Friday, October 2, 2009

17 yrs since the Brain Tumor & counting!

17 years ago today Jeff called me up on the phone (we were dating, but only had been together for about 5 months). For the entire month previously, he had been very sick. He'd had a lot of dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and was unable to keep anything down. I'd visited him every few days to keep him company & he'd been in to see the doctor a couple times (and sent home with tylenol). Well, his mom finally decided to take him to a different hospital, and this was where he called me from.

"They say I have a brain tumor", were his words. It was in the equilibrium section of his brain and they would need to operate immediately. They told him that if he had came even one week later that it would have killed him. Before he went in to surgery, they made him sign all kinds of releases. He was made to understand that he possibly wouldn't survive this operation and that if he did survive there were great chances of brain damage. His recovery time would be months, and he could end up essentially, a vegetable.

So he went into surgery. His famous last words to the nurse before he went under were true to his character, "Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids".

He had an experience while he was under, where he saw his Grandpa who had passed away a few years earlier. His Grandpa showed him a graveside, and he saw me and a couple children (a boy and a girl). He understood that it wasn't his time to go yet, and that he needed to go back.

The tumor was the sized of a triple yolked egg with a cyst around it the size of a grapefruit, but luckily it wasn't cancerous.

When he was still unconcious, his mom began to tickle his back (a very relaxing thing in his family). The nurses came running because it was making the monitors go all wacky. A short while later he awoke. Within a matter of days he was joking around with the nurses and walking up and down the halls. They released him 10 days later, with a bald head, staples up the back of his skull, much weight lost, but with a new lease on life.

I believe that Jeff was allowed to survive this experience for a reason. If he hadn't been given the chance to live his life, he would never have had children, we never would have this wonderful eternal relationship, he never would have been baptized, gone to church, or been to the temple. And I have NO CLUE what my life would have been like! Probably not as good as it is now. I'm grateful to have Jeff in my life. He's an incredibly patient, loving, forgiving person. I'm grateful that the Lord saw it fit 10 years ago to give him another chance at living, the allow him to develop himself, to grow, to have a family. So "happy anniversary" Jeff, may you have many more years with us. Your family loves you with all our hearts!


StephenOlsonFamily said...

That is such a touching love story! Happy Anniversary!

Lea said...

I remember after the surgery, I was going through the food area in the hospital and saw a doctor eating spaghetti and wondered to myself "how can they eat that after seeing my brother's brain?" I was 12 at the time. I'm so glad that Jeff came out ok through it all. And I have to say, watching him change his life around (from the surgery, and becoming a husband/father) has made me very proud of him. I know he's overcome a lot in his life and it inspires me very much. I'm proud of you Jeff and love you lots :D

Rob and Rachel said...

We Love You Jeff!!!! Happy Anniversary of the Surgery! Hope you get to do something spontaneous and new for this memorable day in your life! We're glad you're in our family!
Rob and Rachel

Trisha said...

This brought tears to my eyes. It was so well written Tiffanie. I can't remember when the last time was that I thought about this. Guess since I was so young I didn't remember the exact time of year, but now thinking about it, it seems like just yesterday. I remember being there and helping Jeff with anything I could no matter how gross it was, it didn't matter to me I just wanted to help. He lived with us and I remember all the things he went through and the things I did and I'm so glad that he got through it. Jeff thank you so much for all you have done and what you have accomplished. You know what I'm talking about. You were my mentor back then when I was starting to head down the wrong road. I'm glad to say I'm related to you. :-) Much love always.

Becky said...

What an incredible story, Tiffanie- it was nice to read about it, even though you have told me about it before. Both you and Jeff have had such miraculous healing stories- - you certainly have a purpose here on earth!