Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I'm just a down to earth, faith-spreading, laughter-loving girl from Arkansas. I love people! I'm married to an amazing man who has the patience I can only dream of having someday. We have 3 energetic kiddos who keep us on our toes. Isaac is 13 and loves anything that has to do with electronics. One day he hopes to create his own video games. Raiza is 10 and is our fashionista/performer/writer/
How long have you been blogging? What is your blog’s mission?
I have always journaled for as long as I can remember. I have always had a passion to be a blogger or speaker, but It wasn't until August, when I began radiation, that I felt the Lord speak to me about sharing my journey through brain cancer. I have a heart for women. God created women for an amazing purpose. My prayer is that I would be able to be an encouragement to women, wives, mothers, daughters and aunts, and to remind them how very precious and important they are. My mission is "encouraging women to lead purposeful lives with bold faith"
When did you find out about your tumor? What was that process like for you?
Over the years, I have battled migraines so much that it seemed to become part of my daily life. On March 6th of this year, I went to the ER with a migraine that just wouldn't seem to let up. I'd never had an MRI before for my migraines and that was the first thing the doctor ordered when I arrived. Within minutes of the MRI, the doctor was in the room with me asking if I had family and that he would like for me to call my husband before he shared the results with me. After my husband arrived the Dr told us that they found a spot on the right side of my brain that looked like a tumor and ordered me to see a neurosurgeon in Little Rock, AR. I was scheduled to be in Little Rock on March 9th where they confirmed that I indeed had a tumor the size of a golf ball resting behind my right eye. The position and size of the tumor was affecting not only my vision but, because of the pain, just getting through the day had become difficult.
On March 16th, I underwent brain surgery and I'm blessed to say that the tumor was removed. Although it was removed, the type of tumor it was caused small microscopic fibers to be left behind that could quickly form into another tumor. In order to prevent that from happening, I needed to begin radiation treatment, however, the type of radiation I needed, Proton Beam Radiation, was only offered in 4 states. My radiation treatment would consist of 28 treatments over 8 weeks. On August 8th, I flew to Arizona to begin treatment but having to leave my family was the hardest thing I had to do. I'm very grateful for that time though. You see, it not only strengthened my family and my marriage, it strengthened my faith and allowed me to lean on God in ways I never imagined.
From the day I first heard the words "you have a brain tumor" to now, months later, going through the recovery process, I never felt afraid that something could go wrong. Don't get me wrong, that's a scary thing to have thrown at you out of nowhere, but I knew that for whatever reason, God allowed this to happen and I was prepared for whatever He wanted. The neurosurgeon told me that the tumor had been growing for 6, maybe 7 years, and that it had started in my spine and just moved all the way up to my brain. It made sense to me because my migraines started around that time.
Instead of being upset with God that He waited so long to reveal this to me, I was so thankful to Him for waiting. You see, had God revealed the tumor to us 6 years ago, our faith would not have been this strong. We would not have had the love and strong support that we do now. Not only was God preparing me for the big unveiling, He was busy preparing our friends and their lives so they could play a roll in His beautiful plan. This one was not only my journey, but it was the journey of many.
What does your treatment schedule/timeline look like?
I have completed my radiation treatment and I am scheduled to return to Mayo Clinic in March of next year for my follow up MRI to find out if I am cancer and tumor free. I'm believing that all is clear, but if not, I will welcome any news with open arms. Radiation may be over but I still struggle with facial pain caused from my brain surgery. When the surgeons did my surgery, they had to cut deeper into my nerves and muscle than expected, which caused the right side of my head and face to lose feeling. Once the nerves began to regenerate and grow back, it became very painful. I later found out at Mayo Clinic that my nerves were growing back, but not the way they were supposed to, which caused mixed signals to my brain, resulting in facial neuropathy. Boy, is it painful. I am currently receiving treatment for this and I am looking forward to the day that I can touch the right side of my face and feel no pain.
What do you like to do in your personal time to take your mind off of your treatment?
I'm still trying to get back to normal both at home and in my personal life. I journal and I love spending time with close friends who keep me going. It's not easy, but the hardest seasons bring the biggest joys.
We heard the KLRC radio station has chosen to bless your family this holiday season. How much does this mean to you and your family?
I cannot put into words exactly how much it means to me. It is a feeling that I can't describe and only God can provide. KLRC, along with some very amazing people, have teamed up to become the body of Christ to our family this Christmas, blessing our family in so many ways.
Learn more here.
What types of things do you like to do as a family?
We just love being together. We love watching movies and playing board games and you can catch us at Raising Canes when we get to eat out. We love it there!
Is there anything the readers can do to support you and your fight?
My fight has already been won through the blood of Christ. I want to support others who may be facing difficult seasons and need encouragement. I never want this to be about me but to be about glorifying our Heavenly Father in every way.
Check out Kayla's blog here!
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