Megan is a cheerleader at her middle school. While cheering at a school game, she got hit in the head with a basketball that seemed to just come flying out of the air. Because she felt nauseous and looked a bit disoriented her coach suggested she might have a slight concussion and said we might want to take her to the ER to have her checked out. Being the often accused “overprotective” parents we are, we decided to do just that.
After arriving in the emergency room , the on call doctor decided to do a cat scan “just to do on the safe side”, “I’m sure you’ll be on your way back home in no time” she said. Boy was she wrong! She came back to us & told me & my husband to please come sit with her, and please sit down she said. She then proceeded to tell us that the scan revealed a mass on the back of Megan’s brain. She said they were transferring us by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital here in Phoenix actually the Barrow Institute to be more specific. My husband and I, I guess we both must have looked like we’d been hit by a ton of bricks. I remember saying “NO there’s got to be some mistake” but the ER doctor said NO myself and the radiologist feel strongly about what we see.
Then, we had to tell Megan that we would need to go and she asked why and what was going on. What did they find? We didn’t know much detail ourselves so we didn’t really have many answers. After arriving at Barrows we met with one of Megan’s surgeons, she explained to us that the mass (a tumor) looked to be about the size of a lime and it was at the back of Megan’s brain and they would be operating on Megan at about 8:30 am the very next morning. And they did, 6 hours of surgery. The next day an MRI revealed that some of the tumor was still there. So, the day after that Megan underwent 4 more hours of surgery. The head surgeon, Dr. Spetzler came to us and said this time it WAS ALL GONE , TUMOR ALL OUT! And then the next great news was when the oncologist came to us and said that the tumor was a low grade 1 tumor and benign.
After spending 13 days in the hospital we went home. Megan was so very strong through it all . She had left side paralysis and double vision, which they said were both normal and temporary effects from where the tumor was located and where they had to operate. Although at first they had recommended on campus therapy, we decided it was best for Megan’s spirits and well-being to be at home with her loving family and surrounded by her friends. As it turned out Megan needed therapy for a recommended 2 times a week for about 2 months. They were so impressed with her strong will to just get stronger and stronger they just kept coming up with new challenges for her and she would just exceed their expectations!
And while recovering from her surgery she also contracted the H1N1 Flu Virus! She is very active, not only is she a cheerleader but she also plays school softball & volleyball. Her double vision did indeed go away as did the left side paralysis. And although the doctors advised she not play sports for the rest of this school year they said Megan will be capable of playing the sports she loves by next school year. After her follow up visit with the surgeon they told us that Megan will be going for an MRI next year and that these will be a part of her follow ups to make sure any tumor NEVER RETURNS! Megan and all our family proudly wear bracelets that say BRAIN SURGERY BEEN THERE DONE THAT–TWICE. She is a strong 13 year old girl, who today happily dances around the house just as she did before and we THANK GOD EVERYDAY for the DEVINE INTERVENTION of hitting Megan with the basketball that day because the doctors said because she wasn’t experiencing any symptoms whatsoever we might never have know that the tumor was growing on her brain until perhaps tragically it could have been to late.