Afraid of life, until September 7th, 2004
I guess the best place to start is when I turned Eighteen years of age. I and my Three older sisters all had a place to live at home with Mom. My parents divorced when I was just Four years old and Dad came out on the weekends to visit. He really did not know what to do with us girls when we were younger, but now that we were all Eighteen or older, we got along with him much, much better. The visits became more sparse as I got older, but I still saw him, occasionally.
When I turned Eighteen years of age, my sister, Julie was at home for the summer break from College. She went to AC in North Texas. My two older sisters were off living on their own. One was married, the elder one, and the other one was living in Houston after she attended AC as well. I guess you could say, I copycatted one of my sisters, by trying to commit suicide as a way of telling my mother that the man that had befriended us when we were children, had hurt me too. I was too scared to tell her earlier, when the other sister was going through therapy, because the man still threatened me by “blowing off my Mom’s head” if I ever told anyone! He did some nasty things to me is all I care to say from the ages of seven to fourteen. This man is now DEAD and died of THROAT CANCER! God got his revenge. My belief, not yours or anyone else’s.
I called a Psychiatrist after taking a bottle of pills, when I was Eighteen, and was put in a mental hospital. I had a WEIRD Psychiatrist! She told me to go to College in Missouri, where I had gotten the Scholarship to, and to Never come back! Actually, it was good advice, only one problem, in 1994, I was on my deathbed, due to my very first brainstem lesion and therefore I had to come back and my other sister and my Mom took care of me before that sister went into the Army JAG Corps.
My whole life, from age Eighteen to Twenty-Seven has been spent Fighting for my life. I had Gamma Knife Radiation in 1990, 14 Shunt revisions throughout the Nine years, and then One craniotomy to take out the first brainstem lesion which at the beginning we thought was malignant and inoperable! We were very lucky to find someone to take it out! Turns out I am the 23rd case in the Whole United States to have a brainstem surgery AND to have lived to tell about it WITH No impairments! It took MONTHS of Rehabilitation though! The original diagnosis was made in May of 1989, 1 month before my 19th birthday.
After 18 months of rehab, I was better but still got yearly MRI’s to make sure there were no new growths. After seven years, it seemed I was in the “O.K.”. If this years turned out normal, I was going to wait two years before the next one to see if there was any new growth. I do have chronic hydrocephalus though and each time I go to the Emergency room with a Migraine, they usually do a CAT scan. That gives me an exposure to radiation to the brain, I found out, and I have had probably 100 CAT scans since 1989.
From 1997 to 2004, I have been afraid of life. I have constantly clung to doctors and hospitals because that is all I have known! I was diagnosed with a terminal illness and then it suddenly disappeared. Life has been strange to say the least. I was working on it though. In 1992 I contacted Dr. Bernie S. Siegel and he has become like a “Dad” to me because let’s face it, my dad has never really been there. I email him, Bernie, poems I write every Monday. He has given me meditation tapes and I have bought his books and he has given me some of his books too. He is so very inspirational. He is of God.
My family, part of them, came to an appointment with me on September 7th, 2004. After the appointment I was a little mad but mostly tired for I had a bad headache. I came home and laid down. I woke up that evening and realized that my family loves me and I love myself! I love me! Wow! What a concept! It filled my heart with so much joy that when Mom came home I just sobbed! She hugged me and said it would be okay.
On August 9th, 2004, I had my yearly MRI exam of the brain. It showed a Second lesion in the parietal lobe. I am getting a Second opinion on Wednesday, the 22nd of September with my Old neurosurgeon.
Here I go, fighting for my life, again. I had brushes with Death and went into heaven the first go around. God, just take me or leave me here. That is all I ask.
Written by Becca E Henry September 19th, 2004 9:17am CST, All rights reserved