It was two weeks before Christmas 2014 as I sat in the doctors office waiting to hear why my body seemed to be playing tricks on me, why so much pain in my head, my face, my teeth and my ears? Why were my legs, feet, and hands cramping up on me? Why were my hands shaking? Why was I having blurred vision in my left eye and pain in my eye? Why do I suddenly have restless legs? I had so many questions that I hoped would finally be answered. Well the questions were answered! As I sat in a very dim cold doctors office I remember the doctor walked in and told me I have 3 brain tumors! I remember hearing nothing at all after that. I seen his mouth moving but heard nothing, but I do remember a sudden calm feeling that came over me and I remember as the sun went down outside there was a hint of light shining through the blinds of the window in the doctors office and I immediately said to myself that I will be ok and there is a reason that I was given this diagnosis. I figured out the reason quickly–I need to make my diagnosis my purpose and my purpose is to share my story with the intention of spreading awareness and in spreading awareness I intend to generate funds for the American Brain Tumor Association and help all of us in the fight against brain tumors. Today I run 4 different pages dedicated to brain tumor patients on social media across the US and Europe. I share my story, talk to other brain tumor patients, give my personal suggestions, and advice and help provide resources to those that need and want something specific as they battle brain tumors. Recently on Feb 26, 2019 a day before my 46th birthday I had brain surgery at UPENN Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. I had a large brain tumor removed that was pressing against my optical nerve and spreading down into the left side of my face. I took pictures and recorded how I felt each day as I recovered and shared my experiences good and not so good with followers on social media. I am so happy to inspire others and show those that are facing this type of surgery that despite it’s difficulties they will get through it and become even stronger. Strength is not about having muscles-strength is something you possess in your soul and in your heart which allows your mind to understand you can get through anything. I receive emails from children who have brain tumors who thank me for sharing my journey as they look up to me and I let them know to never put limitations on themselves and always follow their dreams. I tell them not to let this illness define who they are. It has been a little over a month since my brain surgery and I feel great. I believe the more I help others the better I feel mentally and physically. I go back to the dr soon to find out what the plan will be for the other two brain tumors that I have and I’m not worried at all because I know that no matter how dark my situation seems to be I will always be able to see that hint of light that shines through for all of us in the fight.
Jennifer Bird Pownall | Patient | Meningioma