Ten Years Ago, I Was Diagnosed With A Brain Tumor
Health and Wellness

10 Years Ago A Brain Tumor Changed My Life, Now I Live With It, Stronger Than Before

It made me angry, but now I see the beauty in it.

Emily Henrichs

On May 1, 2009, I woke up with an awful headache.

I remember going out to my mom and telling her about it. I tried to explain it to her, but I couldn't. It was like slamming my head through a concrete wall. Now, multiply that by 10. My dad says it should really be 100, but I'm too tough to admit it. Thanks, dad.

I got ready for school, but I wouldn't even walk through the door before I was in the bathroom, sick. That was the start of my life changing. You probably thought this was going to be something completely different. Well, no.

This is the story of my brain tumor and how my life changed in a beautiful way from it.

As I said, it all started on May 1, 2009. Ten years ago, I went from a normal kid with a normal childhood to one who would experience a lot of pain for the next ten years, and most likely the rest of my life.

I'm going to cut to the chase here solely because there is a plethora of information for two and a half weeks. Anyways, on May 18, 2009, I woke up with a headache, which at this point was a daily thing. It was a game of "how bad is it?" It was usually awful, but I kind of brushed it off as "not bad." This one, on May 18, 2009, was a different story. It was truly horrible. I can still remember it. Yes, 10 years later, I can still remember a headache.

This headache made me cry. This headache made me ask my mom, "Why is this happening?" After two doctor's visits, we didn't have any answers. She asked me if I wanted to go to school — I said yes. I rode my bike to school that day, however, I wouldn't be riding my bike home.

I ended up getting sick at school. My mom had to come and get me. I will never forget her walking into the office to pick me up. It was a scene she had seen all too often at that point. Her daughter in a chair in the office with a trash can in front of her. She took me to the doctor's office. I did a CT scan of my head.

It was a brain tumor.

I had a lot of hate within me because of this. I was terrified. I cried. I yelled. I didn't know what else to do. Of course, I had to be admitted to a hospital. I had surgery less than 72 hours later. My life was changed forever. It was changed in a good way, though. Let me explain.

Before my tumor, I was not, for lack of a better term, OK. When I look back at who I was before my tumor, I am not proud. Sure, there were some things I liked, but for the most part, I didn't like who I had become. My tumor changed all of that. It took a while, but it's changed.

At first, I truly wasn't OK. For a long time, I held the anger I had in. I clung to the fact that I had a tumor, and let it control my life. About a year after my surgery, I decided it was time to look at the bright side. I now know that good can come out of horrible stuff.

Ten years later, it's still rough sometimes, but I see more good than bad. My tumor has created relationships I wouldn't have had. My life was changed but in the best way possible. I couldn't ask for anything better. Even though I struggle in everyday life, it's worth it. I don't know what my life would be like without my tumor, and I don't want to know what it would be like.

My brain tumor could grow at any time, but I'm ready for it if it does happen. Through all of the pain, joy has been more abundant.

I did it. I made it. I reached ten years. I didn't think I would reach one.

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