Hard, but Good: Erin

Describe an event in your life that was hard, but good. What happened? 

In June of 2020, at the age of 33, I went in for an MRI of my brain since I had a significant change in my migraines. The report showed I had a tumor in my sinus cavity that was growing into my brain. Within 3 weeks, I was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma stage 1 of the skull base and sinonasal cavity, and by the end of July, I had surgery to remove the tumor and reconstruction on my skull base to protect my brain. I am now cancer free!

How did you feel about this event while it was happening? 

During the periods of waiting, I often felt like I was having to prepare myself for death which isn’t an easy task when you have 4 young children and a husband and a home. When I got my diagnosis and stage, I felt some relief but wondered what my life would look like after surgery. I was told there was a possibility I could lose my vision completely in my left eye and my sense of smell. Trying to handle all of this while also continuing on my daily life as mom was quite the challenge, but I know that the saints interceded on my behalf and that Christ was with me (and still is) the entire time.

What meaning did you see in the event after it happened, as you looked back? 

The importance of what I’m doing in raising and homeschooling my children became so much more important. I felt like God literally removed me from every single environment except my home from March until the beginning of September when I was cleared. I know now that staying home and loving my family in every moment is exactly where I am supposed to be.

How has the memory of that event affected other areas or choices in your life? 

Absolutely. You don’t ever go back to who you were when you are faced with the possibility of death at the age of 33. Life and every moment becomes a little sweeter, you realize your strength you acquire through prayer can really get you through anything. It also has some negative consequences though. It’s made me more paranoid with my kids and their health and also mine. I don’t doubt I have some lifelong PTSD from that experience.

What one piece of wisdom might you share with someone else living through a similar experience?

Put one foot in front of the other while saying the Jesus prayer with every step and take it one day at a time. Take your worries and fears, and after dealing with what you need to each day, put them on a shelf. Go for a walk, do not stop living and sink into despair. Look for the signs from God, He is always with you and sending you little reminders that He loves you.


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