My mother was pregnant with me when she found out that she had a brain tumour. She was only 33 years old and pregnant with child #5.
I couldn’t even imagine what she was thinking or going through when she found out the news of having a brain tumour. The thoughts of possibly leaving behind 4 children. A husband. Her friends. Her family. Wondering what was going to happen to the baby inside her womb. I wonder if she was optimistic or pessimistic about having a brain tumour since she was a nurse. My mom went through multiple surgeries and endless hours in a hospital to try to conquer her brain tumour. Unfortunately, the tumour won after 7 years of fighting. At the young age of 40, heaven gained another angel.
I was only 7 years old when my mom died.
I have always worried about the effects of cancer cells on a fetus. Could it be possible that while I was in my mother’s womb, the cells were affecting me, a growing fetus? Is it hereditary? Is a brain tumour going to take my life at a young age? The guilt and sadness that I feel because my mom died has eaten a hole in my heart. The thoughts of “what if she wasn’t pregnant with me … would she still be alive?” still brings tears to my eyes.
Being physically active and eating pretty healthy have always been a priority for me. I have always been interested in fitness and wellness, hence my degree in Kinesiology and starting my own company to inspire and educate people. Having my mom die at a young age has always been the driving force behind my taking care of my health. Now being in my 30’s, a mom to 3 beautiful daughters aged 6 and almost 4 year old twins, I try my best to take care of myself.
That being said, I started to notice an increase of stress and anxiety in my life these past few years. The physical and emotional demands of being a parent is hard on your body. Between being a mom, wife, starting a new company and dealing with being hypothyroid, I started experiencing more frequent headaches, having poor concentration, and mumbling my speech more often. The headaches could have been from all the different medications, vitamins and supplements I was on, or the stress I was dealing with and not knowing how to deal with it all. I just always had the negative thought in the back of my head questioning and wondering if my symptoms were something more. Were my scary dreams of dying from a brain tumour going to come true?
So my new doctor listened to my concerns and understood my mom’s medical history. She requested for me to get a CT scan or an MRI done. I don’t know who makes the final decision on which scan is booked, but they decided to go ahead with a CT scan. When I got the call from my doctor’s office that my CT scan was booked, I cried. I was in constant anxiety and stress those weeks. I could tell my daughters sensed something was going on with their mom. I didn’t tell anyone about the scan except for my husband. Maybe I didn’t want the pity or attention from my friends and family, or maybe I wasn’t ready to share what was going on out of fear.
So two weeks ago, I went for my CT scan. My loving sister watched my daughters for me so Scott could come and support me. I was a mess! I cried all the way to the appointment. I cried getting into the elevator to go down to the basement level in the Kaye Building. I had tears in my eyes while I filled out the intake form. I just couldn’t pull it together. I cried leaving Scott when I went into the room to do the scan. The lady who was performing the scan just looked at me with no emotion … which now made me angry. She asked “Why are you so sad? The scan won’t take very long and it’s not scary”. Not scary I thought … well maybe not to you. I told her I was just scared to find out the results. The scan itself only took a few minutes. As I laid still on the bed, I felt a few tear drops rolling down my cheek. I couldn’t help but think of my mom and the numerous scans she must have gone through. Being brave. Being strong for her children and husband.
After my scan, I picked up my daughters and hugged them with all of my love. I slowed down my thoughts and actually took more time to listen to them, laugh with them and spent more time with them. It’s funny how we need a scare in our lives to truly appreciate our surroundings and hold our loved ones closer.
I went back to see my doctor to review the results later in the week. To be honest, I wanted to cancel that appointment. I wasn’t ready to hear bad news. As I was driving to the appointment, the strangest thing happened. I felt this wave of calmness. My heart rate slowed down. My breathing wasn’t as shallow. It was the first time in weeks that I felt relaxed. I knew my mom was watching over me and this was her sign telling me everything was going to be OK.
My doctor walked into the office and just blurted out the words that I have a healthy brain.
Let the tears of happiness roll down my cheek! Finally I had my answer!
I am so relieved. I am thankful to my doctor for listening to my concerns because no doctor in the past seemed to care or even wanted to investigate why I was experiencing headaches. Since the scan, I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulder. I feel happier. I feel like I’m starting to act like myself again. It’s amazing how stress and negative thoughts affect your body and mind set.
So what did I learn from all of this?
- I’m glad that I listened to my body and found a doctor who listened to me
- I’m glad that I got a CT scan done to put my mind at peace that I don’t have a brain tumour
- Stress and constant worrying really can effect your overall health
- Living a healthy lifestyle is so important
- Life is too short to stress and worry about the small things
- You only have 1 life on Earth, so you better start enjoying it
- My mom is my guardian angel.
So to anyone who is experiencing symptoms that are not normal or is feeling a bit “off”, go get it check out. Talk to your health care provider, and if they don’t listen, get another opinion. Listen to what your heart and gut is telling you because life really is too short to sit around and wait for your symptoms to go away.
So for now, I am a healthy mom of 3, wife, friend, business owner, fitness enthusiast, golfer, wine drinker and outdoor adventure seeker. I wanted to share my story to hopefully inspire others to listen to their bodies and concerns and seek medical help from their health care provider.
My name is Rachelle and I am the owner and founder of Momentum Health & Wellness . I am devoted to inspire and promote health and wellness to individuals and families. I want to create a community where people feel motivated to share their wellness journey and to encourage one another to be positive role models in their home, at work and in the community. I offer prenatal fitness classes, postnatal fitness classes, fitcamp, personal training, injury rehabilitation, yoga for children and corporate wellness.
Contact me for more information on the services I provide!