Despite everything else going on at that exact moment, I remember clearly thinking that this was a moment that would forever change my life.
Earlier that afternoon, my wife, Melanie, had called me at work after our daughter’s MRI. She was absolutely hysterical. Melanie told me that the MRI revealed that Anna Kate had a brain tumor and that she was immediately being rushed to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.
While I was able to hold it together long enough to leave work and get into my car, I could no longer fight the tears or the levity of the situation once I was alone. The tears, prayers, and the pain streamed freely. All I wanted at that moment was to hold Anna Kate in my arms and for her to be ok.
Between the tears and the prayers, I was able to make it to Scottish Rite.
Once I arrived at the hospital, I would learn that the MRI earlier that day had revealed a tumor (and an accompanying cyst) on the bottom right of her brain. After a barrage of tests that night and on into the next day, the doctors decided that she would have surgery in a couple of days to remove the tumor and cyst.
While the doctors were very optimistic about Anna Kate’s ability to make a full recovery, they also made us aware they we had a very long and hard road ahead of us. But I knew that even the tallest mountains are climbed by putting one foot in front of the other and refusing to quit.
And so we began our journey.
On Wednesday April 24th, 2013, Anna Kate had surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery lasted just over four hours. The surgery was a complete success, and they were able to completely remove the tumor in less time than had they anticipated. (A biopsy would later reveal that the tumor was benign.)
We would all spend the next 8 days at Scottish Rite. There were some very trying times in her road to recovery, but for every dark moment, there was also two or three small miracles. Additionally, I can never say enough good things about the nurses and doctors at Scottish Rite.
Anna Kate was released from Scottish Rite on May 2nd. The doctors anticipate that she will make a full recovery, and shouldn’t suffer any recurrences. And while she still has some issues with her balance, we were all very impressed with how quickly she has bounced back from the entire ordeal.
On May 10th, we celebrated Anna Kate’s 10th birthday. But more than just her birthday, we celebrated Anna Kate and what a precious gift God has given us.
I mentioned earlier that I knew the moment that I learned of Anna Kate’s tumor that it would be a moment that changed me forever. While at the time, my fear wanted me to believe the worst, this adversity offered me a tremendous amount of perspective on what is truly important in life.
I find my self worrying less about the daily nuisances of life, and more about telling my wife and kids every day just how much they mean to me.
And everyday I thank God for my blessings.