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Sunday May 4, 2014     Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC
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Wear GRAY for Me.

February of 2012 I was having a lot of really bad headaches, I would literally wake up with one as soon as my feet hit the floor and have them all day.  I called them white out headaches because sometimes they were so bad that I wouldn't be able to see, only white.

My wonderful husband, Ryan made me make a doctors appointment, being a busy new Mom, I spent all of my time taking care of my 1 year old!  

I scheduled my first MRI of my brain, then a CAT scan of my brain.  For the record.  THEY ARE VERY VERY VERY LOUD and about 45 minutes long.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am sensitive to sound, so thus far, this was the most horrible thing ever!

I learned that there was an unknown 'mass' on my brain.  My Mom got me into the Director of Nuerology at Johns Hopkins, he told me that I needed to have it removed.   I was terrified.

I had to have my brain cut open. I had to sign documents that said I could die. I had to think about Noah being without a Mom.  That is where I stopped.  I would be OKAY. I would have my craniotomy, the tumor would be removed entirely and I would heal quickly and be able to take care of Noah very soon thereafter.

About two weeks later, May 2, 2012 I was being rolled into the Operating Room.  I remember the nurses putting a mask over my face, I asked if it was to put me to sleep, they told me "No, this is to get rid of the dirty Baltimore air."  Sweet Dreams Jen...

I woke up in the Nuerology Intensive Care unit, so nauseas, that I could not even turn my head or open my eyes.

I can't remember it perfectly.  But I do know all of the nurses said they were shocked.  They could not believe that I healed so fast.  That I was able to get up and walk around so soon after surgery (a couple days--and slow) but I was up!  I was determined.  One thing that I did.  It sounds silly.  I imagined myself sewing little red hearts into my scar on the back of my head.   A large angry looking scar.  I really think mind over matter (ha!) helped me here.  




Fast forward a week later, (i was told i may be there 2 weeks)-I was in the car and on the way home from the hospital.

My AMAZING husband stayed home with me for almost 8 weeks.  I wasn't able to lift my Son, not in or out of a car seat, not in or out of a crib. I needed help taking care of him all day and night.

This is when Ryan learned the true meaning of a stay at home Mom, and he was shocked, surprised, and oh-so-grateful, of all of the daily duties and tasks that came with being a stay at home Mom.

I have had 5 or 6 MRIs since my craniotomy, they do get easier.  So far, so good.  I am doing well.  

on May 2nd, 2014, I celebrate my (2nd) 'Cranniversary' because it IS A BIG DEAL! 

Since all of this madness, I have learned a lot.  The biggest lesson that I have learned? Most everything isn't a big deal.  :)


I am uniting with others to make a difference in the fight against brain tumors. I am passionate about this cause, so I’m taking action and need your help. The National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure are making strides for a cure - but more needs to be done. Please join in my effort!


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