August 30th my sweet little sister had brain surgery to have her tumor removed. They say the surgery went very well. They got most of the tumor. Most but not all. They said they knew they wouldn't be able to get it all. It was a tumor of the brain, not from someplace else in the body. This means it was impossible to tell for sure where the tumor stopped and the brain started.
The tumor was located right against the speech center of her brain, so he wanted to take as much out as possible without jeopardizing her ability to talk. He did an amazing job. That same night she woke up from surgery talking and was her perfect normal self. She felt like crap of course, and had one hell of a headache, but she was still her. Still Missy. Perfectly her sweet self.

She spent the next couple of days in the hospital and came home that Thursday. Amazingly, she went back to work (part time for now) this week. We are still waiting on all the lab results to find out the type and grade of the cancer. The doctor believes it is a non-aggressive, slow growing cancer. The best you can hope for once you find out you have brain cancer. The said as long as it is grade 2 or lower she will most likely only do radiation treatments and not chemo. We will find out all those details soon. The waiting is hard, the not knowing what comes next.

She is so strong. Stronger than I could ever imagine being. She has faced this situation with such grace. I feel the desire to stand between her and this situation. To try to protect her somehow. She is my little sister. My baby sister. It is my job to watch out for her and keep her safe. She does not need this. She doesn't deserve it. But that is not how these things work. You deal with the hand you are dealt, and she is dealing with hers amazingly well.

One reason Missy has said I could share her story is because
On October 10th our family will be participating in the University of Cincinnati’s 5K walk/run for brain tumor research. A team has been set up in her honor, Melissa’s Magnificent 10. I will be walking and hoping to raise $500 to help their ongoing research for Brain Tumor treatments and cures. If you would like to make a donation to the cause, it would be greatly appreciated by me, my family and the entire research team at UC. You can make donations on my personal page at:

Sarah's Brain Tumor Research 5K Donation Page

Credit and debit cards can be entered on the donation page or checks can be given to me or mailed in.

Thank you all so much for your support. Your prayers and kind words during this hard time have meant so much to us all. Together we will fight this, and she will win.


  1. I am so sorry that your sister had to face this--wow. What a time for family to bond together.

  2. Your good thoughts and prayers mean even more considering all that you and your family have been dealing with. Know that my thoughts and prayers are also with you all.

  3. Oh my gosh. I never in a million years expected this to be what was going on in your family, and especially with someone so young. It brought tears to my eyes. I just can't even wrap my head around how your family or your sister must have felt hearing that news. She is definitely an amazing, strong woman.

    It is so hard when cancer actually touches the life of someone we know, it is even harder when it shows up in a situation like your sister's.

    Please put the link to the donation page on your sidebar so that I can donate later and have easy access to the site.

    Best wishes for your sister. She is even more in my prayers and heart now, as are you and your family.

  4. My prayers are with your family and your baby sister.

    God Bless-

  5. Oh Sarah I am so sorry to hear this. My friend's father had a brain tumour, and it is so scary. Why the brain of all places? Your sister is in my thoughts.

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  7. Oh girl. I'm so sorry. I will keep praying for your sister and your family.

  8. I am so sorry to hear, such a wonderful thing to see families band together in a time like that. Prayers and good thoughts

  9. I am so, so sorry to hear that this is what you and your family have been dealing with. You have been in my thoughts all this time and I'll send extra love your way...

    also, I tried donating but each time it said there was a problem verifying it, so I don't know if it's because I'm from outside the US... I'll try and get a cheque sent instead... good luck for the walk xx

  10. Fund raising is a great idea! I am so pleased you found a good way to burn this pain into something positive.

    I hate cancer with everything I have got. Even more than I hate IF.

    I am glad you will consider supporting your sister with mind-body medicine as well. Dont let them glaze over the critical things - nutrition, stress management and pastoral care.

    Your sister is at the center of my thoughts right now. Your whole family.

  11. so so sorry for your sister. she is definatly brave and in my prayers.

    (and, I live in Akron! ::waving from up north!::)