My story begins in a church basketball game in 2005. All of a sudden big words started coming into my mind and what came out of my mouth sounded like Dr. Seuss. A year and half later I was undergoing brain surgery. I had been diagnosed with Oligoastrocytoma in my left temporal lobe stage 2-3. I was 36 years old, owned my own business and was taking classes to finish my degree. I had three sons and no time for brain cancer. My second surgery took away my reading and writing and from that point, everything began to change. I was fighting for my life and it took everything I had to battle cancer. I had radiation and chemotherapy that first year. In the middle of all of this I went through a divorce and the subsequent battle to spend time with my boys was a challenging as the cancer and treatment. I was desperate to spend time with them as the doctors told me my time was limited and there was nothing more they could do for me. I knew I had to place my trust in our Heavenly Father and felt the faith and prayers of my family and many friends. I couldn’t have done this without them. I would often say something to the effect of, “I gave it to the Lord and everything will be ok”.
In August of 2007 my brother connected me with The Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The doctors there told me that if I was to die it would be because of three cysts in my brain the size of a golf ball, a ping-pong ball and a grape and there was nowhere for them to go and asked if we could have one more surgery. That third surgery took away the mobility in my entire right side. I had to learn to walk again and do everything with just my left hand. But I was alive!!!
In December of 2010, after three surgeries, radiation and 8 kinds of chemo, I was declared cancer-free. Within a year, I met my sweetheart and we married in June 2012. To our surprise and delight, we learned soon after our marriage that we were expecting a baby. I had been told that I may not be able to have more children, so this was a miracle for us. I went back to school the fall of 2012 and graduated in July 2013 with my bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in Health Science. I had to learn to read and write again in order to finish college, but it felt so great to be able to do the work. Originally I had a reading tutor several years prior. I then discovered some tools to help me communicate effectively and correctly in order to go back to school. One called Dragon Actually Speaking to aid me in typing and another called Kurzwell which allowed me to read along as my textbooks were being read to me.
Over the past few years I have experimented with several therapies or treatments in order to regain the use of my right side. I have a BioNess system for my hand and for my foot which communicates to the nerves to contract and release. I have also had 30 hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments which infused pure oxygen into my brain and which helped me tremendously with my language, memory, and improved reading and writing. I am currently in Physical Therapy to strengthen my right side and mobility.
I do some motivational speaking where I share my story and sing a few songs – some of which I have written. I learned to play the guitar again with just my left hand. I hope that my story will help lift and inspire others. I hope that they can find some use in what I have gone through and how I am still striving eight years later to make the most of life, to enjoy my family, and to serve and bless others. You never know when trials will come into your life, but it is what you do with those trials. Life is too short to have a bad day!
Story written by: Matt Pond
This story was seen first on Real Imprints.