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Coming Out

You may find this odd now that I am publishing a blog but deciding to “come out” publicly on Facebook regarding my brain tumor was not something I took lightly.  I had previously created a closed Facebook group to keep close friends and family informed after receiving the diagnosis in October of 2014.  Since I was Facebook Friends with several colleagues, going public was a different thing altogether.  Not knowing what the future held, I was concerned that I would be perceived as being ill and I would someday regret sharing this information.  The fact that I was ill was beside the point.  To my surprise once I shared what was going on, my colleagues started commending me on my strength.  They became my biggest cheerleaders often checking in and offering me opportunities for work as soon as I am ready. What can I say, I have amazing colleagues in the professional fundraising world and I, will forever be grateful for their belief in my abilities.

By the time I “came out” I already knew my son and I were going to create a book about our experience. I/we decided to use our story for the highest good, hoping we could raise money for brain tumor research and help others in similar situations by sharing our story.  Following is how I went about my “coming out”…

[Facebook Post 6/19/2015]

Hi everyone. As some of you know, a lot has happened in our household during the last year.  To make a long story–short: I had a seizure one-night last October while I was lying in bed reading with my son, Noé.  When the seizure struck I couldn’t speak and I was afraid I was going to die.  All I could think of was the impact it would have on Noé’s life if I died that night in his bed.  After a week in the hospital, we received a diagnosis of a slow-growing Oligodendroglioma brain tumor. My husband Luis sought out the best care he could find for me and I had a craniotomy at UCLA on December 9th to remove the tumor. I’m still recovering and getting better every day. We have good days and bad days, but I know how blessed I am and I’m grateful for the second chance to live.

My neurosurgeon (who happens to be the director of the brain tumor program at UCLA) eliminated all the visible tumor, but I am told that because of the kind of tumor it was there will always be abnormal cells and eventually they will form another tumor. In the meantime, Luis says my only job is to recover.  Of course, as a former workaholic, I am finding that is easier said than done. I have put myself on a schedule of gentle yoga and water aerobics a few times a week.  I am learning about cooking and nutrition (something I previously had no interest in or time for).  Also, Noé and I just finished creating a children’s book called “That Thing on my Mom’s Brain.”  Noé illustrated the book and it is written from his perspective.  It was very healing for us to work on this project together.  Our hope is that the book will raise money and awareness for brain tumor research.

Wishing you all much love and peace.

Wendy

 

 

 

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