The holidays have come and gone and we’re pushing into January!  I’m so glad!  It’s been a great past couple of months, but it’s been an emotional time.  I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on where we were a year ago at this time and with that has come so many mixed emotions; swinging from gratefulness to sadness, from fear to joy, pretty much all over the place!  We’re coming up to the date of when we flew down to UCLA and found out that I would be having surgery #4.  Because the main health “events” occurred back in the Fall, already, at this time last year, the holidays last year were really overshadowed by everything going on with my health and preparing for surgery, that I really feel like the kids missed out on a lot of things because of it.  It’s not like I didn’t do a lot of things with them, but my heart, mind and soul were all elsewhere so much of the time.  They were aching in constant fear of the unknown that was about to transpire a short amount of time later.  It consumed me.  I allowed the Enemy to win, and it makes me sick when I think back at my behavior last year at this time.  Just. sick.

This year, I wanted to make sure that I was one fully present parent!  I was going to be present in everything;  class parties, class mom, field trips, Christmas shopping while driving ALONE.  I wanted to sit on the couch with one kid on each side of me and watch Christmas movies and eat way too many Christmas cookies, everything my crappy attitude took away last year!  I asked the boys what they wanted to do, and we did maybe about ten percent of what they came up with (the other 90 was pretty much ridiculous).  They really just wanted to work with daddy a lot of the time at the dairy on the break, so they spent a good deal of time doing that, which was great for me!  Kid free shopping (aka DFS). Usually by the night of Christmas, I am ready to take down all of the Christmas decorations and put everything away because I can’t wait for everything to be back in it’s rightful place.  This year, though, we kept it up for a few days longer.  We watched Christmas movies for a few more days, and daddy came home with Christmas presents a couple more times.  It was such a sweet time with my boys.  I cherished every moment of their break.  I drank it all in because last year, I allowed my horrid attitude to make me take it all for granted, and I am one of the last people I know that should be taking even one tiny thing for granted when it comes to time with these precious boys God has blessed me with.

I did sneak in a MRI at the beginning of December, as we’re now doing those every 8 weeks, rather than every 3 months.  UCLA said that the scan was stable compared to the prior.  Praise the Lord!  The local radiologist wasn’t so optimistic about one area in the resection cavity not possibly becoming new tumor.  I mention this, not as new news, but as a prayer request before this next scan, that this spot will clear up and go away!  it has been there on the past three scans and keeps getting a little bigger and brighter in contrast.  It could be scar tissue or it could be tumor.  We don’t know until we just wait and watch what it does.  The rest of the areas of tumor all remained stable, though, so I am so blessed for that!

I will have another scan in the beginning of February.  I am currently weaning off of some seizure medications, which is absolutely fantastic!  I’m down from four to just Keppra and Topamax.  My neurologist is wanting me to add in another, which is sitting on my counter.  We’re having a stare down.  Weight gain is a main side effect, so I’m not too thrilled about that, but I must say it’s better than a grand mal seizure!  I haven’t had one of those since October of 2010, which is just absolutely amazing, considering I was having at least one every couple of months.  I have to say, the best part of my life, maybe even better than feeling well, is being able to drive!!!  It’s something that most of us take for granted, just to be able to jump into our car and run out and go somewhere.  A lot of people can’t do that!  I wasn’t able to do that for SO many months at a time, multiple times.  I am now the cheesy mom who is driving up the driveway into the school parking lot with sparkling teeth waving at her children because she’s so excited to be there picking them up.

Yep, that’s me!  I cannot be more proud and more humbled at the same time!

God is so good.



  1. Sue MARKEN says:

    Oh Receee…you always make me cry. Your blog touched my heart on so many levels. You are such a gifted writer. I love your transparancy. I am grateful that you remain in our lives and feel blessed to know such an amazing woman. I love you friend.

  2. Proud of you sis. It takes guts to lay yourself out there like this. Your honesty and is inspiring.

    I love you.

  3. Heather shelton says:

    We are thinking of u, praying hoping and standing with you. Thank u so much for the update and so pumped you had a fantastic Christmas with your family.

  4. I just ran across your Diary entries here online and I have been so thankful that you, Clarisse, have taken the time to share your heart with the rest of the world out there. That really is a wonderful thing that you are doing. I havent talked to anyone who has a brain tumor…I had a stroke last October, a couple of days before I was to speak at a Christian gathering in Indiana…and later in Nov, a day before Thanksgiving after 23 seisures that they were calling stroke symptoms, I was then diagnosed with stage 2 oligodendroglioma. I have been happily absorbing all the information you are sharing. I am also the author of a book called. Itsing A God
    Thing….MY SHEEP WILL HEAR MY VOICE…. wow…I sure am focused on HIM now :). I will follow you Clarisse…I am thankful to have spent the past hour being encouraged by you. thanks again :) Linda Marie Irish

  5. oops I scramble things sometimes…. “Its A God Thing. ..MY SHEEP WILL HEAR MY VOICE” AMAZON.

    PS- I so understand the part of being “not there” ….emotionally sometimes….so happy for you that you got your mojo back this Christmas for your boys…and your own heart. Thanks for your devotion to writing…you are that first person with whom I have connected that shares my similar affliction…. well done!!!! thank you

  6. Hi Charysse, I just stumbled on your blog. I was also diagnosed with the same tumour as yours – Oligoastrocytoma G3. I was diagnosed in 2010 after a seizure.

    Iv’e went through 3 surgeries and the tumor reoccurred after 6 weeks of radiation. I haven’t done chemo.

    I wanted to ask you if you have considered:

    1. Rick Simpson Cannabis Oil (aka hemp oil)
    2. PolyMVA

    3. DCA Therapy
    4. Budwig / Cellect

    I’d love to get in touch with you and touch base about what treatment options we can both try.

    Wishing us only health & happiness :)

  7. Hi there,
    I’m so sorry to hear of our shared diagnosis, but glad that we can maybe help each other. I’m currently on DCA and have done the Budwig diet and PolyMVA in the past. No luck with those therapies, but I am having success in shrinking/stabalizing the tumor using the following therapies (yes, doing all)

    1. IV Vitamin C/DMSO/Laetrile through a power port
    2. Iscador injections
    3. DCA
    4. Supplements: Quercetone, Curcumin, DHA/EPA
    5. Dr. Kelley Enzyme therapy

    I work with a ND and do rife and acupuncture, as well.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!

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