How my Tumor has Changed my Life...for the Better!
My name is Amber Starr and I am 33 years old. I wanted to share my story of hope for those who are going through what I’ve been through this year. Being told that you have a large brain tumor is a very scary thing. In February of this year, 2016, I was diagnosed with a Meningioma brain tumor. The way my doctor described it, it was as large as a potato. How could I have a tumor? I was only 33, I had never been sick in my life, how and what did this mean for my future? A week later, after all my swelling had gone down, I was ready for surgery. My 4-5 hour surgery turned into a 10 hour surgery. My doctor was able to remove 95% which meant I still had a little tumor left. Radiation was suggested for the 5% that was left. Now is when things got really tough…..
After I came home from surgery I felt so weird. My head felt different than it had ever felt before. All my nerves had been cut so I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. All my pretty, long hair was gone, completely gone. All that was left was a big cut from about the middle of my front hair line, all the way to the back of my right ear. I was so weak that I could barely walk; I was helpless. My mother had to bathe me, help me to the restroom, shave my legs, help me eat; you name it, she did it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was the one who was supposed to be doing these things for her like this one day. I wondered every day, would I ever be the same again? Will I ever be able to just hop in the car and take my kids to their practices? Will I even be able to walk up the stairs to their bedrooms ever again? Will I be able to write, play the piano again? The medicines that I took made me feel really odd. I couldn’t focus; I could barely carry on a conversation. Some days I would just break down and cry. It was especially hard to see the worry in my mother’s eyes for me. I hated it for her, too. I didn’t want her to see me that way. I didn’t want my kids to see me that way.
Although things seemed so bad during that time and they were bad to me, I had hope. The hope I’m speaking of is the hope that can only come from God. I prayed all the time; I read my bible (I could still read). I may not have remembered what I read 5 minutes afterwards, but I read and read. God gives us many promises in the bible. Unlike us, God never breaks his promises. One of my favorite verses in the bible is Mark 11:24. It says….Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Jesus would not say these things and tell us this if it were not true. I held on to this verse and reminded myself all the time, I have asked to be healed and I believe that I am already healed so I am going to be healed! Well God continued to work in my life. In May he blessed me with a wonderful caregiver who took such great care of me. I slowly began to regain my strength. On May 5 I started my 6 weeks of radiation treatments and by the end of the 6 weeks and I’m not kidding, I was driving myself to my treatments and I was back at work!! Unbelievable huh? Let me not leave out that my treatments were over an hour away and so was work. I went from barely being able to walk in March to driving my car and back at work full time in June. God is soooo good!
My brain tumor has completely changed my life. I see things from an entirely different perspective now. I went from a life of me, me, me, to a caring person who realizes how precious life is. I live for God and I want to spend the rest of my life here on earth living for him. There are reasons why we go through the valleys. I know for me, it got my attention and showed me that the things that I thought were important in life really aren’t as important as I thought. What is important is knowing that had I not made it through my surgery, I would have been in Heaven with the Lord. That is what is important. I don’t know how anyone can go through something like this and not have this kind of hope. I am living proof that God still hears our prayers and that he answers our prayers and he holds true to his promises.
If you are going through a tough time and you need someone to talk to, or someone to just listen, please reach out to me. Amber.Starr83@gmail.com