Erik and Katie's Story

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January 29, 2013

Diagnosed at 32 with an oligoastrocytoma, 2009 marks 5 years post treatment clean MRI's. Yeah for Erik and our family. A strong role model for persevering under the hardest of times.

At the age of 32, Erik felt like he was having a hard time with everyday tasks. For example, he was dropping his keys a lot and he was having a hard time buttoning his shirt for work, just to name a few. As his wife, I would say things like, "hold on tighter" or "maybe you're just tired." After all, we were remodeling a house and working our full time jobs.

Tired of not understanding why this was happening, Erik went to see our physician who did a simple neuro exam. The physician immediately sent him to get a MRI. Erik called me 4 hours later and said that he had wanted to meet me. Therefore, I left work and we met at a coffee shop. He had a huge folder that had his MRI scan. He said "I have a brain tumor." We were shocked, stunned, and scared. After hugging my incredible husband and saying "what do we do now?" we set about making sure that he was going to get the best treatment.

It took only 1 month (which seemed like a lifetime) to start his treatment. Removing the tumor left him unable to use his left arm. The chemo left him sick and unable to even look at a capsule. The radiation took his hair and a little bit of his memory. Just 14 days after starting all the treatment, Erik returned to work. His wonderful employers put a bed in the back room for napping, picked him up for radiation treatments, waited to take him to work, then dropped him off after a full day. This was so important to Erik. He returned to a normal world and to his normal life quickly.

It has been 5 years since he has had any treatment. We are happy to say that each MRI comes out clean. Those days are always the hardest. We go to the appointments together and we always hug and kiss before and after the MRI. Today, he has use of his left arm, with some limitations. He works full time, is a proud father, a generous and loving husband, and a Brain Tumor Survivor.