April's Spirit

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September 5, 2013 - STEVENSVILLE , Maryland

My daughter April sadly passed away July 27, 2013 from a rare form of Meningioma Brain Tumors. She fought a long 15 year battle with these tumors. The first one was diagnosed at age 18 and we are told they are benign slow growing tumors and after surgery she should be OK. Well she was for about 4 year then another one grew only this one more intense and caused a stroke during surgery which left her paralyzed, not able to walk or hardly move her arms. April went through so much pain and humiliation dealing with these tumors but she always kept a smile. April learned how to get around using crutches. Over the years these tumors started growing on the outside of her skull, they had to cut her skull and use her skin from her hip to replace the hole left in her scalp. Several of these were done. These tumors continued to grow in her brain on the outside of her skull and they metastasized into both lungs. She had one lung surgery they removed over 30 tumors and the lower part of her lung. Extremely painful and for someone who could not walk a very hard slow recovery. She was due to have the second lung done but found out she was pregnant. It was the biggest joy of her life. I was very concerned due to her health and how would she care for a baby when she could not even walk. So she went through her pregnancy happy as she had ever been and gave birth to Delaney Hope on January 22, 2009. That little girl gave April a new life a reason to move ahead. But her tumors would not stop destroying her life. Over the next 4 years more tumors grew, more surgery. more radiation and even Chemo. My husband had died in 2007 which left me to handle this alone with 2 other children at home and working full time I could not give April the care she needed and each surgery left her worse off. She was then wheelchair bound and not able to even help lift herself up. So when she would fall it was very hard for me and my son and daughter to lift her. Lifting dead weight is not easy. I made many home modifications to help but still things were hard. April missed out on so many things because it was too hard to get her in and out of places. She always kept a smile on her face and she lived through her daughter. Each day she sat alone while we worked and her daughter was in Day Care waiting for her to come home. Delaney loved her mommy so much that was a strong bond that will last forever. In March of 2013 I fought to get April into a full time Rehab but the only place that would take her was a Nursing Home. She went gladly she wanted to get all the help she could so she could be a good mommy. The conditions were hard for her since she was 33 and the average age in the nursing home was 70 but she did not complain. By June she was going downhill not making any progress so we had another MRI. That MRI came back with a large mass on both sides of her frontal lobe and more tumors in her lungs. The doctors just said there was not much they could do she could not go through another operation she had already exceeded her radiation limit and they just said it would not help her situation. So my daughter April was told her life was over. She looked at her 4 year old daughter crying knowing she would not see her start school or be there for Christmas, her prom nothing! She cried, I cried her siblings cried. We all had just gone through this 6 years ago with their father in 2007. My kids lost the best dad around and I lost my soul mate the love of my life of 34 years. Now I am told to prepare to lose my first child. By June April started showing signs it was progressing and fast. In July she was moved to Hospice. Each day she showed signs of deterioration. Then about 2 weeks into it she could not communicate with us. She would stare and try to speak but we could not understand. She would see her little girl and want so much to talk to her but no words would come out. My daughter was slipping away fast. I would sit and talk to her and play music. I would tell her that I will raise her daughter and give her everything she needs. I promised her I would always keep her in Delaney's heart. I was with my daughter as she slipped away. That final breath and she was gone. My beautiful daughter April was now with her father in heaven. My children and I have lost so much in these last 6 years. Every day we look at Delaney and see April in her. I watch as my granddaughter will go to her mommy's picture and hug it and ask her mommy when are you coming back? She tells me she is sad her mommy is gone. The look on her face says it all. It is those times when she thinks no one sees her we see her just sitting in the chair with the 16 x 20 photo of her mommy just staring at it. I am raising my granddaughter and I will make sure she knows just how much her mom went though and how much she wanted her! Gone but never forgotten April. “Here without you”