Young Mom Diagnosed with Brain Tumor – Video of How Supermom Amy Gordon Thrived
Amy (a mom diagnosed with brain tumor) was nominated as one of our supermoms by her friend and coworker, Ericka. In Ericka’s email, she had some incredible words to say about Amy. The last of what she wrote us read as follows – “If you’re looking for an extraordinary mom with an extraordinary story, look no further.”
So with words such as those, how could we not want to know her story?! We wanted to interview her for our Super Mom Video Series.
Her story is one of strength and determination. She was determined to get better, to not let this define her. She was determined to be okay for her family and to come out stronger than before her surgery. To know her is to understand that no day is guaranteed and that we only get one life to live.
Super Mom Video Interview with Amy Gordon, a mom diagnosed with brain tumor.
About one year ago, Amy had some hearing loss in her right ear.
One night Amy’s youngest daughter, 2 years old, was crying one night and it woke her husband up. He woke Amy up and said “Riley is awake and crying”.
Amy had no idea, she couldn’t hear Riley at all with her head and ear against the pillow.
But, Amy didn’t think anything of it. She was only 35 years old, and since there was no pain, she brushed it off. And she certainly didn’t think she could have been a mom diagnosed with brain tumor.
She kept noticing that the loss was still there after that occurrence. Amy had just started a new job as an Assistant Camp Director. Summer was approaching, so she was extremely busy. She had things to do! And wanted to prove herself in this new role.
She didn’t have time to think about the loss of hearing much. But after a little while, she decided to take the time and to see a doctor. She visited an ENT and saw an audiologist. They discovered there was a significant amount of hearing loss.
After running several tests, couldn’t determine what was wrong. So they first put her on Prednisone, because if it was short-term loss, Prednisone has been known to help.
4 Weeks Went By..
There were no improvements, but there were so many “what-if’s”. So they knew what the next step was if Prednisone didn’t work.
The doctors wanted to perform an MRI to see if she had something called “Acoustic Neuroma”.
Similarly enough, her father actually had that. Doctors said it is not hereditary though. When the results came back and it was confirmed she did not have that, she was extremely thrilled because she thought everything was okay. Being a mom diagnosed with brain tumor never crossed her mind at this point.
But unfortunately, they ended up telling her that they found a tumor near her cerebellum, in the back of her brain. It was out of his league and she needed to find a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.
She remembers feeling numb, crying, not being able to comprehend what was being told to her. Amy told the doctor to call her husband to inform him of what she has because he would be better to listen and grasp what was happening. She couldn’t grasp that fact that she was now a mom diagnosed with brain tumor.
The experience of finding this out for the first time was traumatic, the fact that she was told over the phone. This was not good news, so being told over the phone was so overwhelming. She didn’t know where to go and what to do now.
The word “tumor” terrified her. She knew better than to Google anything, she had great will-power in not doing so! But her husband did all of the research for the both of them. He didn’t know how to handle this either, so he thought maybe it could help.
Luckily her family has good friends in the medical field, so she was able to see the best neurosurgeon in Hollywood, Florida.
He called for more tests, one being a 4 hour MRI. She wasn’t able to move at all while that was being performed so she had to be medicated for that.
She kept saying, “I can get through this”. Her father taught her to always be positive, to have a “Positive Mental Attitude”. She follows that to this day. That’s advice she’d give to anyone going through a difficult time. Even though she was now a mom diagnosed with brain tumor, she still had her PMA!
Amy always tries to be positive. Throughout this entire journey, she kept thinking and worrying about everyone else, not even herself. She kept thinking, “I have to be there for my kids and have to be there for my husband. I need to be there for work and the kids.”
She made sure to never discuss anything about this in front of her kids. She had an amazing support system as well. Her husband and the grandparents all came to her side to be there for her and to help her with everything. Blessed and lucky are just two of the many words she describes how she felt with them standing by her through it all.
Putting Others First
Leading up to the surgery, her whole outlook about this was to make sure everyone else was okay and that they were taken care of first before herself. She thought that if they saw her strong, they wouldn’t worry.
Even after everything she has gone through, she is trying so hard now to put herself first. But that’s who she is, it’s hard to change when she’s always been that way.
Ericka even wrote that Amy cared more about getting the summer camp up and running than she did about herself!
Amy came to work every day with a smile on her face. Yes of course there were a couple breakdowns, but she hid it very well.
Once she had the surgery, she was on medical leave from work. And no one at work even knew why because they never knew, or could ever tell, that anything was wrong. They never guessed that she was a mom diagnosed with brain tumor!
Taking time out and treating yourself is important. To learn how to treat yourself in as little as 15 minutes, click here!
Before she got to the hospital, she decided to color her hair and add fun designs because she wanted to make it fun and light for everyone. She gave the nurses and doctors a good laugh when they went to go shave her head!
She prepared with meditation before the surgery because she wanted to be in a good place, to have a good mindset.
The surgery itself was a success! Luckily, she was no longer a mom diagnosed with brain tumor. They were able to remove everything.
Afterwards though, Amy had a lot of panic attacks. She couldn’t sleep because she couldn’t move her neck since the incision went all the way down. She was also very weak. Amy had to stay in ICU for a week. Her mother stayed with her the entire time so her husband was able to be home with the kids.
She was told that once home, she had to get out of the house once a day. One of the hardest things was her feeling like and getting back to her normal self. So they recommended her to get outside for a walk or for a short car ride.
It took her a while to feel like her self. Still after weeks, nothing felt the same. Her incision had some oozing and she thought it could be a normal healing process, but when she called the doctor, they told her to come in.
Turns out she had an infection. They had to go back in; she had to have a second surgery. Not because the tumor returned, but to clean the infection. They actually had to remove a plate (that was originally put in to reconnect a bone) because her body was rejecting it.
But that also was successful! And she has healed since.
Amy and her husband had prepared for the worst. They saw an attorney to take care of all necessary paperwork and to have a plan for what would happen if the surgery was not successful.
She even went into her children’s rooms the night before the surgery, while they were sleeping, to “talk” to them. She wanted to speak to them and say a few last words to them (whether they heard her or not), before the surgery.
It has now been 10 months since the surgery. She has to have an MRI at least once every year for 5 years. There is of course always a chance that the tumor can return.
This has been quite an emotional ride for Amy. She now looks at life so differently. She feels so lucky to have had the people there before and after, always by her side. It’s even a little strange to her because she has learned that people love her so much. They think she is extraordinary, and she only feels ordinary.
How could she not think she is extraordinary?! We see it and think she is incredible!
She wishes she had someone that could have talked to her. If she can help only one person today, she feels like this was worth every single second!
If you’re experiencing something similar, just know that it’s going to be tough and dark. And even though you may be an energetic and happy individual, it’s okay to breakdown sometimes and feel weak. It is simply part of the process.
This is by far an amazing story, one of determination and overcoming a terrible and scary situation.
Can you relate? Has her story helped you or others you know? Share, comment, and let us know!
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- Young Mom Diagnosed with Brain Tumor – Video of How Supermom Amy Gordon Thrived - June 28, 2017