During this conversation, Seth talked about his experiences with brain cancer. It started with horrible headaches and a cascade of appointments. We talk about the difficulties he discovered as he first faced a brain tumor in 1997 when he was 19 years old. He talks about what it was like for the tumor to come back at a different phase of his life. It was a wonderfully inspiring discussion that included the intersections of faith, struggle, and hopefulness.
Seth is the executive pastor at Pathway Vineyard Church (which is where I (Jen)) attend! I’ve heard his brain injury story on Sundays on various occasions while in church. He is an inspirational survivor and pastor, husband, and father in my community. He shares his journey with recovery from a brain tumor and other medical complications.
Things we discussed:
- Seth lost his eyesight initially and he had surgery and then he largely felt better after his first surgery.
- He talked about being a brain cancer survivor and what this meant for him.
- He discussed the emotional side of things and what that meant for him and felt happy that he was over the surgery and moved on with his life.
- He found out after six years of his original surgery that his tumor had returned. But didn’t have the same symptoms as he had before (headaches, visual impairment).
- After the second surgery he was unable to have children due to the changes in his brain.
- He took steroid injections for 10 months to try to have children. 170 shots later, he and his wife were pregnant with their first child.
- He then discussed more complications and the redevelopment of a tumor.
- Afterwards he went on an “I can see tour” which included a trip to the field of dreams.
- He talked about how he and his wife wanted a second child, he took over 300 more injections, and talked about his now 11 year old child!
- He talks about a brain tumor support group. He is 15 years out from his last treatment for his brain tumor.
- He discussed the change in identity after his first treatment with brain cancer.
- He gives appreciation to his wife for her encouragement throughout his life.
You’ve got to be your best advocate. You have to make sure that you make that call. Bug a receptionist. Make things happen!
Don’t wait to find your support group. Start early finding a group of people who have similar stories in a way that no one else can relate to in your brain injury journey.
Over time you are going to see yourself in so many different ways and the most important way is being a child of God.
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