Saturday, September 13, 2008

Remembering Stacey....

My friend Stacey, an inspiration to all, lost her battle to brain cancer yesterday. She fought it with all she had, for 5 long years.....she was the mother to 5 beautiful children.

Here is something written by her years ago, when she was in remission...

My name is Stacey McDaniel, and my life was turned upside down on April 8, 2003, when I was just 28 years old. I will back up a little.
In the spring of 2002, I started having twitching in my feet, and weird pains on my right side. I went to the doctor, and he told me it was psychological, or stress related. Also, my migraine headaches, that I had ALL of my life disappeared. I had 4 kids, and had decided that we wanted a fifth. I got pregnant, and then delivered a stillborn baby boy in August of 2002. After that, I rethought my life, and decided what I really wanted was to go to school and become a doctor, so in September I started pre-med at Olivet college.
I was doing really well, even with four kids. I discovered I was pregnant again in November of 2003. I thought, no problem, I can still go to school. Then I had the ultrasound, it was twins! I was elated! Two months later, at 17 weeks pregnant, I lost one of them, but I pushed on, never missing class, and getting excellent grades. I started to feel "off" some days. On April 7, I had strange twitching in my eyebrow. I blew it off, but later learned that this was a focal seizure.
On April 8, 2003, I had my first of many grand mal seizures. I was standing in the kitchen, 27 weeks pregnant, and talking on the phone to my babysitter (it was about a half hour until I left to take final exams for the semester). My friend called an ambulance, and then came over. They thought it was eclampsia, which would only be cured by delivering the baby, and at 27 weeks, my little Saylor Caroline didn't stand much of a chance.
They decided to do an CT scan just to rule out other possibilities. That lead to an MRI, and that lead to a biopsy. On April 18, 2003 I was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme stage 4. I cried for about an hour, and then asked what my options were. I was basically told, this was it, go home and make arrangements for death. I wanted to see my baby take her first steps, and be born healthy.
I switched hospitals, and ended up going to University of Michigan. Dr. Sager, a neurosurgeon, removed an egg sized tumor in the speech area of my brain. It was a 7 hour awake craniotomy, while pregnant, on May 18. I delivered the baby on June 2, at 34 weeks. 6 weeks premature, but healthy and 5 pounds. She was in NICU for only 5 days. 2 days after delivery, I went to start radiation. I did 35 rounds of radiation, and then in August I started 12 months of Temodar. I had a set back in October, I developed an infection, but the doctors didn't know where. I had a fever of 106, and a seizure (my last one!), and went into a 3 day coma.
After I awoke, I was fine, and have been fine since. I finished off my chemo the same week that I started classes back up at Olivet! I am almost finished with my first semester back to school, finals are in December. Dr. Larry Junck is my neuro-oncologist, and I thank him, and Dr. Sager for my life.
I want to offer encouragement to anybody out there that is diagnosed with this dreadful disease

You will not be forgotten, Stacey....your love, your compassion, and your strength will never be forgotten.

2 comments:

Drama queens mum September 13, 2008 at 11:31 PM  

That's so sad. I'm really sorry.

Anonymous January 26, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

This is the type of brain cancer my father was diagnosed with this past December. This is very sad, but her family was lucky to be able to hold onto her for 5 years. I just pray we will have that with my father. ~Carrie

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I'm a stay at home mom of 3 gorgeous little girls and one hunka chunka baby boy! Photography is a passion of mine, and I'm always practicing and experimenting on my babies, and other kids I can get my hands on!

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