What I’ve learned as a mom and brain tumor caregiver

In May 2017, my 20-year-old daughter Brooke came home after her college finals with increasing headaches, vision problems and some strange “feelings” that we couldn’t explain. To make a long story short, we ended up in the ER the day after Memorial Day. An MRI showed a large mass creating a lot of pressure in her brain. Within hours, we were at MD Anderson, and within days, Dr. Frederick Lang was performing the 11-hour awake craniotomy that saved her life. We’ve been living with a grade II astrocytoma diagnosis since that day. I say “we” because when someone in your family receives a brain tumor diagnosis, it affects everyone. Life changes in every way. People often ask me what it’s like to be a caregiver for a child with cancer. The truth is I’m a mom, and you can’t separate the two roles. Here’s what I’ve learned as a mom and caregiver to a daughter with cancer. Take it one day at a time As moms and caregivers, we must be the strength our loved ones need, especially when they are weak. I must be positive and hopeful when she is fearful. I find myself walking around with a broken heart held in God’s hands daily. He has given me the strength to endure and persevere through the darkest of days and walk through my deepest fears. More times than not, I only have enough strength for one day. But then I wake up and find the strength to face another day. Each day’s courage comes as it is needed. A mother is always a mother I’ve actually found...